Monday, October 19, 2015

Poll debates: Bernie won, no matter how you slice the cake

Senator Bernie Sanders founded (and once chaired) the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is often touted for her progressive values, is not listed among their members. Hillary Clinton (the self-proclaimed "moderate") is also claiming to be a "progressive".

It seems very implausible that only a majority of pro-Bernie fans would be participating in most of the post-debate polls and the "official" media-reported surveys. But even if this were true, then it only proves a lack of enthusiasm by the pro-Hillary crowd. Especially when one considers how Bernie also dominates in campaign donors.

But yet, one writer at the "progressive" Nation magazine has found 3 polls (out of the many), and making the case that Bernie Sanders had lost the debate: "Sorry, Fellow Bernie Fans: Maybe Hillary Really Did Win the Debate" (by Leslie Savan October 16, 2015). She cites these three polls:

  • A NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll of 4,898 Democrats show Clinton at 56 percent, Sanders at 33 percent.
  • A Gravis Marketing poll of 760 registered Democratic voters show Clinton at 62 percent, Sanders at 30 percent.
  • A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll found Clinton at percent, Sanders at 24 percent.

Leslie Savan at The Nation writes:

Did the mainstream media turn a blind eye to Bernie’s big win? It’s not that simple. I hope that Bernie fans, among whom I count myself, keep an open mind: Maybe Hillary did win the Democratic debate Tuesday night. Maybe the mainstream media’s declarations of her victory weren’t just Beltway insider spin to promote one of their own — and snuff the socialist out of the picture. We now have a couple of reliable polls that have Hillary, yes, crushing Sanders. Until other post-debate polls clock in next week, we won’t know if these three are just outliers. But they directly contradict the avalanche of evidence — from online polls, social media, and focus groups — that emerged immediately after the debate showing that people thought Bernie won the night, hands down.

See Adam Johnson's post here at Alternet where he mentions 3 focus groups and 7 other polls saying the opposite of the 3 polls cited by Leslie Savan. There are many other polls too, and all saying Bernie had won the debate — such as the one at Democrats.Com. So these 3 polls cited by Leslie Savan seem to be the "outliers".

Acknowledging that most of these online polls and focus groups aren’t scientific, Johnson adds that nevertheless Bernie won the social media contest and the Hillary won the establishment mainstream news media — and each had their victor winning by a lot.

Adam Johnson asks: “The mainstream media writes off Bernie and is constantly shocked when his polls numbers go up. What explains this phenomenon?” He cites one explanation from Fredrik DeBoer, who more or less states what many progressives (myself included) already suspect:

  • First, the Democrats are a centrist party that is interested in maintaining the stranglehold of the DNC establishment on their presidential politics, and these publications toe that line.
  • And second, because Clinton has long been assumed to be the heavy favorite to win the presidency, these publications are in a heated battle to produce the most sympathetic coverage, in order to gain access.

Adam Johnson's observations are similar to mine: Polls: Bernie Sanders Won First Debate — by a Landslide!

Below is more from Leslie Savan 's article at The Nation (near the every end) which despite the title of her article (Maybe Hillary Really Did Win the Debate) seems to support the idea that it was Bernie won the debate, so why the title?

It should also be pointed out that some centrist and conservative outlets were adamant that Bernie won. The website IJReview, run and owned by two Republicans, ran a piece headlined: “Ignore the Media Pundits: Bernie Sanders Won the First Democratic Debate.”

[MSNBC's] Hardball with Chris Matthews, who often zig-zags across the mainstream, declared earlier this week: “I don’t care who gets declared the winner. I think [Sanders] won because he built up his troops, and he’s going to have a lot more numbers coming up in the next week or two in the polling ... He won because he’s blowing the trumpet. Hillary’s responding to it.”

The idea that Bernie won the debate makes utter sense: He connected like no one else up there (as Mark Hertsgaard writes, his secret weapon is the ability to speak plainly and forcefully)... [and] looking closer at the NBC News poll, Clinton’s “win” didn’t mean a Sander’s “loss”— not at all. Indeed, his overall numbers are improving. Her assured performance and the sudden deflating of the e-mail issue ... helped her shore up support that had been drifting away, some of it to a possible Biden candidacy. According to the NBC poll:

A number of important voting groups — men, whites, blacks, college graduates, and those over 65 are back in Clinton’s camp. However, Bernie Sanders has picked up considerable steam among young voters, capturing the support of 54% of those under the age of 30 compared to Clinton’s 26%. Among Hispanics, Sanders has more than doubled his level of support, to 33%. He also continues to gain traction among those with a high school degree or less, although Clinton is still outperforming him by 18 points. Fortunately for Clinton, these groups do not tend to turn out in primary elections as strongly as the groups from where she draws her strength. It’s also important to note that Sanders has not necessarily lost backing since last month — Clinton’s pick-ups come mainly at the expense of decreased support for Joe Biden.

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  1. Also from The Nation (by Joan Walsh on Oct. 19) "The Democratic Primary doesn’t need Joe Biden. The vice president thinks Hillary Clinton needs better opposition. That’s condescending to the man [Bernie Sanders] who’s made this a race."

    To be clear, Joan Walsh is a Hillary supporter, and just doesn't want to see Joe Biden enter the race because it will split the vote (and endanger Hillary's chances of winning). So to fit her argument, she is praising Sanders, but only because she thinks Hillary can beat him if Joe Biden isn't in the race.

    Other points Joan Walsh makes:

    * Polls show Bernie Sanders defeating every leading Republican in a head-to-head race.
    * Bernie Sanders is drawing record-breaking crowds.
    * Bernie Sanders is raising issues (like free college and Social Security expansion) that Democrats might have neglected to mention without him.
    * Clinton and Sanders both saw their support grow after the debate, but with Sanders getting a bigger bump.

    Joan Walsh goes on to write: "Clinton may have represented Wall Street, but Joe Biden represented Delaware’s credit card industry, and [they both] played a big role in legislation making it tougher for consumers to declare bankruptcy. Senator Elizabeth Warren called Biden out for it in her last book."

    Joan Walsh goes on to write: "The work Sanders is doing rehabilitating the idea of a strong role for government in making the economy work for everyone — which Democrats like Clinton and Biden ran away from for a while — and updating what is essentially New Deal liberalism is a great gift to a party that until now Sanders didn’t even belong to. He deserves better than Biden’s apparent disrespect."

    * The part where she says "that until now Sanders didn’t even belong to" is totally false.

  2. Prolific writing of late Bud. Good stuff. Bernie represents true change and a final end to the raygun revolution. HRC is an economic neo-liberal who will not alter the status quo. She and her husband were members of the DLC, which determined they had to be republican lite in order to win elections after the beating they took by Raygun and Bush I.

    The economy has changed drastically for the worst since then and DLC positions are no longer tenable. True change for the american worker lies with Bernie and beyond that, the movement he is helping to create and find a voice. I can only hope that if he loses the nomination, it will not discourage the young people he has energized to withdraw from this fight. The fight must continue whether Bernie wins or loses.

    1. You say "prolific writing" Allen — thanks! — but this comment was much more so. Thanks again! Obviously I'm in full agreement, as are MOST of the American people ... be they "registered" Republicans or Democrats. It's time for a political revolution in this country ... it's time to take down the "old guard" and restore true democracy in a nation OF the People and FOR the People ... and not just for status quo of the wealthy elites and corrupted politicians. Bernie Sanders offers a true choice, and not just empty promises.

    2. ... and our neighbors to the North feel the same way as we do: Liberals Win Canadian Election

      Just as the billion investor Nick Hanauer stated so elegantly last year ... "The Pitchforks Are Coming For Us Plutocrats"

      The media and our politicians are "Feeling the Bern", and the "moderates" have better wake up and get a clue...