Sanders Can Win. Here'south Why.

Source:   —  April 19, 2016, at 4:49 AM

Before even a single American had voted, Clinton had a 351-superdelegate lead. She'd the best pre-election title recognition of any non-incumbent presidential candidate in a half-century.

Hillary Clinton came into this election season with more advantages than any Democratic candidate in the last century.

Before even a single American had voted, Clinton had a 351-superdelegate lead. She'd the best pre-election title recognition of any non-incumbent presidential candidate in a half-century. She'd the implicit support of a favorite incumbent president. She'd not even a single half-serious primary competitor from within her own party. She'd a massive, intimidating war-chest of funds as well as a near-infinitude of potential fundraising streams. She'd the best-organized and best-funded super-PACs anyone has ever had. She'd the gratitude of state Democratic parties across the country, having lined their coffers with funds both directly and indirectly for years. She'd held the most high-profile president-like work (Secretary of State) for four years. She'd a favorite ex-president for a spouse.

Clinton had the support of nearly every Democratic-leaning organization in America. She'd experience running for President and a team of presidential-campaign veterans at her beck and call. She'd the Democratic National Committee in her back pocket, which ensured that she'd only have to attend as many Democratic debates as she chose. She'd deep and longstanding support from within the media establishment. She'd historical significance as the woman most likely to be the first-ever female President. She'd eight years of White House experience and six years in the U. S. Senate. She'd state election statutes that made it tough or impossible to either register or vote as an independent in most Democratic primaries.

Clinton had a primary schedule that keep most of her strongest states first. She'd the tacit agreement of media professionals nationwide that unpledged delegates could and would be reported in the exact same fashion as pledged delegates. She'd as much time as she wanted to campaign, having number work at the time she announced other than voluntary non-profit work and for-profit speeches. She'd the implicit assurance of CNN and MSNBC that she'd have a surrogate or supporter, and generally two or three, on every political panel they convened.

And she'd a 60-point lead on her next-closest competitor.

It'south presently April eighteenth, and Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have been statistically tied in every single national poll taken in the last month.

Bernie Sanders entered the two thousand sixteen primary election a superlatively old -- and, to be honest, old-looking -- Independent socialist Jew with a bevy of Old-World tics (love talking with his hands), number fashion sense whatsoever, unruly hair, number super-PACs, and number national title recognition. The Democratic Party felt number loyalty to him, at either the state or national level. He was at three % in the polls. He was from one of the smallest states in the nation, one of the ones that few exterior New England ever speak about or think about. He'd number money. He'd number friends in the media. He'd surrogates, indeed a diverse cast of them, but somehow they never got invited onto major-media political panels. He'd a "fringe-candidate" sign on his back that it seemed he'd never obtain off. He'd number way to force Clinton to do more than four or five debates, all of which would be held, per the decree of the Democratic National Convention, at the most inconvenient hours. He'd a penchant for blunt speak that seemed certain to sink him in a political climate where every mental lapse quickly becomes a meme.

I'm sorry, but the truth is that less than a year ago Bernie Sanders had absolutely nothing, and Hillary Clinton was better positioned to win the Democratic nomination for President than any Democrat in the year before an election since Franklin D. Roosevelt. That we pretend that any measure in which Sanders comes up short -- say, in his support among African-Americans -- is somehow a lethal flaw in the man and not a sign that absolute nobodies don't become household heroes in below six months is an insult to America'south collective intelligence.

So it'south time to get real.

And the sign that it'south well past time for somebody to just declare what most of America already knows to be true is that today Philip Bump of The WA Post wrote a scathing editorial complaining that Bernie Sanders says his average contribution is $27 when it'south in fact $27.89.

It'south official: We've been through the looking glass for distant too long, America.


Sufficient with a media so stuck in its own shirtsleeves that it can't get the long view of anything anymore.

Clinton is a horrible candidate and the whole country knows it.

Sanders would be killing it this election season if he hadn't spent all his time and energy just trying to obtain a single surrogate on CNN or introducing himself for the very first time to a middle-class housewife or union plumber in Missouri.

My point is, you're damn right Sanders supporters are angry.

And you're damn right they think that Sanders -- facing the longest odds it'south possible to imagine any politician in the contemporary era facing -- can win.

Here'south why.

Despite all her pre-election and ongoing advantages, Hillary Clinton is nearly as disliked as Donald Trump (-24 favorability/unfavorability rating), even as Sanders is, per the most recent polling, the most favorite presidential candidate in either party (+nine). She'south performed worse than Sanders -- over and over and over again -- against all of the remaining GOP candidates in head-to-head polling. In the battleground states that'll determine the Nov election, Sanders consistently outperforms her against the Republican contenders. Already below federal investigation by more than one hundred FBI agents for running a private, unsecured email server out of her basement -- an investigation which will cripple her for the rest of the election season number matter where it goes -- she'south presently added to that a public refusal to release even a single transcript of the numerous $225.000/hr speeches she gave to the same Wall Str criminals who nearly sent the nation into another Grand Depression just five years ago.

Clinton'south background is that of a moderate Goldwater Republican whose positions continue to be to the right of the Democratic base -- and where they're not, it'south only because she'south changed her positions over the past six months to curry favor with Democratic voters. Her judgment, throughout her professional life, has been poor -- everywhere from Iraq to Libya, from her inexplicably off-grid email server to the speeches she gave for cash at a time she was expecting to running for president, from dodgy conflicts of interest relating to the Clinton Global Initiative to trying to become a carpet-bagging NY Senator before she'd even moved to the state. She did tiny in the Senate that anyone remembers -- she certainly did nothing whatsoever about the housing crisis -- and had a checkered record at the State Department. She'south not seen as honest or trustworthy by a majority of general-election voters, and she herself bears a substantial portion of the responsibility for that state of affairs.

And that'south why she can't win the nomination with the voters.

That's why she'll necessity to clinch the nomination using the "unpledged super-delegates" whose loyalty to her was purchased beforehand via private big-money fundraisers she attended.

Despite nearly a year of misleading delegate counts that included unpledged super-delegates as though they were pledged -- thus scaring off Democratic challengers and, later, potential Sanders voters -- and a news media that's given her surrogates a voice in the daily news cycle that Sanders' people have never enjoyed, Clinton won't be able to near the deal exclusively through an appeal to the people who matter most: voters.

She leads by twenty-eight points among African-Americans in New York? It'south a miracle Sanders is performing even as well as he is, given the structural disadvantages he suffers relative to his opponent because of how we running elections in America.

She'south a 2.4-million vote lead in the favorite vote? That this is an eight-point race (fifty-four % to forty-six percent) is an absolute indictment of Hillary Clinton as a candidate. Anyone with her advantages would be up on an elderly socialist Jew from VT with rumpled suits and unruly hair by fifty points right now.

Let'south stop kidding ourselves.

Hillary is holding on by a thread, because she'south a terrible candidate.

Sanders is only tied in the national polls, rather than way ahead -- and one hundred ninety-four delegates down in the pledged-delegate race rather than two hundred ahead -- because we've a system that makes it a jaw-dropping Mystery of the Universe that he'south doing as well as he is.

In New York, Sanders faces a primary he nearly certainly would win -- and everyone knows it -- if same-day party registration were permitted. And even without it, he'd win if he'd two more weeks to campaign, as the polling in NY has gone from Clinton +forty-eight to Clinton +twenty-two to Clinton +thirteen to Clinton +six in just the latest three weeks.

So how can Sanders win?

He can win by being what he so obviously is when we strip far the ten-mile head start Hillary Clinton had in this election season: by being the better candidate.

In nearly every state, Sanders performs better with voters the more they're exposed to him, and Hillary worse the more voters are exposed to her.

Sanders' performance with every demographic besides the very elderly is improving over time. Heck, Hillary is losing delegates even between the time people vote for her at a primary or meeting and the time they're supposed to indicate up at county and state conventions -- which Hillary supporters aren't, in shockingly large numbers.

It'south a excellent thing Harry Reid didn't stay neutral in NV as he'd promised, as the strings he pulled on Election Day in the Silver State ensured a narrow triumph for Clinton -- which predictably disappeared in the second stage of the voting, the county-convention stage.

It'south a excellent thing AZ had reduced polling stations in its most populous county by eighty percent, given that on Election Day Sanders beat Clinton in live voting fifty % to 46.5 percent. Thousands walked far from those six-hour lines without voting.

It's a excellent thing ties in Massachusetts, Missouri, Illinois, and IA were keep on CNN'south "Magic Wall" as every bit the overwhelming victories for Clinton as were the primary votes in AL and Mississippi. An honest media would've keep those four -- and, yes, Sanders' win in Michigan -- on the board as votes that more or less split down the middle, not just in the favorite vote but in the delegate count. Our system disfavors insurgents by making a loss by one vote see love every bit the resounding beat that a loss by a million votes is. The truth? With the advantages she had, those votes in Massachusetts, Missouri, Illinois, and IA were all losses for Clinton. Number candidate with her advantages and worth her salt would've won those states by anything less than ten percent. Obtain a political pundit in private and they'll admit it to you.

The point: Clinton misused super-delegates from the leap by bringing them on-board before a single vote had been cast, by permitting the media to tally them as though they were pledged delegates, by allowing them to flaunt their states' votes, and by frankly not caring one whit if they supported the popular-vote or delegate-count leader -- as she was neither back in two thousand-fifteenth when they all agreed to vote for her in Philadelphia.

Now, despite her endless slate of electoral and media and circumstantial advantages, she'south going to fail to reach 2.383 delegates via pledged delegates alone.

And the only argument she can create to being the better candidate in fact is that her head start on Sanders was so extraordinary in its size and scope that all he could do was battle her to a virtual draw in the delegate battle in March (fifty-one % to forty-nine percent) and beat her so distant in the delegate battle in April (fifty-five % to forty-five percent). Indeed, her pre-election lead was so grand that half the country'south Democrats still believe she'south more electable in the fall than Sanders, despite there being number statistical evidence maintain the claim -- and a mountain of proof to the contrary.

So let'south be clear: In a world in which both candidates start on an even footing and get equal treatment from the media, the current Clinton-Sanders race would be Sanders +fifteen. And everybody in American politics knows it, including all of the unpledged super-delegates.

So when both Clinton and Sanders fail to clinch the nomination via pledged delegates alone, and both head to Philadelphia with an eye toward wooing the (still totally unpledged) super-delegates, Clinton will win if her advantages are treated as assets rather than signs that she should've been beating this elderly socialist Jew from VT with the rumpled suits and unruly hair by twenty or more points all along.

And Sanders will win if the Democrats choose the better candidate -- which, given the harrowing dangers of a Trump presidency, I damn well hope they do.

Your ball, New York.

Seth Abramson is the Series Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University) and the author, most recently, of DATA (BlazeVOX, two thousand sixteen).

Why I Wish Ted Cruz to Win GOP Nomination

Why I Wish Ted Cruz to Win GOP Nomination

They've a mantra for their failures and it goes something love this (via Rick Perlstein): In conservative intellectual discourse there is number such thing as a horrible conservative.

The Shade Room is in Facebook jail, lost its four million followers there

The Shade Room is in Facebook jail, lost its four million followers there

The celebrity gossip and news publisher attracted about 4.2 million followers on Facebook. We reached out to The Shade Room and to Facebook to memorise why its page disappeared. Facebook didn't yet reply to our inquiry, but we’ll upgrade this legend...

Please welcome Brian Heater, Kate Conger and more to TechCrunch

Please welcome Brian Heater, Kate Conger and more to TechCrunch

We’ve got some more new faces for you here at TechCrunch, and they’re excellent ones. First up, Brian Heater has worked at a no of tech pubs, including PCMag, Laptop and Engadget, where he served as the Director of Media.

Apple rolls out a new App Store developer site with guides and videos for growing app businesses

Apple rolls out a new App Store developer site with guides and videos for growing app businesses

The updated site will comprise new articles and videos aimed at helping developers better realize how to grow their businesses and be engaged in users.