If you’re so inclined to play PowerBall or any of the big money California Lottery games (and who doesn’t from time to time), there’s an old saying — “A Lottery is a Tax on people who are bad at math.” Your likelihood of winning the Grand Prize in any big money lottery is significantly less than being struck by lightning. And for the BernieBros — supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — the math no longer works. It’s like watching a basketball game with 40 seconds on the clock and your team down by 15..the game is still in progress but the outcome is not in doubt.
As we’ve watched the Democratic debates over the last several months, my friends remark how “our debates” are issues-focused and not personal attacks on other candidates like the Republican debates are. We were actually proud of how our party address voters and issues compared to the Republicans. The low point of this debate cycle was Senator Marco Rubio’s remarks that Donald Trump had small hands, implying other male parts were small too, along with Trump’s insults, Cruz’s lies, and wild comments from Chris Christie to Carly Fiorina which only highlighted how much better the Democratic Party debates were over the Republicans.
There was a time when, as Democrats, if Hillary won, Bernie supporters would back her. And if Bernie won, Hillary supporters would back him. Now, there are polls suggesting that as much of 30% of Bernie supporters are “Bernie or Bust.” They won’t vote for Hillary if she’s the nominee.
But as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lead has increased, the rhetoric from Bernie Sanders campaign and supporters has gotten more personal, from Bernie himself at debates, to BernieBros threatening Super Delegates if they don’t switch allegiances, to Bernie supporters throwing money at Clinton’s motorcade as if she were a stripper, to calling her and those who support her “Democratic Whores.” Friends on Facebook have taken to calling her “Hiltery.”
I’d expect this from Republicans. Not from Democrats. Not from Liberals. What happened to the candidate who was going to stick to the issues? He’s gone.
If Bernie gets the nomination (and that’s a big IF), he doesn’t deserve the support of the Democratic Party he and his supporters have denigrated as establishment and corrupt. And he doesn’t deserve the support of Hillary Clinton supporters. At this point, Hillary supporters ought to give Bernie and his team a taste of their own medicine.
If Bernie pulls out a miracle and gets the nomination, Hillary backers should sit the presidential trace out and let Cruz or Trump take over; what’s good for the goose is good for the gander after all, right?
Clinton wins big in New York, a state critical for Sanders to not only win, but to win big. His supporters charge “cheating!” Voters were dropped from polls in Brooklyn. The assumption is they *all* would have voted for Bernie. Not likely. Hillary would have had even bigger numbers in New York if every voter dropped from the rolls was allowed to vote, given the voting patterns throughout New York City and Long Island.
From the Huffington Post, this:
Both symbolically and mathematically, this was a devastating loss for Sanders. He outspent Clinton by over $2 million in advertising. Plus, after winning eight out of the last nine contests, Sanders had been picking up steam and making a case that he had real, tangible momentum. In terms of the optics, Clinton’s triumph in New York poked a gaping hole in the ‘berning flame’ that was fueling the rise of Sanders’ hot-air balloon.
On the arithmetic front, any loss for Sanders, especially one in the delegate-rich state of New York, illustrates a major setback in terms of making gains on the delegate math. To date, Sanders is behind by close to 700 delegates, counting both super delegates and state-appointed delegates.
Additionally, this romping perhaps serves as evidence of the fact that Sanders’ sharp turn towards a more negative, character-driven attack message against Clinton might have had unintended consequences. Over the course of the last few days, Sanders intensified the tone of his criticisms and aimed a series of salvos at the former Secretary of State. At the time, it was unclear what, if any, impact the shift would have had on the race. New York’s election results indicate that the strategy may have backfired.
Bernie brags about winning 8 of the last 9 states, neglecting to mention most are small population and caucus-only states. He won Wyoming, but Hillary won the two counties with the highest Democratic voting blocs and the delegate count was 7-7. That’s called a tie. FiveThirtyEight.com says Bernie trails badly in many of the remaining states including Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and California — states he’ll need to win with nearly 60% of the vote to have a prayer. Bernie backers simply ought to start buying Lottery tickets because there is a better chance of them hitting the grand prize than of Bernie Sanders being the nominee of the Democratic Party.
Indeed, the math just doesn’t look like it’s on Sanders’s side in upcoming contests. Besides Pennsylvania, he’s behind in all three of the other states with the biggest delegate prizes left on the calendar. He’s down 23 percentage points in Maryland — we originally estimated a 9-point Sanders loss would signal he was “on track.” Sanders trails Clinton by 9 points in New Jersey, which he originally needed to win by 6 points. Most importantly, he’s trailing by 13 percentage points in California, where he needed to win by 15 points.
Put simply, Sanders can’t win the Democratic nomination without a minor miracle. That doesn’t mean Sanders won’t continue to campaign, and minor miracles do sometimes happen. But the media shouldn’t sugarcoat this. There’s a reason the Sanders campaign is talking up superdelegates: Clinton can see the nomination in sight. Tonight reaffirmed that she is almost certainly going to be the Democratic nominee for president.
There’s a suggestion that money raised by actor George Clooney for the Hillary Victory Fund was somehow unethical or even illegal. It’s not. It’s Clooney and Clinton doing more to elect Democrats to Congress and the Senate than Sanders ever did. I’ve seen exactly one ActBlue email from Sanders campaign asking for support for two Congressional candidates. Hillary Clinton has a long track record of helping Democratic candidates come election time and perhaps that is the reason she has the endorsement of so many of her former colleagues in Congress compared to endorsements earned by Bernie Sanders. #HillaryOrBust.
So unethical or illegal? Let’s go to PolitFact for an answer: “Clooney said the money he helped raise for Clinton in California has to be put in perspective.
“The overwhelming amount of money that we’re raising, and it is a lot, but the overwhelming amount of the money that we’re raising, is not going to Hillary to run for president, it’s going to the down-ticket,” he said. “It’s going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress.”
Clooney’s claim is largely correct. It rates Mostly True.
The Clinton fundraisers Clooney was talking about were on behalf of the her Hillary Victory Fund, which distributes the donations to several entities — her campaign committee (Hillary for America), the Democratic National Committee, and the state parties.
Because federal law says individuals can’t give more than $2,700 to a presidential candidate’s primary campaign (another $2,700 can be collected for the general election), Clinton’s Victory Fund has set up its rules so that the first $2,700 donated goes to her.
The next $33,400 goes to the Democratic National Committee (the maximum allowed for an individual under federal limits) and the remainder is split among 32 state parties to finance federal candidates. The federal limit for each state is $10,000.
So if a large donor gives $356,000 to the Victory Fund, Clinton would directly get less than 1 percent.
If a small donor were to give $3,000, the Clinton campaign would directly get 90 percent.
A reader suggested I head over to the Orange Juice Blog to read Greg Diamond’s whiny post about the New York Primary. It’s bad enough when Bernie Backers call Hillary backers Democratic Whores, shower her motorcade with dollar bills like a man might do at a strip club, but suggesting its would be OK for Bernie Sanders to smash DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s knees with a baseball bat makes Diamond a special kind of misogynist. Only a coward hits or woman and only a coward would suggest it would be OK for a man to hit a woman.
UCI’s elections maven Rick Hasen dismisses Sanders’s claims as “legally…weak.” And then, perhaps without realizing it, he steps beyond his area of expertise into practical politics — and kicks an “own goal.”
It is quite odd for Sanders, who would need the DNC’s support to win the presidency should he be the Democratic nominee, to be attacking the DNC.
Really, Professor? That’s fascinating. Because I would think that Sanders, if nominated, should still get the full and vigorous support of the DNC because he will likely be running against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and the replacement to Justice Scalia and perhaps a few other Justices is on the line.
Given the stakes, he should be able to break both of DNC Chair’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s knees with a baseball bat — note: I am not suggesting that he do so — and expect her to smile through the tears and say public that it’s OK because she asked him to do it. Because winning the election is THAT IMPORTANT — right?
Hasen’s suggestion that the deeply-devoted-to-party DNC members might become sluggards if they are treated badly is the flip side of the argument that average Democrats, third-party members, independents, and other Bernie supporters — may also be justified in saying “to hell with the election results, this has become intolerable.” Except THOSE people haven’t signed on the run the damned party — and in many cases have no use for it.
So I think that it is FINE for Bernie to attack the DNC — far finer, in fact, for the Clintons to “triangulate” against the Democrats in Congress in the 1990s — and expect to get their maximal, devoted support no matter what. Anyone who speculates otherwise, and who says that the possibility of monkey-wrenching the party from within should prevent one from slamming the eminently slammable 2016 DNC — had better lay off Green Party members and independents for refusing to cast their tiny votes in disgust. The argument for unwavering DNC loyalty is much stronger.
Let me turn this around on Mr. Diamond by changing four words: “Because I would think that Clinton, if nominated, should still get the full and vigorous support of the Bernie Supporters because she will likely be running against Donald Trump or Ted Cruz and the replacement to Justice Scalia and perhaps a few other Justices is on the line.” …. Because winning the election is THAT IMPORTANT — right?”
It appears Mr. Diamond and a number of other Bernie supporters have no use for the Democratic Party.
That’s fine of course.
Please go to the ROV at your nearest government office and re-register as “Decline to State,” or “Independent” or “Green Party.”
At this point, I’m not even sure Bernie deserves a speaking slot at the Democratic Convention; his proposals are paper thin, lack detail, and require legislation through Congress to enact which isn’t going to happen unless we elect more Democrats to Congress which isn’t going to happen without big coattails that Bernie doesn’t have and has never had. I’d prefer to hear from speakers at my Party’s convention who are actual members of the Democratic Party…Bernie is not.
This blog formally endorses Hillary Clinton for president. #HillaryorBust.