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Wed May 27, 2015, 11:20 PM

Yes, Bernie can win.

Last edited Wed May 27, 2015, 11:50 PM - Edit history (1)

I have heard many people say that Bernie Sanders does not have a chance, I am here to say that those people are wrong. I won't deny that Hillary is starting the race with huge advantages in money, name recognition, and polling numbers. If the election were to be held today she would easily win, I certainly can not deny that reality. While reality does tell us that Bernie would not stand a chance against Hillary if the election were held today, reality also tells us that the election is not being held today and a lot can happen between now and election day.

Here is what needs to happen for Bernie to pull off one of the greatest upsets in American political history.

First Bernie has to start closing the gap in polling numbers between himself and Hillary, a gap that is admittedly massive. The good news for Bernie however is that this gap is almost certain to shrink, Hillary's support has most likely already peaked. When you start out polling as highly as she did the pool of additional voters that she could win over is very small. Many of her current supporters are people who voted against her in 2008, if they voted against her before it is not at all unreasonable to think another candidate could win them over in this election.

It appears inevitable to me that Hillary's polling numbers will drop, of course they have to drop a huge amount for her to fall behind so there is no doubt that closing the gap will be very difficult but Bernie does have a couple of things going for him.

First Bernie's supporters are very passionate and he has a huge presence on social media. This is going to be extremely important because no matter how many small donors Bernie is able to receive assistance from he will never have the funds that Clinton has. With a committed group of volunteers and a big social media presence however it is possible to reach a lot of people without spending a lot of money, if Sanders and his supporters can really tap into social media they can overcome big money as you get far more bang for the buck when you can get volunteers to spread your message for you than you get from relying on ad agencies.

Bernie's history as an independent Senator who is widely respected by Democrats and even some Republicans puts him in a very good position to reach out to a wide range of voters. As much as the media tries to dismiss him as a fringe candidate the fact is he won his last election with 71% of the vote, I realize that it is Vermont but even in Vermont you don't reach 71% of the vote without winning over a broad range of people. Most Vermonters do not consider themselves socialist, yet 71% of them have shown that the word socialist does not scare them. The cold war is over and the word socialist does not carry the sting it once did, Bernie has already shown that by getting elected by huge margins while proudly calling himself a Democratic Socialist.

The fact is that most Americans are not super partisan, huge numbers of Americans consider themselves independents and Bernie's own history as an independent will be valuable in reaching out to these potential voters.

Speaking of reaching out to potential voters, let's face it Bernie has been doing far more to reach out to voters than Hillary has in this campaign. Hillary has not even been talking to the media, and while they try to claim she is bringing her message to voters directly that claim is really just a talking point with little basis in reality. My guess is that most people reading this are voters, I am also quite certain that most of you won't see Hillary reaching out to you directly. Sorry, but speaking to a small group of people in Iowa will not get your message out to the majority of voters.

While most of us have serious problems with the press, the fact is that the press does still play a major role in informing people about the election. Voters generally don't like to see candidates refuse to submit themselves to questions by the press and if Hillary continues to give the impression that she is running away from the press it will backfire on her.

Bernie on the other hand has handled the press beautifully, he has given numerous media interviews over the course of the last month and in all of those interviews he has answered all of the questions without letting the media bait him into focusing on gossip. He has clearly articulated his positions, and while he has managed to use the media to get his message out he has also taken the opportunity to call out that same media for their obsession with gossip over policy.

While I don't deny that Bernie Sanders has a huge mountain to climb, I also think that he is doing a far better job at presenting his message than Hillary is. I may be being optimistic, but I really believe that as long as Bernie can maintain a passionate and commited group of supporters who will help him get his message out he can win. If you want to see that victory then don't let anyone tell you that it can't happen, it may be a tough battle ahead but we can't bring about real change if we don't fight those tough battles.

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Arrow 43 replies Author Time Post
Reply Yes, Bernie can win. (Original post)
Bjorn Against May 2015 OP
daleanime May 2015 #1
WillyT May 2015 #2
DesertFlower May 2015 #3
AtomicKitten May 2015 #4
Paka May 2015 #5
NiceTryGuy May 2015 #10
Paka May 2015 #11
NiceTryGuy May 2015 #12
Erich Bloodaxe BSN May 2015 #27
cwydro May 2015 #6
Spitfire of ATJ May 2015 #7
BrotherIvan May 2015 #13
Spitfire of ATJ May 2015 #15
BrotherIvan May 2015 #24
Spitfire of ATJ May 2015 #31
pa28 May 2015 #8
BrotherIvan May 2015 #14
Iwillnevergiveup May 2015 #9
Stardust May 2015 #16
LineReply .
MohRokTah May 2015 #17
Robbins May 2015 #18
MohRokTah May 2015 #19
JEB May 2015 #20
MohRokTah May 2015 #21
JEB May 2015 #22
MohRokTah May 2015 #23
whatthehey May 2015 #25
Sheepshank May 2015 #28
peacebird May 2015 #29
whatthehey May 2015 #33
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #37
peacebird May 2015 #26
HassleCat May 2015 #30
KittyWampus May 2015 #32
Jester Messiah May 2015 #34
glinda May 2015 #35
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #36
Bjorn Against May 2015 #38
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #39
Bjorn Against May 2015 #41
DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #42
DanTex May 2015 #40
woo me with science May 2015 #43


Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Wed May 27, 2015, 11:37 PM

2. Huge K & R !!! - Thank You !!!

 

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Wed May 27, 2015, 11:50 PM

5. No amount of money can buy enthusiasm and commitment.

Bernie's volunteers have that in spades.

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Response to Paka (Reply #5)

Thu May 28, 2015, 01:44 AM

10. So did Ron Paul's followers...

 

...lot of good it did them...

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Response to NiceTryGuy (Reply #10)

Thu May 28, 2015, 02:07 AM

11. There weren't enough of them.

It's up to we the people to fix that.

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Response to Paka (Reply #11)

Thu May 28, 2015, 02:31 AM

12. You'll find...

 

...that there aren't enough people in America to get Bernie elected. The electoral math is impossible for Bernie. I don't blame people for being enthusiastic about him. It's just that the electoral math isn't there for him. He has no shot at the nomination among Democrats, let alone in a general election.

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Response to NiceTryGuy (Reply #12)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:25 PM

27. Are you using Karl Rove's math?

I seem to recall he thought it was impossible for Obama to win Ohio.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:25 AM

6. k and r

I'm still on the fence. but leaning toward Bernie every day.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:37 AM

7. You will NEVER see him on broadcast TV unless he pays for it.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #7)

Thu May 28, 2015, 03:56 AM

13. He is on tv all the time

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #13)

Thu May 28, 2015, 04:46 AM

15. Only as a Don Quixote.

 

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Response to Spitfire of ATJ (Reply #15)

Thu May 28, 2015, 11:01 AM

24. So you admit he is on tv all the time

But you have decided his candidacy is "a fantasy" so we should all pretend like he's not discussing liberal issues?

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #24)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:31 PM

31. Okay, maybe if he busts a move on Ellen.

 

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 01:24 AM

8. FWIW I'll share my anecdoctal cool story on how people respond to Bernie.

Last autumn I was on vacation with my family. They're all registered Democrats but not involved in the party and nobody knew who Bernie was. He appeared on one of the Sunday shows and I accosted them with the video. (yes I know I'm a jerk but I limited my experiment to this one video).

I was expecting "oh he's too liberal, too old, bad hair" etc etc.

You know what the response was?

'Wow, this guy is tough. He's hard.'

I'm certain they all hate me now but I'm pretty sure they like Bernie.

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Response to pa28 (Reply #8)

Thu May 28, 2015, 03:58 AM

14. I have shown video to my coworkers

They were like, right on, amen, tell it! These were all Democrats, some liberal, some just coz everyone here is. They were enthusiastic and smiling. You can't buy that. We just have to keep talking. We have to keep spreading the word. People want to vote for him, he just has to win an early state and they will jump on board.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 01:26 AM

9. Very well stated, Bjorn

I'm even starting to think tons of people are going to become edumacated as to the term "socialism."

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:51 AM

17. .

 



I heard the same crap about Kucinich in both 2004 and 2008.

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #17)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:54 AM

18. Bullcrap

Bernie is not Kucinich.

Bernie has been elected statewide and unlike Kucinich was a successful mayor.Kucinich was never in any double digets in state polls.

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Response to Robbins (Reply #18)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:59 AM

19. Oh good grief, Vermont's population is about the same as any given Ohio Congressional District.

 

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #17)

Thu May 28, 2015, 10:10 AM

20. I heard the same about Obama as well.

 

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Response to JEB (Reply #20)

Thu May 28, 2015, 10:24 AM

21. Obama had a major fundraising maching. Kucinich didn't and Bernie doesn't. eom

 

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Response to MohRokTah (Reply #21)

Thu May 28, 2015, 10:27 AM

22. One of the main reasons I support Bernie.

 

Sick of the money grubbing sell-outs that pass themselves off as political leaders.

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Response to JEB (Reply #22)

Thu May 28, 2015, 10:29 AM

23. Idealists always go for the guy with no money.

 

The guy with no money also stands no chance.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:20 PM

25. Possible yes, but stupendously unlikely

All those people claiming to be independents are so because they don't want to choose D vs R affirmatively. Sanders can officially be whatever the hell he likes but he's running for the D nomination, which would contradict the main point of independent affiliation. It's good for the country he's doing so to avoid another Nader debacle, but it's bad for getting self-identified independent support.

He has no money to speak of and little path towards getting the untold millions that a nomination contest will take, especially trying to run against a household name. We can whine about money corrupting politics all we want, but it's the system we have and it's the game he'll have to play to win. No amount of appearances on shows with a viewership that struggles to reach 2 million, most of them followers of politics who already know him, will penetrate the mass consciousness he needs. Social media? Pshaw! The 'net is a Libertarian realm and they've never cracked 10%. It's all warm and purist-fuzzy to eschew large donations, but there aren't enough fervent believers sending $10 or $50 to cover the travel budget, ad buys, staffing, offices and promotion spending needed. Obama raised $288M for the primaries last time. They ain't getting cheaper. Sure it's easy to do "Wikipedia Fundraising Math" for Bernie but the trouble with "if everybody reading this sent $3 we'd have enough" is that only a fraction of a percent of those reading ever bother.

He has little to no party insider support, in large part because he's not...er... inside the party. No, wild-eyed CT nonsense about superdelegates "overriding" the will of primary voters is still arrant bullshit, but their votes still do count and should count. He's only likely to peel off a large number of them if his vote lead from the grassroots is truly overwhelming. That's not too likely up against a 3 decade party insider with career-long relationships and the party's most succesful and popular face of the last generation as a spouse. Sanders AFAIK is well respected amongst Dems, but that's like saying Matt Flynn is well respected by Packers coaching staff. I'm sure he is, but he ain't getting the opening day nod barring emergencies either.

He has no national machine. A bit of an unfair criticism perhaps as he hasn't needed one until very recently, but Obama had his, or at least the gameplan for his, in the works ready to hit the ground running. Sanders will need 50 separate state machines and a national co-ordinating group that knows what they are doing. It's plausible to build that from a Chicago base pretty quickly. The Burlington political machine is less of a watchword for good reason. Rahm for example may not be nice as a man, but he is incredibly effective. Where is the Vermont consigliere?

He is not Obama, despite how often his partisans yearn to co-opt the example of an upstart challenger. He lacks the charm, the groundbreaking demographic hooks, (cultural Jewishness is hardly the epochal cry of a voiceless mass seeking a political champion) the stellar oratory, the next-big-thing reputation that started within the party years before the primary and yes, whine again about it as much as we like, the all-important media-friendly visuals.

No it's not impossible, but it wil be in a couple of months unless people can, without national spending, mass media, or 50-state machines, organize enough vocal support to turn those 5-15% ratings of his into at least 30%+. Only if he looks like he's in a horse race on something better than a hamstrung donkey in the early going will he get much attention and consideration from the tens of millions of people he needs to pull away from their default position of being ok with Clinton as the nominee.

Again, I can predict the whiny poutrage, misaimed with partisan zeal as if I'd called him names or kicked his dog. But show me where I am wrong, in realpolitik terms. Personally if I had to vote now I would actually probably pick him over Clinton even though I'm fine with either. Not because I think Clinton is some fascist oligarch or other such pure codswallop, or that he is the second coming of Simon Bolivar or like dreamy drivel. I like his personal approach better than hers that's all. I've always admired forthright answers and consistent priorities, polling be damned, but the first primary vote I cast was for Paul Tsongas for exactly the same reason. Me and the rest of the 2% who agreed. I never thought he had much chance either, and wasn't wrong then also.



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Response to whatthehey (Reply #25)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:25 PM

28. thanks...and spot on n/t

 

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #25)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:26 PM

29. He has a huge presence in reddit, facebook, twitter which is reaching young people who are not

Counted in most polling because they have no landline.
His social media army can go a long way towards building his brand FREE, leaving him able to make judicious buys of airtime if he sees fit. His message reasonates with many voters, not only lefties like me.

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Response to peacebird (Reply #29)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:53 PM

33. And the turnout of that demographic in primaries is? HRC Twitter followers compared to his is?

The trouble with subjective assessments of enthusiasm is the massive tendency toward confirmation bias. We have no more reason to suspect Sanders has all take-a-bullet followers and Clinton has only passive mild interest than we have vice versa.

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Response to whatthehey (Reply #33)

Thu May 28, 2015, 03:29 PM

37. Twitter followers are hard to verify but HRC has 3,600,000 followers and Bernie Sanders has 339,000.

Before someone says some of HRC's are fake or inactive it's fair to say it isn't unique just to her.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:28 PM

30. I think so

 

I'm so happy to see a real progressive in the race. It will be interesting to see if progressive ideas can catch fire with the voters, after lying dormant for 100 years. If this is the time, Sanders is the right person. The original Progressives had to deal with a hostile press, too. In fact, their whole focus was giving working people a fair chance against the unholy alliance of banks, railroads and newspapers. Voters have been treated like sheep for so long they may be ready to rebel. Sanders is the only candidate who offers a distinct alternative to business as usual.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 12:33 PM

32. Not with the campaign manager he has working for him now, he doesn't.

 

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 01:48 PM

34. Another factor: Name recognition doesn't equate to approval.

 

Salmonella has "name recognition" too but people tend to avoid it when they can.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 03:10 PM

35. I never heard of Obama yet I voted for him.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 03:25 PM

36. This is incorrect

"Many of her current supporters are people who voted against her in 2008..."




She received 48% of the primary vote in 2008.


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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #36)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:23 PM

38. And she is currently polling higher than 48%

There are a number of people who voted for Obama that are now supporting her, whether they continue to support her through the primary process remains to be seen.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Reply #38)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:24 PM

39. So one can argue that she is starting at 48%

That seems to be at an enviable place to be.

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Response to DemocratSinceBirth (Reply #39)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:38 PM

41. She is polling very well, no doubt about it

My statement that many of the people who support her are people who voted against her in 2008 is still true however. I was very clear in my post that she has a huge lead right now, I do not believe it is an insurmountable lead however. Bernie will have a huge mountain to climb, but he has a lot of passionate supporters to help him up.

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Response to Bjorn Against (Original post)

Thu May 28, 2015, 06:32 PM

40. I doubt it, but good OP.

To win the nomination, I think there are two kinds of Dems that he needs to win over. The first are people like me. I can say without reservations that I would rather see Bernie in the White House than Hillary, and I can also say with high confidence that I would rather see Hillary as the nominee because I don't think Bernie would stand a chance in the GE.

The second is the kind of Dem who is scared of a radical change from the status quo because of just basic fear of the unknown. I know people like this, and I believe they are numerous, though obviously there hasn't been polling on this particular question, so I can't prove it.

As far as handling the press, Hillary is doing what she is doing for a reason. Basically, she doesn't see any benefit to putting herself out there at this time, taking stands on controversial issues like TPP. It's all politics. She's the prohibitive favorite, why tie herself down to anything that might hurt her chances in the GD. Her only goal is winning the presidency, and Bernie, as of now, is no threat. She's playing the long game.

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