Bernie Vs. Trump (Forget Hillary)

The media, GOP, and DNC have all done such a terrible job at framing this election that they’ve created the wrong match-up. If you watch the news and read the headlines, you’d think the 2016 Presidential Election is about Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump.

It isn’t.

Trump has refused to rule out the use of nuclear weapons on Europe, called Mexicans rapists, proposed the removal of 11 million illegal immigrants, wants police to patrol Muslim neighborhoods and outright ban the immigration of Muslims, has threatened Russia and China, opposes marriage rights for gays, has made fun of the mentally handicapped, claims that China invented the climate change “hoax”, publically demeans women, promotes violence at his rallies… need I go on? He’s proven himself to be a xenophoic, racist, sexist bigot, among other more vulgar expletives that I’ll abstain from adding to the list.

Yet as of today the latest CNN poll has Hillary at 42% and Trump at 40%. And this is despite Time Warner, which owns CNN, being one of Hillary’s largest campaign contributors! While this may be a single poll, it’s hardly the first to have the two candidates within the margin of error:

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CBS polls of 3 swing-states (April 27-May 8)
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Fox News (June 5-8)
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NBC/WSJ  (May 15-19)
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ABC/Washington Post (May 23)

While Hillary polls ahead of Trump more often than not, the fact that they have been so close from various polling sources across the partisan divide is extremely foreboding. In addition, Hillary starts campaigns with a lead and then maintains at best. She doesn’t improve her opening salvo. Instead, she banks on her rival candidate self-destructing. Lawrence O’Donnell covers her campaign history well:

Make no mistake. Trump is NOT a strong candidate. Hillary is just that bad.

Here’s another view, this one being from Real Clear Politics, that covers the entire election cycle thus far. Remember that Hillary was extremely well-known from the start. She was First Lady, a NY Senator, and Secretary of State. She had a high approval rating going into this race and was an overwhelming favorite to win.

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Clinton vs. Trump

It is inexcusable for her to have still been within the margin of error of Trump so many times. She began her campaign with 53% and is now down to 45%. Her campaign has been nothing short of abysmal.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, was not so well-known. He didn’t start to become a household name until his first primary debate in October 2015. You’ll notice that Trump had a small lead only briefly, which was prior to that debate appearance. Towards the end of 2015 there was one period where they tied, but after that and for all of 2016 Sanders has maintained a consistently strong lead.

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And this is despite the media refusing to cover his numerous rallies across the country, even when 60,000 supporters showed up in Oakland, CA. But every major news network showed up when Hillary had a “rally of hundreds”, also in CA, and aired her entire speech live. They have consistently aired Trump’s speeches as well, giving the would-be-fascist over $2 billion in free airtime.

So despite the media blackout of Bernie Sanders, despite how unknown he was at the start of the campaign, despite accepting ZERO campaign donations from corporations and Super PACS, despite the DNC rigging of the election, Bernie Sanders still maintains nearly double the lead over Donald Trump as compared to Hillary Clinton. This is remarkable.

Now imagine if the media gave Bernie the time of day. And had Super PAC money to spend on TV ads. And the support of the DNC. Yeah…

Hillary’s current near-tie with Trump is also of great concern because this is after she was endorsed by both President Obama and (former) progressive-leader Senator Warren. Warren is especially significant because her policies mirrored that of Bernie Sanders and was an outspoken critic of Hillary Clinton. When it comes to modern day progressivism, Bernie is the grandfather and Warren is (or was) it’s grandmother. Gaining the support of Warren was supposed to help rally Bernie-supporters to Hillary. Instead, progressives were outraged and Hillary’s poll numbers have gone lower.

Hillary is out of Hail Mary’s at this point. There is no one left to endorse her that will impact her poll numbers. The only thing she can do at this point is to change her policies and adopt a more progressive platform. But the DNC recently decided their platform already, with Clinton and Sanders surrogates (representing to vote on the issues.

  • Support for a single-payer healthcare system? REJECTED
  • An end to fracking? REJECTED
  • Rejecting the occupation of Israel in Palestine? REJECTED
  • $15 minimum wage? REJECTED
  • Opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? REJECTED
  • Support for a tax on carbon? REJECTED
  • Tuition free public college? REJECTED

The Hillary camp’s refusal to compromise with the Bernie crowd on any major policy issue makes it all but impossible to win the support of his followers. And with the Democratic Platform already in stone there’s no going back. Rather than unify the Party, which could have won her enough support to cement a permanent lead over Trump, Hillary has instead embraced stubborn arrogance. She truly believes herself to be unstoppable, even though the FBI is still investigating her for multiple felonies. Oh, pesky details!

With no major figures left to endorse her and with no further changes to her policies and the Democratic platform, she now must sell herself. That’s all she has left to play with. Unfortunately, she isn’t well-liked. Every polling source shows her with record low favorability ratings. In fact, she’s the second most disliked candidate to run for President in history, second only to Donald Trump.

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ABC News/Washington Post (June 15, 2016)

What can she do to improve her poll numbers? The answer is simple. Nothing. She’s exhausted every available resource. No more endorsements, no more policy changes. All she can bank on now is being the lesser of two evils, which isn’t exactly a winning strategy.

Recall that John Kasich, one of the lowest polling Republican candidates, was consistently beating Hillary Clinton in national polls with an overall average lead of 7.4 points. If anyone else but Trump had gotten the Republican nomination she would have been completely crushed by now.

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One final point: Where did Hillary excel best during the primaries against Bernie? Red states. Where do Republicans win in general elections? Red states. Her strongest regions of support will go to Trump. She’d lose.

Unless the Democrats want to hand over the election to the Republicans the superdelegates have no choice but to swing their support to Bernie Sanders and nominate him for President of the United States. He already has 45% of the pledged delegates and polls higher than Trump by a wide margin, so it would be a defensible move to make. The superdelegate was designed to select the most viable candidate. If they do their job, they will also be doing the right thing. And if that happens the Democrats will be guaranteed to win the White House and ensure the future viability of their political party. If they don’t they will not only lose the election but permanently alienate a majority of voters age 45 and under who overwhelmingly voted for Bernie Sanders.

Have a sense of self-preservation, Democrats. Do what politicians do best.

Be selfish. 

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One Comment

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  1. Beautiful and articulate article!

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