• A Candidate Like No Other, Part I: Bernie Sanders' Base
Democratic candidates' debate #10—or Debate X, if you prefer—is in the books. Here's how we saw it:
Who helped themselves the most? Let us start by noting that the range of performances was narrower than any other debate. That is to say, if you rate every candidate on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe" and 10 being "You're no Jack Kennedy," then all of the candidates on stage rated between a 6 and an 8. Nobody hit it out of the park, and there were also no train wrecks.
Next, allow us to introduce a sports analogy, one from the world of baseball. Each year, Major League Baseball gives out two Manager of the Year awards, one for the American League and one for the National League. Almost invariably, these awards do not go to the manager of the best team, they go to the manager of the team that most exceeded expectations. If the Pirates win 80 games this season (having won 69 last year) and the Dodgers win 110 (having won 106 last year), then Pirates manager Derek Shelton will win the National League version of the award in a rout.
All of this is to say that, in the absence of a standout performance, the person who helped themselves the most was probably Mike Bloomberg. He was one of the weakest performers—one of the 6 out of 10s—but he was considerably better than at the last debate and, after he took some heat in the first 45 minutes or so, the other candidates stopped taking shots at him. He also had some very solid answers. For example, he was asked about the rather aggressive public health initiatives he oversaw while running New York City (public smoking bans, limits on the size of sodas that can be sold, etc.), and whether he would attempt the same on a national level. Bloomberg responded thusly:Well, I think what's right for New York City isn't necessarily right for all the other cities, otherwise you would have a naked cowboy in every city. So let's get serious here.
But I do think it's the government's job to have good science and to explain to people what science says or how to take care of themselves and extend their lives. The -- we are a country where there are too many people that are obese. We should do something about that. But just look what happened with smoking.
We did ban smoking in New York City in public places, restaurants, offices, and that sort of thing. And it has spread across America, across Europe, across Latin America, even into places in the Middle East and into the Far East. It has saved an enormous number of lives.
So it just goes to show, if you have good public health, then you can do things. And one of the great problems today, you read about the virus, what's really happening here is the president fired the pandemic specialist in this country two years ago. So there's nobody here to figure out what the hell we should be doing. And he has defunded—he had defunded Centers for Disease Control, CDC, so we don't have the organization we need. This is a very serious thing. As you see, the stock market is falling apart because people are really worried and they should be.
The naked cowboy joke didn't land, at least in part because Bloomberg has the world's worst comic timing. Otherwise, however, he managed to turn a somewhat tricky question into a credible defense of his record, an assertion of his general philosophy (be cautious, be reasonable), and a shot at Donald Trump on one of the pressing issues of the week. Certainly, many candidates have done far less with their 1 minute and 15 seconds.
In short, folks who heard about the last debate and tuned in to see Bloomberg fall on his face again are going to be disappointed. That means that, at least for the moment, the former mayor has probably righted the ship.
Who helped themselves the least? To continue with the parallels to the world of sports, Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't over 'til it's over." Well, it's over, Tom Steyer. He did everything that he could to bolster his chances in South Carolina, making every effort to mention his support for social justice and slavery reparations and the like. The problem is that his declarations did not land with the (rather boisterous) audience at all. Perhaps it came off as pandering? We don't know. Also not helping is that Steyer had far and away the least speaking time of any candidate; his 7:09 was less than half that of Sen. Bernie Sanders (15:43), and trailed even sixth place Pete Buttigieg (12:20) by more than 5 minutes.
When South Carolinians vote in a few days, Steyer is going to finish somewhere between third and fifth, and then what? He's barely registering in polls of the Super Tuesday states, and making the next debate is improbable. As rich as he is ($1.6 billion), he can't compete with Mike Bloomberg in terms of cash outlays. There's just no path forward.
Anyone else worth mentioning? One more sporting analogy. In some sports, most commonly football and basketball, there is the notion of the "trap game." Basically, a team spends so much time looking ahead to a tough opponent that they forget their immediate opponent, and suffer a surprise loss.
Hillary Clinton committed a version of this error in 2016, worrying so much about setting herself up for a successful presidency that she forgot to set herself up for a successful general election. In particular, with Donald Trump promising the moon, the stars, and the wall, she probably should have made a few more promises of her own, realizing that voters expect politicians to over-promise and under-deliver.
Anyhow, it appears that the 2020 candidates are on the verge of embracing a version of the same lesson. Worrying about the general election—in particular, offending Sanders' supporters—won't do any good if you don't win the primary. And so, Sanders took more shots on Tuesday than at any other debate, and from many directions (including, for the first time, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA).
Sanders certainly didn't suffer any major damage, but he was on the ropes a couple of times, and he was goaded (primarily by Pete Buttigieg) into saying a few unwise things. For example, during an exchange when Buttigieg was arguing that Sanders is too far to the left, the Vermont Senator said: "[The] misconception, and you're hearing it here tonight, is that the ideas I'm talking about are radical. They're not." Sanders went on to explain what he meant, pointing out that lots of countries have things like universal health care and high taxes for rich people. That is true, but it does not especially matter if other countries have these things, or if Sanders thinks that the U.S. should have these things. What matters is whether or not a sizable chunk of the American electorate thinks his ideas are radical. By all evidences, a sizable number of voters think exactly that. So, Sanders' response was kind of tone deaf, the sort of thing that makes moderate voters say, "He doesn't even realize how far left he is!" We're going to have more on this very subject on Thursday, actually.
In the end, the Vermont Senator did not significantly help or hurt himself last night. However, if he ends up as the latest Democratic frontrunner to rise and fall, we may look back on Tuesday night as the beginning of a shift in the dynamics of the race, and the moment when the other Democratic candidates decided to stop playing patty-cake with Sanders.
How did the moderators do? Serving as moderator at one of these debates is a pretty thankless job, since pretty much everyone is unhappy with you afterwards. However, we actually thought this was far and away the best five-person moderating job we've seen this cycle. Gayle King & Co. maintained discipline just about as well as was possible, and they actually asked some interesting questions that covered subjects that haven't gotten enough attention (foreign policy, for example).
Issue of the night: No surprise, it was the things that black voters care about, at least according to the polls. The moderators made a point of asking about racial justice, gun violence, crime, and several other relevant subjects. And the candidates worked really hard to shoehorn in their "wokeness" even when not being directly asked about these subjects. Buttigieg talked about Frederick Douglass, Biden about Nelson Mandela, and so forth.
Snarky line of the night: As noted, Buttigieg was the biggest thorn in Sanders' side on Tuesday night. And during an exchange about Sanders' lack of enthusiasm for getting rid of the Senate filibuster, Buttigieg asked: "How are we going to deliver a revolution if you won't even support a rule change?" Obviously, a pre-written line but "ouch" nonetheless.
Non-snarky line of the night: The last question from the moderators was about the candidates' personal mottos, and so was custom-designed to generate winning lines. We thought the best was from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN): "I would say that my motto is the words of one of my political mentors, Paul Wellstone, who sadly is no longer with us. And he said that 'politics is about improving people's lives.' And that's been my life."
Reddest meat of the night: Biden, obviously playing to the crowd: "I'm looking forward to making sure there's a black woman on the Supreme Court, to make sure we in fact get every representation."
Blunder of the night: Also from Biden: "A hundred and fifty million people have been killed since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability. More than all the wars, including Vietnam." Since 150 million dead would represent almost half the population of the U.S., Biden clearly misspoke. Maybe he meant 150,000 people, but then his statement about Vietnam would be incorrect. Whatever he meant, he's the guy who probably has the least leeway for making errors like this, given his verbal gaffes at the other debates, and the concern that he's not mentally up to the job of being president.
A little historical perspective: On the question of how many people have died in America's wars, there's no way to interpret Biden's statement to make it historically correct. If he's talking solely about homicides, then 150,000 gun deaths since 2007 is not too far off. If he's talking about all gun deaths (self-defense, suicide) then it's more like 450,000. Either way, however, that's a much smaller figure than "all the wars, including Vietnam." In fact, 450,000 is in the ballpark for World War II all by itself (405,000 dead), and is considerably lower than the number of people who died in the Civil War.
Exactly how many people died in the Civil War? That's a much harder question than you might think. For at least a century, the accepted figure was 620,000. However, that number was arrived at by adding up all the deaths listed in officers' battle reports. The problems are that: (1) Officers have a motivation to downplay their losses; (2) They may not know if a missing soldier is lost, a deserter, injured, or dead; (3) A soldier may have been lingering when the report was written, and then died not long thereafter. Anyhow, using statistical analysis of census records, historians have recently revised the number of Civil War deaths upward to somewhere in the realm of 800,000. That gives us an overall total, for all wars, of something like 1.4 million. That's way more than 150,000, or 450,000, of course.
This does not invalidate Biden's basic point, that far too many people die from gunshots. However, it does explain why we get leery when combat death/combat casualty statistics are deployed in service of a public policy argument. And don't even get us started on the vast number of civilians killed in wars, or those soldiers who do not die but whose lives are shortened by their physical or emotional war wounds. Neither of those groups are counted in the 1.4 million.
A detail that may fly under the radar: This isn't going to fly completely under the radar, but FiveThirtyEight kept track of how often each candidate mentioned Donald Trump:
The obvious question this raises is: What the heck is Joe Biden doing? The heart of his case for the presidency is "I can beat Donald Trump." He should be specifically taking aim at the President and his administration in pretty much every answer, as opposed to...not at all.
On a scale of 1-10, how contentious was it? It was a 5. The first 45 minutes was pretty contentious, about an 8 on the scale. The remainder was much less so, about a 3. A little math (8 * 45 min + 3 * 75 min)/120 min leaves us with an average contentiousness of 4.875, which we will round to the nearest whole number.
On a scale of 1-10, how much will this debate move the needle? Again, nobody was particularly good or particularly bad. On the other hand, most debates aren't held just days before a key state votes. We'll go with a 4, since even a small change in the numbers in South Carolina could have a significant effect on the presidential race.
The bottom line: This debate will quickly be forgotten. Not too many soundbites, no game-changing performances, and we have South Carolina and then Super Tuesday in the next five days.
Anyhow, after near-weekly matchups, the Democrats will take a debate breather until Mar. 15 in Phoenix, AZ. The DNC hasn't announced what it takes to qualify for that one, but they will presumably require some minimum number of delegates won. Further, one or more candidates figures to throw in the towel after Super Tuesday. So, the next tilt will presumably be leaner...and meaner. (Z)
Now that he is the clear Democratic frontrunner, we are going to train our microscope on Bernie Sanders. In many ways, he is a conventional presidential candidate who can be evaluated using fairly conventional "pluses" and "minuses." Looked at from that vantage point, here are some of his obvious strengths:
- Support: Sanders has a large and loyal legion of followers who are exceedingly devoted to
him and his political program.
- Money and Volunteers: As a consequence of the above, the Senator has a supply of cash and
campaign workers that other politicians (at least, those not named Bloomberg) can only envy.
- Crossover Appeal: We have heard of the Obama-Trump voters; it is certainly possible to
envision Trump-Sanders voters, particularly when we learn, for example, that the Vermont Senator has more
from military personnel than any other 2020 candidate, including Donald Trump. If Sanders is the nominee, there will
be many thousands of Obama-Trump-Sanders voters.
- Authenticity: People like politicians who are "real." Whether Ronald Reagan, or Bill
Clinton, or Barack Obama matched in private the image they projected in public, people found them authentic, and that's
what matters. Sanders has that gift, too, and he has it in spades. Even people who don't like his policies admire his
- The Kids: Democrats desperately want voters under 30 to put down the smartphones and PS4 controllers and vape pens and get to the polls, and Sanders is the Democrat most likely to make that happen.
And some of his obvious weaknesses:
- Age: If elected, he would immediately become the oldest president ever and, unlike
Benjamin Button or Merlin, he wouldn't get any younger while in office.
- Health: Like anybody pushing 80 years of age, Sanders has health issues, most notably the
heart problems that hospitalized him just a few short months ago.
- Political Positions: Sanders is right there on the left edge of the Overton window, an
advocate of policies that definitely make a lot of independents, centrists, and NeverTrump Republicans nervous. In other
countries, they would be fairly normal for the more liberal party, but in the U.S. they are scary to many people.
- Impolitic Remarks: For some politicians, the price of being "authentic" is saying things
that are highly unwise, politically speaking. Not always; Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton tended to avoid saying wildly
controversial things. But Sanders says what he thinks and lets the chips fall where they may.
- Lack of Executive Experience: The last time Sanders ran anything was 30 years ago, and that was the 726th largest city in America.
Again, though, these are the kinds of things that are true of many political candidates. We would argue that there are also two elements to Sanders' campaign, both of them potential Achilles' heels, that are unparalleled among the other members of the Democratic field and, indeed, largely unparalleled in U.S. history. The one we want to talk about today is his base.
It is true that Sanders' supporters, due to their commitment to him and the ideas he represents, are—as we note above—an invaluable and near-unending source of money, volunteer hours, and enthusiasm. However, it is also true that a number of them are overly aggressive, abrasive, obnoxious, or worse. Not all of them, nor the majority of them, but enough to be a concern (and to give Trump plenty of ammo).
Consider, to begin with, these headlines from staunchly left-leaning outlets:
- NPR: Are 'Bernie Bros' hurting Sanders' campaign?
- The Grio: Ava Duvernay receives death threats from Bernie Sanders supporters
- Advocate: Bernie Sanders's Most Fervent Supporters Are Not Helping
- The Daily Beast: Bernie Bros Are Loud, Proud, and Toxic to Bernie Sanders' Campaign
- The Palmer Report: Bernie Sanders and his attack dogs are completely out of control, and everyone knows it
- PoliticusUSA: Nicolle Wallace Tells Bernie Backers That Their Vicious Attacks On Fellow Dems Are Helping Trump
- The Nevada Independent: Culinary Union officials face profanity-laced attacks after scorecard says Sanders would 'end' their health care
And then these from prominent mainstream outlets:
- The New York Times: Bernie's Angry Bros
- The Washington Post: Sanders supporters have weaponized Facebook to spread angry memes about his Democratic rivals
- Los Angeles Times: Bernie Sanders again facing political fallout over supporters' abusive behavior online
- NBC: Trump's MAGA supporters and Twitter Bernie Bros have this ugly tactic in common
Or these, which speak to the views of some of Sanders' fellow Democrats:
- Joe Biden: Biden calls out Sanders over supporters' online behavior
- Mike Bloomberg: Sanders' 'Trump-like rhetoric' encouraged vandals, Bloomberg camp says
- Elizabeth Warren: Democrats criticize Sanders for online behavior of his supporters
- Pete Buttigieg: Buttigieg Blasts Bernie: Sanders Won't 'Change the Toxic Tone of Our Politics'
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: AOC Blames 'Internet Culture' for Bernie Bros' Harassment
All of these stories are from 2020; this is not lingering coverage left over from the last presidential campaign. Further, one could certainly call into question any one of these individual links. For example, though the New York Times is a mainstream outlet, the piece linked above was written by right-winger Bret Stephens, who likely has an ax or two to grind. But there's no way something could get this much coverage, including from outlets that should theoretically be friendly to Sanders, unless it was a real phenomenon.
The Senator's supporters generally acknowledge the existence of a nasty element within his base. They also tend to have a number of excuses/explanations, though these excuses/explanations don't stand up to scrutiny. One such argument is that it's just a few bad apples—a small fraction of a small fraction of his base. But if that were true, the toxicity wouldn't be so ubiquitous in comments sections, on Facebook, on Twitter, etc. A similar argument is that it's mostly Russian trolls. That's certainly possible in some contexts, but this thesis ignores those contexts (for example, Facebook) in which people know personally the Sanders supporters who are on the attack.
A third line of defense is the "whataboutism" argument: That all candidates' supporters spew poison, and it's only Sanders' supporters who get called on it. But, if so, there would be at least a few articles like the ones above about the bad behavior of Buttigieg supporters or Warren supporters, and yet those articles don't exist. And that leads us to a fourth argument, namely that Sanders and his supporters get more criticism, and more unfair criticism, because he's a threat to "the system." If so, shouldn't the same be true of Warren and her supporters? As we've pointed out before, she's actually leftier than he is, based on DW-NOMINATE scores. And yet, one can search far and wide without finding evidence of a substantial nasty element among the members of Warren's base.
We can also speak to this from regular, ongoing personal experience. In Monday's post, for example, the very first sentence was: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won a commanding victory in Nevada Saturday, and is now the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination." We then followed this with a piece about exit polls, another about how unhappy NeverTrump Republicans are nervous about Sanders' surge, and one about how moderate Democrats are nervous about Sanders' surge. The latter two pieces were entirely fact-based, and are also entirely consistent with our raison d'être. That is to say, we write analysis of politics, particularly presidential campaigns. If a candidate, like Sanders, makes the argument that he can expand his base broadly, it is entirely apropos for us to write about how well it's going. Or, in this case, how poorly it's going.
In fact, we took extra care with those items (and this one, for that matter), double- and triple-checking to make sure they were well-supported with evidence. And yet, here are excerpts from four different messages that greeted us Monday morning after the post went live:
Your behavior towards the apparent frontrunner is sickening. You are helping Russia and the Republicans by fomenting propaganda against him. I know that you will now consider me a fanatic since I am sickened by your bias, but I can't stand reading your stories which are supposed to be news, but have turned into propaganda against something you're afraid of. For you, Bernie is a wack-job. For me, there's no difference between who you support and Trump.
I'm really sick and tired of this conventional wisdom cherry-picking and hand-waving meant to tear down Sanders and paint him as divisive and unelectable. He is regularly shown to be the most favorably viewed political figure in the United States. It's time that commentators, including you, dig deep and start giving him a fair shake. Don't cherry pick figures to support your narrative against him.
So Bernie wins another contest (Nevada) and your response is a long series of advice from Republicans on what the Democrats should do, several comments about people who are worried about Sanders, and how bad he'll be downballot. Then advice on a brokered convention! Y'all sound a bit like the love child of Jennifer Rubin and Chris Matthews. Is it just remotely possible that Bernie is winning primaries because he is a good candidate that is connecting with voters?
I guess finally some big money came your way. Your shilling for the anti-Bernie sky-is-falling reactionaries in the Democratic Establishment (and, in particular, your odd love for waffling Liz Warren) has become unreadable. Once upon a time you were an excellent compendium of polls and data and historical context, but of late, you have become an echo chamber for corporate capitalist attacks on Bernie Sanders, particularly on the inane manufactured topic of "electability." Probably because you're part of the insulated professional managerial class and despise working class movements that minimize your self importance.
Again, these folks do not represent all Sanders supporters. We get plenty of e-mails from very thoughtful Sanders supporters who did not feel the need to slam us as traitors, propagandists, charlatans, DINOs, reactionaries, and hateful anti-labor plutocrats. Put another way, while there are more than just "a few" bad apples, the whole barrel of apples most certainly isn't bad. Indeed, it must be frustrating for the non-vitriolic Sanders supporters to be lumped in with the others as "Bernie Bros." We have pointedly avoided using that term in this piece (and overall), excepting when we are quoting other folks' words or headlines. "Bernie Bros." is a stereotype that, among other things, makes it too easy to dismiss the Senator's entire base, and that overlooks, among other things, that he now has a fair number of female supporters.
In any case, we are now going to proceed with the understanding that a small portion of Sanders' base is unusually aggressive and acerbic. And we would suggest that this behavior could ultimately come back to haunt the Senator (and the Democrats) in two ways. The first is that the 2020 Democrats, excepting Mike Bloomberg, are generally unwilling to unload on Sanders with both barrels (although he did get one barrel last night). The same was true of Hillary Clinton in 2016. Their concern, of course, is that some sizable percentage of Sanders' base might choose to stay home or vote third party on Election Day instead of giving their support to someone who dared attack their candidate. If that describes just 2% of the Democratic electorate, that's probably fatal.
And because Sanders is being treated with kid gloves (by the Democrats), broadly speaking, he is not being battle-tested in the way that is supposed to happen in the primaries. Yes, we all know about his expensive house, and his change of course on his health records, and his comments about Fidel Castro, and a few other minor-to-moderate soft spots. But Trump 2020 and the RNC have surely compiled a vast pile of oppo research on the Vermont Senator, perhaps covering impolitic things he might have said in his younger days, or tricky votes he took as a senator, or financial/health secrets he would prefer remain unknown. If these things exist, and they don't see the light of day until he's the nominee, there may not be enough time for him to deal with them and recover.
Even more significant, we think, is the risk that Sanders' most aggressive supporters alienate folks who might otherwise be votes for the Senator, either in the primaries or the general election. Consider these three thoughts, all of which can be found in various forms on Twitter, in comments sections, on Facebook, etc.:
- "I don't see a big difference between Sanders and his base, and Trump and his base."
- "Attack me, will you? Fine, I'll punish you by voting for the other guy."
- "Both parties are so nasty these days, and the system is so broken, what's the point in voting?"
Undoubtedly there are moderates, independents, conservative Democrats, etc. who find Sanders' policies to be dealbreakers. Some of those folks are lost causes for the Senator (though we'll say more on that in the sequel to this item). However, there is zero political logic or value in alienating people just because they are only 80% True Believer™, or 60%, or 40%. And yet, that alienation is happening, and it could play a role in the general election. In 2016, something like 2% of left-leaning Democrats who might otherwise have voted Team Blue either stayed home or voted third party because they were so angry with Hillary Clinton and her supporters. That, of course, cost her the election. Could 2% of centrist Democrats respond the same way in 2020? That is clearly within the realm of possibility. Point is: You don't have to step on too many toes before you ruin the dance.
To make that point more clearly, let's look at some data from 2016:
|State||Margin (Pct.)||Margin (votes)||Jill Stein (votes)|
The second and third columns give Trump's margin in the three key states he flipped. The last one gives how many votes Green Party candidate Jill Stein got. It's hard to imagine that most of these voters are true-blue (true-red?) MAGA types. Our point is that if the Sanders supporters get their candidate (or even if they don't), and they manage to antagonize enough centrist Democrats to vote for some third-party candidate in 2020, even a 1% loss of the Democratic electorate could result in Trump's being reelected. If the Republicans then manage to achieve their dream of privatizing Social Security and abolishing Medicare and Medicaid, will Sanders' supporters be happy? We think not.
As we note in the headline, we haven't really seen a dynamic quite like this in American politics. One could compare it to what happened in the Election of 1896, when Democratic/Populist candidate William Jennings Bryan and his blue-collar base were so assertive and so acidic that they most certainly drove many centrists out of the tent (including sitting Democratic president Grover Cleveland). Of course, that was a different time, and was pre social media, so it's not all that similar. But, for what it is worth, Bryan lost that election (and three of four between 1896 and 1908).
The other, much closer, analogue that suggests itself is Donald Trump in 2016. In his case, he built a coalition made up of an assertive and often overly aggressive base, folks who remained loyal to their party regardless of the candidate, and folks who found the other option on the ballot (Hillary Clinton) to be even more unpalatable than Trump. Maybe Sanders can make this model work, but it's going to be rough. Trump barely won in 2016, and only then because of a bias baked into the system that favors the Republicans (who dominate most of the small states).
On the other hand, let us imagine that Sanders decides there really is a problem here, and that he wants to do something about it. Is that possible? Well, in fact, he's already tried, several times. Here's another list of recent news stories:
- Reuters: Bernie Sanders to online trolls: Stop 'ugly personal attacks'
- Politico: Sanders condemns supporters' attacks on Culinary Union
- Rolling Stone: Bernie Sanders Politely Asks Supporters Not to Harass His Opponents
- The Washington Post: Sanders tells supporters to cool it
This would, incidentally, be additional proof that there's a real problem/phenomenon here.
And yet, despite the Senator's pleas, the problem persists. One possible explanation is that Sanders' base is beyond his control, and is uninterested in taking its cues from him. Maybe so; we don't particularly believe Trump can control his base either. Another possible explanation, however, is that Sanders hasn't really tried to curb the behavior, because he basically approves of it. Yes, he has told his supporters to behave. And yet, at the same time, he has declared that he doesn't think his fans are aggressive, that if there are bad apples it's only .001% of them, and that really, it may be Russia that is behind the whole phenomenon. Put another way, it's no wonder that the Senator's base is using such excuses (see above), because those are the excuses that the candidate himself is using.
Sanders surely knows better, and that it's not just a few troublemakers or a few Russians. In fact, one is reminded of Donald Trump's belated and wishy-washy semi-condemnation of the white supremacists in his base. That's not to say that Sanders' supporters are racists, because they are not, but that in both cases a politician is trying to have it both ways. They want the benefits of the outspoken, aggressive support, but they don't want the consequences.
Anyhow, we would suggest Sanders has a choice to make if he becomes the Democrats' nominee. He can decide that the cost/benefit analysis of the current situation doesn't work, and can make a much more sincere effort to rein in the worst impulses of his base. Or he could stick with the Trump model and hope for the best. Obviously, it got the Donald elected once. Of course, if Sanders tries to follow suit, it could very well get the Donald elected twice.
On Thursday, we'll talk about another element distinctive to the Sanders' campaign, and another choice that the Senator will have to make. Until then, however, we'll be hiding out in a secure, undisclosed location. (Z & V)
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---The Votemaster and Zenger
Feb25 Nevada Results Are Final...
Feb25 ...And Now It's South Carolina's Turn
Feb25 But First, a Debate
Feb25 Sanders Gives Florida Democrats Conniptions
Feb25 The Hill Closes the Henhouse After the Fox Already Had His Way
Feb24 Takeaways from the Nevada Caucuses
Feb24 How Did Sanders Do It?
Feb24 Never-Trump Republicans Are in Full-Blown Panic Mode
Feb24 New National Poll Has Sanders on Top
Feb24 Downballot Democrats Move to Distance Themselves from Sanders
Feb24 How Democrats Can Manage a Brokered Convention
Feb24 Caucus States Aren't the Only Ones with Complicated Rules
Feb24 National Security Adviser: Russians Aren't Trying to Help Trump
Feb24 Steyer Will Be on Stage Tomorrow
Feb23 Nevada Has Spoken
Feb23 Sunday Mailbag
Feb22 It's the Silver State's Time to Shine
Feb22 Russians Are Trying to Help Sanders, Too
Feb22 Saturday Q&A
Feb21 Russians Are Back for Another Go-Round
Feb21 Takeaways from the Debate
Feb21 Bloomberg Isn't the Anti-Trump Juggernaut He Seems to Be
Feb21 Warren Raises Almost $3 Million on Debate Night
Feb21 Wisconsin May Be the Democrats' Toughest Hill to Climb
Feb21 What about Arizona and North Carolina?
Feb21 Unicorn Sighted Far in the Distance
Feb21 Stone Wins
Feb21 Republicans Will Spend Millions to Fight Democrats' Lawsuits about Voting
Feb20 It May Have Been Paris, But Nobody Surrendered
Feb20 Is High Turnout Actually Bad for the Democrats?
Feb20 Florida Republicans Lose In Court, Again
Feb20 Assange Claims Trump Administration Tried to Bribe Him with a Pardon
Feb20 The Stone Pardon is Coming
Feb20 Obama Will Keep His Cards Close to the Vest
Feb20 Another Election, Another Challenger for Lipinski
Feb19 Scales of Justice Grow Even More Unbalanced
Feb19 Will Candidates Go All-In on Vegas Debate?
Feb19 Sanders Is Definitely Your Frontrunner Now
Feb19 Sanders Won't Release Any More Medical Records
Feb19 Latest Iowa Results: It's a Tie
Feb19 An Unfamiliar Position for California Voters
Feb19 Collins Is in Danger
Feb18 Sanders Poised to Hit the Jackpot in Nevada
Feb18 Did You Hear that Obama Has Picked a Candidate?
Feb18 Trump Is Affecting Schoolchildren, and Not for the Better
Feb18 Disingenuous or Dimwitted?
Feb18 Today's Ratfu**ing News
Feb18 Loomer Is the GOP Establishment Candidate in FL-21
Feb18 The Bromance Appears to Be Over