Bernie Can’t Win…

And vulnerable Americans are going to die if Trump wins!

I follow polling a lot, and noting that Bernie is now leading in much of the polling for the nomination and in the prognosticators like 538’s predictions, I wondered, what if… Bernie was our candidate? So I took a deep dive into the polling data of matchups between our democratic candidates for president and Trump.

At first, looking at the results of national polling, it looks great- Bernie and most every democratic candidate beat Trump in almost every matchup. But as we learned in 2000 and 2016, the will of the people doesn’t necessarily pick our presidents. That power goes to an anachronism called the Electoral College which gives extraordinary power to 10 or so “swing states” to pick the president. 

So I looked at the 10 states that will pick the next president, examining the recent polling results in those 10 states with Cook PVi below 5 that also made 270 to win’s latest list of states that their consensus of the pundits rated as tossup or barely D or R. In the states with polling since the first of this year- NH, WI, MI, NV, FL, and IA- Biden, Bloomberg, or Buttigieg frequently outperformed Sanders. Only in FL does Sanders outperform Biden, Buttigieg, and Warren. In PA, MN, ME, and OH the most recent polling was from last year so the surges of Buttigieg, Bloomberg, and Klobuchar and the decline of Biden are missing, but still Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, or Warren outperformed Sanders.

In 9 out of 10 of these swing states that will pick the next president  Sanders trails our best performing and always more moderate candidate by between 2% and 8% in trial heats against Trump. In states with PVi less than 5, that’s frequently the difference between winning and losing. And did I mention that the republicans will cheat, big time? Think massive voter roll purges, armed Trump vigilantes intimating voters, stolen ballot boxes, ad nausuem… Followed by a second Trump term that drags on well through this decade and becomes a Trump dynasty for decades more. Drunk with power after a rigged trial and acquittal in the Senate, Trump is already letting white collar criminals out of jail and hacking away at Social Security, etc.. Give Trump another term and there’ll be no limit to his power and ability to torment and even kill vulnerable Americans.

In 1972 and 1984 we responded to tyrannical republican presidents Nixon and Reagan by nominating great progressive candidates, McGovern and Mondale. That political science experiment failed, as progressive candidates did not move enough new democratic voters to the polls to make up for the moderate and independent voters we chased to Nixon and Reagan. My generation learned Political Science 101 the hard way- Progressives can win in progressive places like Vermont, but in swing states only a moderate democrat can win, ‘cause a moderate candidate plain and simple appeals more to the moderate voters in these swing states.

So while we love Bernie, this is no time for political science experiments like running a progressive for president when we’ve already done that experiment and know  the results- A Nixon, Reagan, and now Trump re-election. For the vulnerable americans who will suffer under Trump, it’s a risky political science experiment we can’t afford to repeat.

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