For the Berners


Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

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117 Responses

  1. Will H. says:

    It’s a good analysis, but the circular reasoning of why minorities tend to support Clinton is never addressed; namely, the perception that Clinton has the best chance to win against whoever the Republicans offer.
    I’m sure that perception would change quite drastically were Sanders to win the nomination.

    As for the youth vote, I don’t think raising the voting age to 30 would be as controversial as raising the drinking age to 25.Report

  2. Kolohe says:

    The only electoral contest where the party didn’t conspire to limit alternative candidates to Hillary Clinton is the one that Hillary lost.

    If Hillary Clinton loses this one, too, she can’t even win a rigged game.Report

  3. Saul Degraw says:

    I largely agree. The thing about a lot of Sanders supporters is that they don’t realize that they are a minority in the Democratic Party. You can see this back when Zephyr Teachout challenged Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Primary for governor of New York. Teachout won among white liberals. Cuomo still crushed her by winning the African-American and Latino(a) votes.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Yeah, those guys in New Hampshire have really misunderstood the situation.

      Though, to their credit, the ones in Iowa only think that they represent about half of the party.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        New Hampshire is demographically unrepresentative of the United States as a whole. Iowa, New Hampshire, and Vernont are very homogeneous. Bernie’s real tests are Nevada and South Carikina.Report

  4. Kim says:

    Trolling the establishment candidate is far more important than actually having Bernie Sanders win.
    (And you thought Democrats didn’t have a sense of humor)Report

  5. Jaybird says:

    There’s also the gaming of who will be going up against whom.

    Can Trump beat Hillary? I suspect that he can.

    I suspect that Hillary’s support among African-Americans/Hispanic-Americans is broad but shallow and she will not inspire the turnout that Obama did for various reasons. (On top of that, I think that Trump will win a larger chunk of the African-American vote than Romney did by a dang sight. Probably not the Hispanic-American vote, though…)

    Can Jeb beat Hillary? Hell, no. Can Cruz beat Hillary? Hell, no. Can Rubio? Dunno. He polls well now but doesn’t seem to perform well under the relatively minor pressure of an also-ran yelling at him on a debate stage.

    Can Bernie beat Trump?

    Hrm. I… Hrm. I don’t know. I have no idea who is stronger in that matchup.

    But can Hillary beat Trump?

    I don’t know that she even knows how to fight against him.

    If that the rumors about how Trump is one of the besties of the Clintons and he’s only doing this to destroy the Republican party to make way for his buddies are true, then we’ve got ourselves an answer right there.

    If they’re not…Report

    • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

      It doesn’t matter a whit if Hillary knows how to fight Trump. She’ll have the troll who started the entire Trump thing on her side. Once he’s done trolling her, of course.

      Trump, in my opinion, is a sideshow act. He might win Indiana for the Democrats, if he’s the Republican Nominee.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Kim says:

        I have no idea if he’s a sideshow act anymore. I knew for certain that he was until Iowa happened.

        Now I just don’t know.

        Maybe he’ll be done after South Carolina.Report

        • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

          I perceive him as a sideshow act because I don’t think most of the Republicans like him… but more importantly, I think Republican leaning independents would rather vote anyone than him (particularly once the press really starts savaging him, which they will). I think Democratic leaning independents will happily vote for Sanders, and indifferently vote for Hillary. The democrats have a huge advantage, it being a presidential election. I wouldn’t bet on Democratic leaning independents in any midterm, without extreme and outstanding effort.

          Have you seen Bernie Sander’s Dank Meme Stash?Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Kim says:

            My knuckle tattoos spell out “DANK MEMES” thanks to my polydactyl left hand.

            I know about Bernie’s dank memes. But, and here’s the point (and I think the point of the essay), real people who have lives and junk do not and will not know about his memes or their dankness.

            As for how Republicans like him… I know that the establishment loathes him but the real people I know in real life who have lives and junk think that he makes some good points (with a smattering of “I love Trump! He’s really sticking it to the effing RINOs!”) and they’d vote for him.

            I have to go to the internet to find Republicans who actively hate Trump. The ones I know in real life? They don’t hate him.Report

            • Kim in reply to Jaybird says:

              Republicans… are strangely parochial in their likes and dislikes. With the Democrats, you have your Southerners, sure… but most people organize based on “broader” or more “global” things. Feminists, PoC, Liberals…

              A Philly republican is a very, very different animal than a Colorado Springs Republican. (and I honestly think Trump may have gotten some points with the military-leaning Republicans (McCains voters), when he said that the Iraq war was a mistake)Report

      • DensityDuck in reply to Kim says:

        A troll, huh?

        Trump will be sitting down in the Oval Office on January 21st, 2017 and people will still be saying “he’s just kidding, he doesn’t really MEAN it…”Report

        • Kim in reply to DensityDuck says:

          Trump will be harder to troll than McCain or Romney, I think. But that’s just my unfounded opinion.

          Yes, I know a troll. Do you remember the pot-smoking Elmo account on twitter? (google Qwikster if you don’t believe me).

          [as with all the weird stuff I say, you’re not supposed to believe me.]Report

    • North in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m extremely dubious that Trump can beat either of the Democrats. His poll numbers for the general are horrific.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to North says:

        Here are the RCP numbers.

        The main question is whether Trump has a ceiling and whether Clinton has a floor.

        Both of those questions strike me as being up in the air.

        The main thing I’ve noticed about the Republican Primary so far is that Trump has spent a lot more time attacking Republicans than Democrats… and he’s done a lot of damage.

        When the time comes for him to start attacking Democrats…

        Of course, maybe he’s just doing a favor for Bill.Report

        • North in reply to Jaybird says:

          I suspect, but of course don’t know, that Trump’s strategies aren’t going to be very helpful against Hillary. In the primary he’s playing to the GOP base which means his barbs are tuned to them and his targets, in defending against them, also have to be very mindful of the sensibilities of those voters. Democratic voters aren’t going to have the same sympathies and every time Trump fires a bombardment against Hillary he is dancing a difficult dance with about half the electorate. Now it’s possible he can do the same dance but I am deeply skeptical.Report

        • Patrick in reply to Jaybird says:

          The main question about Trump is not is general popularity. Same applies to any candidate, really.

          Presidential politics at this point is largely structural. The parties have both worked pretty hard to make it that way.

          So the questions that matter are:

          (a) What are the positives for the candidate in the battleground states
          (b) What are the negatives for the candidate in the battleground states

          Trump polls well in Florida, but not Ohio or Virginia. He has no chance in New Hampshire and probably not one in Nevada. Colorado he’s probably got, on the other hand.

          The big thing about Trump is that the people that don’t like him really, really don’t like him. Possibly even moreso than Hillary.

          Regardless, I wrote this last week and after the passing of Antonin Scalia I don’t think it matters any more.

          The GOP announced that they’d stonewall Obama’s appointment before he even announced who he might appoint.

          Voter turnout in this election is going to be up all the way across the board, and that as always favors Team Blue, because their favored demographics are the ones that turn out in lesser numbers.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Patrick says:

            Well, here’s a fun little toy to play with.

            The maps worth looking at:
            Same since 2000
            2016 battleground
            2016 toss up

            My fundamental assumption for 2016 is that the groups that turned out with such passion in 2008 and 2012 will not have that passion transfer to Hillary.

            We’re in the middle of a very, very interesting time, I think. Things are fundamentally changing. Both the Republican Party and Democratic Party, on a national level, are a shambles propped up by little more than how awful the other party is.Report

            • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

              Been playing with that exact site for a little while now. Looks like any Democrat starts out with 247 votes and any Republican starts out with 206. Pretty much nothing realistic will change those 44 jurisdictions.

              In play are: New Hampshire (4), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), Colorado (9), Virginia (13), Ohio (18), and Florida (29).

              If the Democrat (whether that be Sanders or Clinton) takes Florida, game over, that’s 276 votes for the Democrat.

              If the Republican gets Florida, then there’s 54 votes in 6 states up for grabs, but even then the Democrat has a 12-vote lead.

              Which is to say that I’m glad the Democrats are having a race and debates and disagreements that looks significantly more like grownups disagreeing than what I see going on in the admittedly more entertaining GOP primary. And it’s why I’m not actually particularly apoplectic about the successor-to-Scalia thing. If Mitch McConnell wants to say, “Next Congress, next President,” that’s still quite likely to result in Justice Srinivasan anyway.Report

        • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

          Trumpy is notoriously thin skinned and has been for decades. Assuming a Trump v Clinton match up, Hills and Bill would be able to needle him into a loud stupid statement per week if they wanted. Trump has little filter, as we’ve all seen. What you can get away with in the R electorate is very different then the general electorate. Very different.

          You can picture Trump doing better than people think, but he is high risk v high reward. He could easily do worse then people think. I wonder, he said knowingly, if there are hours and hours of video out there of him saying embarrassing, hypocritical, stupid, bizarre and contradictory that would be easy pickings for a D campaign.Report

          • DensityDuck in reply to greginak says:

            “Assuming a Trump v Clinton match up, Hills and Bill would be able to needle him into a loud stupid statement per week if they wanted.”

            Louder and stupider than “blood coming out of her, wherever”?Report

            • greginak in reply to DensityDuck says:

              I’d put money on stupider and louder than that. So yeah. Most people know trumpy from his tv shows. But he was a big loud wig in the NJ/NY/ atlantic city area for many years before tv. That is when i lived back east. Trump is thin skinned, regularly says way out there things and has a talent for irritating everybody who isn’t in the bag for him.Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think Rubio is more of a threat to HRC than Trump. Trump has decades of alienating the African-American community. He discriminated against them for housing, there is the inflammatory Central Park 5 ads, etc.Report

      • Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m kind of mystified as to how people keep jumping from the fact that Trump is weirdly popular with 30-40% of the Republican primary electorate to thinking that he would actually be a strong candidate in the general election. The fact that Rubio has better odds against Clinton is, to put it mildly, over-determined.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Don Zeko says:

          Some people just really dislike the Clintons. My general stance is to be cautious. I think smugness is dangerous in politics and life. You should never assume a cake walk but Rubio’s recent performance shows he is not quite ready for prime time.Report

          • Don Zeko in reply to Saul Degraw says:

            I’m not saying Clinton will have an easy win; on the contrary, i think that unless one or both parties put up an incredibly dumb nominee like Sanders, Trump or Cruz, 2016 will be an extremely close election. I’m saying that Trump is an obviously weak general election candidate.Report

            • Kim in reply to Don Zeko says:

              Close means diddly squat.
              Since the Republicans couldn’t win in 2008 and 2012, they’re in so much shit that their backers have totally Given Up on winning the Presidency.

              Can’t win without money, and that goes double for Republicans.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko says:

              In October I would have agreed that he was an obviously weak general election candidate.

              Now I am not sure.Report

              • Don Zeko in reply to Jaybird says:

                Has Trump gained popularity with moderates and independents since then? To my mind, the story of Trump’s success thus far is that the Republican party has failed to unify around an alternative to Trump or to start attacking him decisively. That’s really weird, and I wouldn’t have predicted it six months ago, which is why I’m surprised at his success thus far. But the general election is a whole different ball game, in which all of the people that are baffled and horrified that Trump has gotten this far actually get a say in the matter.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Don Zeko says:

                When it comes to moderates and independents, what would you say would be the stuff most likely to get them to purse their lips and take another look?

                Off the top of my head:
                A willingness to say “Man, Iraq was a major mistake.”
                On the topic of abortion, to be somewhere between “abortions on demand even in the 9th month for healthy babies!” and “no abortions even in cases of rape or incest or mother’s life in danger even if the girl has only skipped one period”.
                On free trade, a willingness to say “those damn corporations moving overseas and skipping out on taxes!” instead of “corporations are people!”

                I don’t know what Trump’s ceiling is. I have consistently said that it is much lower than it turned out to have been.

                I don’t know what Hillary’s floor is.

                I do know that the trend lines for how Hillary is doing against Trump are all over the place. I also know that Hillary is very attackable and Trump’s attackability is a lot (a lot a lot) lower than you’d think it’d be.Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                Trumps attackability is far more than you have seen so far. Far more. He would be a more flammable Hindenberg.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

                Perhaps all of his opponents so far are merely trying to keep their powder dry.Report

              • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

                The R’s aren’t’ going full bore at Trump because they don’t want to alienate his followers from jumping over to them or away from the R’s in general. Some of the attacks would relate to his constantly changing statements. Trump has a long history in the NY area of being a viscous loudmouth and buffoon and, importantly, a joke. And plenty of it is on video.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

                I think that’s just a general feature of the political process: candidate A will only attack someone who’s perceived as a threat to their candidacy but only when doing so doesn’t backfire on them personally and doesn’t result in alienating those voters.

                So … there’s always lots of shells in various chambers that never get fired because doing so is viewed as counterproductive. (Bernie has LOTS of shells he’s not firing at Hillary …)Report

              • greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

                Yeah. But in the general most shells get used.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Don Zeko says:

          I think the thinking is that Trump would peel off blue collar democrats from Hillary (advantage Trump). On the other hand, his nom would discourage the socon base from voting (ad. Hillary). On the third hand the horrific thought of a Hillary Presidency motivates the GOP base to record turnout (ad Trump). On the gripping hand, same logic applies mutatis mutandis to the enraged Dem base (ad Hillary). And so on for the clock hand, the farm hand, the even hand(ed), the back hand, the glad hand, and the bird in hand.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

            From what I understand, the socon base was discouraged from voting by Romney.

            By ROMNEY!


            All that to say, my small and unrepresentative circle of socons is not fundamentally depressed by Trump. “But he’s divorced!” “But he’s an adulterer!” and so on elicit something closer to eyerolls/shrugs than a head tilt and a “I’ve never thought about that.”Report

          • Don Zeko in reply to Stillwater says:

            You’re leaving out that Latinos will vote against Trump the way African-Americans vote against Republicans every cycle, that parts of the Republican Party will stay home or hold back, and that the non-Fox media will treat him like the total buffoon that he is for the entire campaign.

            Trump can succeed if he only has to appeal to Republican primary voters and if his opposition is split and weirdly uninterested in really attacking him. That won’t be the case in the general. He’ll be constantly and rightly portrayed as a lewd, racist, ignorant billionaire that wants to give out huuuuuuuge tax cuts to his billionaire friends and doesn’t know anything about public policy. He’ll be in a contest where media coverage is baked into the cake, so it won’t be nearly as big an advantage that the media swarms over every dumb thing he does. The man’s favorable/unfavorable numbers are at -25, for pete’s sake, worse than anyone else in the field. Donald Trump, if he somehow wins the Republican primary, is obviously doomed in the general. If the R’s somehow convince themselves otherwise, they are fools to do so.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Don Zeko says:

              I guess I missed the target with the comment up there by a wide mark: my point was that, from my pov anyway, it’s simply impossible to predict that far out with an accuracy higher than throwing at a dart board blindfolded after being spun around a few times.

              In my view, Trump could definitely win against Hillary or Bernie. So could Rubio, in my view, but probably not Cruz or Jeb. But you’re right that it’s harder to see how a Trump victory is realized. But based on that same type of reasoning the CW was that he wouldn’t even be in the race at this point let alone leading with 41% support nationally.Report

  6. DensityDuck says:

    “By 2028 people will be laughing at you if you put forth a candidate that polls well among younger voters but has a weakness with minorities”

    Really? In 2028 whites will be a minority and nobody will give two tugs of a dead dog’s dick what they think because they’ll finally be getting what they deserve for being such horrible racists.


    Through this whole column I was thinking back to what people were writing before New Hampshire about how Sanders failed to decisively win Iowa and that meant his “coalition was shaky”, and he’d get crushed in New Hampshire and go home. And then, um, well, that didn’t happen.Report

  7. North says:

    Well look, this is what we have primaries for.
    Bernie doesn’t have good numbers with significant blocks of the Democratic Party right now; accordingly he will loose. But the primary isn’t being decided right now: it’s being decided over the next couple of months. Bernie is going to get a perfectly fair shot to improve his standing with those blocks. If he can then he should do okay in the primaries. If he doesn’t then he’ll eventually go down. Along the way he’ll spar with Hillary and keep her on her toes. It’ll be good for her, it’ll be good for the party.
    I’d also speculate that Bernie is keenly aware of it. That venerable ol’ socialist has run a very particular campaign and it’s to his credit and honor. He isn’t trying to sink the Dems chances in the general.Report

    • Patrick in reply to North says:

      Yes, all this is granted. And if Bernie does well in the next two or three primaries I expect his poll separation from Clinton to go down (although I don’t expect Bernie to do well in the next two or three primaries).

      This is more along the lines of Bernie supporters all being agog that the superdelegates are supporting Clinton. Why? Um, because as it stands today she’s the better candidate in the battleground states and that’s what the superdelegates care about.Report

      • Kim in reply to Patrick says:

        Well, that, and it’s often a bad idea to bet against Hillary — the Clintons do hold grudges.
        (I do know someone who bet against Hillary and won, so…)Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Patrick says:

        Many people don’t get why superdelegates exist in the first place. IIRC, it wasn’t to “control elections” or “give the establishment candidate an edge” (there aren’t enough, for one, and they’ll all jump towards the winner anyways).

        It was because the whole delegate system was choking out grassroots folks who wanted to go to the convention, but as the delegate elections moved up — they started losing to actual politicians and party figures who, go figure, are pretty popular locally and also somewhat skilled at winning elections.

        The Democratic party created superdelegates to remove the actual establishment folks who always went to the convention and who did so as regular delegates. In short, a system now described as the heavy thumb of the establishment was put into place (and quite successful at) getting more actual grassroots folks to go to the convention.

        If you got rid of super delegates, something like 90%+ of those supers would end up taking ordinary delegate spots.Report

      • North in reply to Patrick says:

        Supers will follow the elected delegates so long as the decision on that side of things is decisive. If Bernie wins the voters by an unambiguous margin I don’t believe for even a moment that the Supers would tip it back to Hillary. Now if it’s a dead heat tie or extremely close, sure, they’ll put their thumbs on the scales for Hillary but flat out “steal” the nomination for her? Not happening; they’re not suicidal.Report

  8. DensityDuck says:

    What if people like Trump and Sanders for the same reasons?

    Their message is the same–“people have stolen all the power that ought to be yours, and they’ve beat you down so hard that you’re convinced that you can’t take it back, and I’m here to tell you that’s not true.”Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to DensityDuck says:

      There might be some similarities in the anger at a rigged game but Trump and Sanders are polar opposites of New York. Sanders lives quite modestly and sincerely so. Sanders fans love that he only made 1800 dollars in speaker’s fees and gave it all to charity. I suspect a Trump supporter would call this doing it wrong.

      Say what you will about Sanders but he lives by his convictions and has the only campaign that pays its interns.Report

    • I’m quite confident that is the case for many voters. They’re mad about getting shafted by the economy, they’re mad about being bamboozled by politicians, and they’re in the middle of making up their minds who’s at fault and what to do about it. Which way they jump is going to determine a lot about the future of America.

      Saul is entirely correct that Bernie and Trump are completely different, even diametrically opposed, people. But the frustrations that are drawing people to them are similar.Report

  9. Dan Scotto says:

    Great analysis. I feel like this debate is likely to resolve itself, in some respects. If Sanders doesn’t improve his numbers with non-white voters, it strikes me as doubtful that he wins the nomination under any circumstances. As with the Republicans, we’ll likely start to get real answers with South Carolina. If Sanders can reduce the gap with Clinton on minority voters in SC en route to a win, then he has a genuine shot at the nomination, while also demonstrating that he was able to boost his appeal among non-white voters. If not, then he’ll lose.

    Which is to say: I much prefer exit polls to pre-vote polls. So I’m looking forward to SC’s, for both parties.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Dan Scotto says:

      I feel like this debate is likely to resolve itself

      Agreed. If Bernie gets the X, Y and Z and wins the nom, he’s got … well … the X,Y&Z (plus more time to gather more support). Ditto Hillary, tho I think she’s fighting a rearguard to maintain support which is harder to do in the face of a real mojo threat (plus, I really do think Hillary has an identifiable ceiling in a way that Bernie doesn’t). The last poll I saw had Bernie ahead of Hillary in head-to-heads against GOP contendas (ie., he won two tied for one, she lost two tied for one). For whatever that’s worth.Report

    • Patrick in reply to Dan Scotto says:

      I agree with you Dan.

      The Democratic primary cycle has been about the next four primaries, not the first two.

      And it is, of course, possible that Bernie picks up increasingly good numbers in the next two primaries.

      Just based on the numbers I’ve seen, I doubt it. But the numbers only tell part of the story.

      The big question is what are the ground games doing in the Super Tuesday states. And I don’t live in any of them so I have no idea.

      But I suspect that Clinton learned her lesson against Obama and I expect the ground game is priority number one for her this election.Report

  10. Michael Cain says:

    Colorado’s 9 are more likely to go red than blue.

    If I were betting, I would go the other way. State-wide elections are settled in the Front Range suburbs. In the almost-30 years I’ve lived here, the suburbs have drifted slowly left. About seven percentage points in my county, encompassing most of the western suburbs. Since 2012, population growth has continued at a rapid pace, much of it young and into those suburbs. Hispanics are just over 20% of the total population now. In 2014, an off year with a huge national Republican wave, Hickenlooper hung on and Cory Gardner (R) won the US Senate seat with a narrow plurality.

    The big question will be turnout among the young, which absent someone like Obama, will depend on which initiatives make the ballot. Single-payer health care is already on; wine and beer sales at groceries will almost certainly make it; I expect one or more of the anti-fracking initiatives to make it. I predict the Dem candidate narrowly.Report

  11. KatherineMW says:

    Your analysis rests on the assumption that minority voters are willing to risk Trump getting elected if Bernie wins the primary. And Trump’s looking like a shoo-in to win the primary, at the moment.

    Given how much time Trump has spent calling people of colour terrorists and criminals, I would rate that probability as “low” for black voters and “nonexistent” for Hispanic voters.

    Bernie vs. Rubio? I can see the risk. Bernie vs. Trump? Not an issue.

    Even more to the point: Trump’s ONLY constituency is “antiestablishment white folks”. Choosing Hillary cedes that constituency to him almost entirely – she’s the essence of the ‘establishment’ to most of those folks. Choosing Bernie competes with Trump among the only demographic that Trump currently holds.

    Obama lost Florida in both elections: the Democrats don’t need Florida to win. I’d put Bernie as being very likely to sweep the entire midwest, and pick up enough of the southwest (due to Trump’s open hostility to Latino people, if nothing else) to win handily. Which way the midwest will swing in a Hillary-Trump election…that’s a lot more doubtful.Report

  12. Jaybird says:

    Idle thought: if the Republican debates were Jeb and Walker and Perry all mumbling to each other about the importance of the difference between a 2.2% tax cut and a 2.21% tax cut, would Bernie be doing half as well?

    Is the insanity of Trump putting the insanity of Bernie in perspective and making people think “yeah, Bernie isn’t that bad”?Report

  13. KatherineMW says:

    Shorter version of what I said:

    Voting for Bernie in the primary isn’t gambling on the youth vote. It’s gambling on the lower/middle-income, non-university-educated, white person vote. The Independent, pissed-off-at-the-establishment vote.

    Those are the kind of people the media like to describe as “swing voters”.Report

  14. Chris says:

    I must say that the most annoying people in my Twitter feed are the Bernie and Hillary homers. The “millennials with daughters support Hillary” thing yesterday was perhaps the height of this annoyingness.Report

  15. KatherineMW says:

    It’s worth noting that, in most of the polls of Hillary vs. Trump, Hillary is losing Florida:

    So betting on the candidates’ electability based on who’s best to win Florida seems like a dubious proposition.

    On the other hand, the polls show Hillary and Bernie both beating Trump in Ohio (albeit by narrow margins): Sanders is also performing better against Trump than Clinton does in virtually all the other midwestern states.

    And those are older polls. Gallup results generally suggest (although there’s nothing measuring the favourability ratings of the candidates among the general population rather than their parties’ bases) that Sanders is becoming better-liked as he is becoming better-known.

    If you think Virginia is solid for the Democrats, then Sanders only has to win either Ohio or one of the southwestern states. The only poll of Colorado (back in November) shows him doing substantially better against Trump than Clinton does there: (although both of them are behind Trump in that poll – Sanders 2 points back, Clinton 11 points back).

    Also as regards Colorado: what are the candidates’ positions on legal weed? I expect that any candidate who says they’re planning on cracking down on use of pot in states where it’s legal will have troubles in Colorado, and candidates who are okay with leaving things as-is will do better.Report

    • Patrick in reply to KatherineMW says:

      Hillary is losing Florida to Trump, but by less than Bernie is. In Florida she’s a dead heat with Rubio and Bernie loses. She beats Cruz, he doesn’t.

      That makes her the better bet than Bernie at this stage of the game (yes, we do have a long way to go yet).

      And if she goes up against Trump, she could lose Florida but she has a better chance than Bernie against Trump in Ohio.

      Bernie’s only current upside over Hillary is in New Hampshire, which the Demo get either way. Hillary even polls better in Virginia.

      Yes, those numbers could change. Sure.

      That doesn’t change the fact that as of right now, she has all the states Bernie gets anyway plus a better crack at Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.Report

      • Tod Kelly in reply to Patrick says:

        @patrick :

        “Yes, those numbers could change. Sure.

        They could indeed. If I were Hilary, I would be more than a little concerned that the trending numbers look not so far different from these trending numbers here.

        I still believe that Hilary is the stronger candidate in a national election, and by no small margin. But as I recall, when we were in Feb of the year those other numbers were current, that was the identical (and equally obvious at the time) argument for voting for HRC. And that turned out to be not so much the case.Report

      • KatherineMW in reply to Patrick says:

        How Hillary does against Rubio or Cruz is only slightly more relevant than how she does against Romney.

        Trump is far ahead in South Carolina. If he wins there, he’s the frontrunner going into Super Tuesday, and has momentum. He’s already ahead in most of the country. The Republican Party have run out of time to stop if, if they wanted to – they needed the field to thin out more before Super Tuesday than it has.

        Unless something in the Republican race chances substantially, all my electoral calculations are based on Trump being the nominee. I agree that Hillary may be stronger against, say, Rubio, than Sanders is (though the national polling doesn’t indicate so). I just don’t think that’s still meaningful.

        She doesn’t have a better chance than Bernie in Ohio; they have approximately equal chances. Sanders has two polls showing him +2 and +3; Clinton has two polls showing her +1 and +5. And all those polls are from 2015 (the +5 Clinton one is from back in August). Given that Sanders is significantly stronger in other midwestern states with more recent, 2016 polls (e.g., Minnesota where he’s +16 to Clinton’s +5; Wisconsin where he’s +18 to Clinton’s +9), taken after he started becoming a better-known candidate and more of a contender, and given that – to my knowledge – the demographics of the midwestern states are fairly similar to each other, I would put strong odds on him having a better chance in Ohio than Clinton does.

        The most recent polls also have Sanders stronger than Clinton in Virginia, going up against Trump, but since Bernie is +22 to her +17, that’s not looking like an issue either way; I agree with you that Virginia’s looking solidly blue regardless.

        • North in reply to KatherineMW says:

          I remain unconvinced Trump’s going to win the nod for the record. Still giving him between 15-20% odds which, I grant, is more than it was before.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to North says:

            I remained confident that his lead was meaningless – a flash-in-the-pan, like Gingrich and Santorum in 2012 – up until around late November-early December. Then I started getting worried. Then he started actually winning, and showing no drops in his lead in nationwide Republican primary polls.

            People have been predicting his campaign would fall apart for the last several months, probably partly because they (like I) want it to. But there’s no avoiding the fact that he’s won one primary, placed a narrow second in another, and is ahead in South Carolina and Nevada. If he does well enough in Super Tuesday, stopping him will become extremely difficult, if not impossible.Report

        • Patrick in reply to KatherineMW says:

          I think it’s weird that you think Trump’s huge advantage in South Carolina is going to give him momentum enough to take the pack but you don’t think Hillary’s huge advantage in South Carolina will do the same thing.

          You might be right about Ohio, though. It is admittedly too early to give a real prognostication and a *lot* depends on Super Tuesday.

          For the record, I still am a solid believer that Trump will not win the primary. I am still putting my money on Rubio.

          I will admit, it doesn’t look like the bet I thought it would at this point, though. The GOP insiders took longer to jump on Rubio after Jeb flubbed than they should have, and that gave the Trumpinator a gap to push into.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Patrick says:

            I think it’s weird that you think Trump’s huge advantage in South Carolina is going to give him momentum enough to take the pack but you don’t think Hillary’s huge advantage in South Carolina will do the same thing.

            I think Hillary’s got a major advantage, and that winning South Carolina going into Super Tuesday – especially if she wins it by a large margin – will give her substantial momentum going into Super Tuesday. I’m quite aware Bernie’s a long shot in the primary, regardless of my views on his chances in the general election.

            Bernie’s advantage, which is not shared by the Rubio and Cruz and Bush, is that he’s in a two-person race. The larger the Republican field is going into Super Tuesday, the better Trump’s chances. If Bush drops out after South Carolina, then there’s a better chance of Cruz or Rubio giving Trump a run for his money, but Trump’s still at a substantial advantage. Heck, Trump’s 20 points above any other candidate in Florida primary polls, and Florida is Rubio’s own state.

            The other difference is that Trump seems to be ahead in virtually all the states in the Republican race, whereas Bernie has regions where he’s at an advantage.Report

        • The GOP has plenty of *time* to stop Trump. Very few delegates are pledged at this point. Hovering around 30-40% with limited appeal with half of the party, there’s a really good chance that he is going to have to fight it out. If he doesn’t get more support along the way, he might not be able to win outright even if he wins every state (yes, even accounting for Winner-Take-All). Which makes it unlikely that he will get the sort of delegate count to be prohibitively ahead.

          What they may not have is the ability to do it. They might get Jeb/Kasich/Carson to back down, but they’re not going to get Cruz to. If Trump can just bump his support up to 40%, then he is the likely nominee. That, ironically, gets easier to do if J/K/C do drop out. In most of the scenarios I’m running, assuming that a single candidate can’t get ahead of Trump, the goal has to be to keep him in the 30-40% range, take it to convention, and fight it out there.

          Which is to say, we need to be polling HRC against Mitt and/or Paul Ryan.

          (My current nomination odds are about 40% Trump (looking to rise), 40% Cruz (looking to fall), and 20% Other (looking to rise).Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

            A) Is Rubio toast? I’m not convinced he is. He took a punch in NH, but I’m not yet convinced it was a TKO. If not, look for Establishment to get in line behind him. Seems like he’s waiting to pick up delegates in his home state where he’s more popular and better-machined than Jeb! by a significant degree.

            B) if Rubio is toast, then a strong showing in SC sets the table for Jeb! to be the guy after all. A weak showing by Jeb! in SC likely means the Establishment holds its nose and goes all in for Cruz, because as much as Kasich would be the best President of the lot, he’s the least charismatic candidate.

            C) I am beginning to think that Trump’s strategy of winning primaries might actually work, and if he can execute on it through to California, there is fish all Reince Priebus and Co. can do about it. Maybe then it’s Schism City.

            D) If I’m wrong about C) and Reince Priebus and Co. can superdelegate Trump out of contention, then maybe it’s Schism City anyway so we’d have a three way race between a Clinton, a Bush, and a crazy billionaire and we should all remember how that story ends.Report

        • Jesse Ewiak in reply to KatherineMW says:

          I would just like to remind everybody that general election polls this far out have as much usefullness as a dart board. There were polls showing Herman Cain beating Obama in late 2011 / early 2012.

          I’d also point out that Hillary has had the entirety of the right wing media + a large chunk of the new left wing media pointing at her every foible for the past 20 years, barring a few year break when the Republican’s decided to pump her up as somebody reasonable compared to Obama while Bernie has pretty much been ignored.

          Let’s see how those general election numbers look when we’ve gotten $500 million dollars in SuperPAC ads about Bernie honeymooning in the USSR, visiting Sandinista rebels in Central America, wanting to raise middle class taxes while taking away private insurance, something about him wanting to downsize the military, repeated video of Bernie calling himself a socialist, and then we’ll get to the actual stuff they’ll make up whole cloth just because.

          These are the same people who made 40 to 45% of the country believe that an actual war hero, no matter your opinion of his political positions, was a fraud and a phony. If they can do that, I have total faith they can work a number on Bernie. Now, against Trump, that might not be enough to actually lose but against Rubio, it’d be a wipeout.Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

            Hillary Clinton has never been in a general election for president, either.Report

          • Kim in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

            I’m going to just say that if you had to run the Democratic Intelligentsia against the Republican Intelligentsia in terms of dirty tricks, the Democrats win every single time.

            When the Democrats make ads referencing 9/11, they’re not only effective, they also don’t get called out by the press, because nobody realizes that it’s 9/11 imagery. Damned effective, though.Report