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Joe BidenCongratulations to our presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden!

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:34 PM

 

Damned if they do, doomed if they don't: Why Sanders rivals don't go negative

The real democrats in this race have not started to go negative on him yet but trump has a ton to work with and will bury and destroy such a weak candidate like sanders



One factor in Sandersís success is how little scrutiny he has faced from rivals on the campaign trail and the debate stage. Media accounts that catalogue Sandersís atypical history and decades-old comments are easy to find for anyone who cares to look. But no one knows how Sanders will fare when Democratic or Republican rivals attack him in a high-profile fashion, which to this point no one has seriously done.

Democrats face a classic collective-action problem. The party has a strong interest in publicly vetting Sanders before he becomes its nominee, but no candidate wants to be the one to go negative on him. Instead, as with Donald Trumpís Republican opponents in 2016, other Democratic candidates are seemingly hoping to pick off Sanders voters during the primary season, or at least attract their support in November, without doing the dirty work of criticizing his record. Attacks that appear to echo potential Republican talking points are especially likely to go unsaid. As a result, large numbers of voters may not learn about Sandersís vulnerabilities and how they might be exploited in a general election until much later in the race.

The lack of scrutiny of Sanders dates back to 2016. Despite his long career in politics, Sanders was a little-known outsider before his presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton. His unexpectedly strong showing in that race made him a national figure with an unusually positive public image. Why? Few politicians ever criticized him. Sanders never seriously threatened Clintonís hold on the nomination, so she mostly held her fire, preferring to try to keep his voters in the fold for November. Republicans largely withheld criticism as well, presumably appreciating his refusal to withdraw from the race and hoping to run against him rather than Clinton in the general election.

These attacks will come, however, if Sanders is the Democratic nominee. Any candidate will face attacks, of course, but for contenders like Sanders who have been insulated from previous criticism, the potential for damage is especially great.,,,,

Moreover, though Democratic candidates donít want to make this point in the primary race, attacks on Sandersís praise of socialist and communist governments are likely to be especially damaging when paired with criticism of his policy proposals as big-government socialism. Even Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who once assiduously sought to prevent Sanders from getting to her left, has realized the risks of Sandersís plan to move all health care to a single-payer system and has started to edge away from the idea. Only 20 percent of voters ó and just 37 percent of Democrats ó say they would be enthusiastic about voting for a socialist for president.

Labels like ďsocialistĒ are abstract and poorly understood by most voters, of course; some of Sandersís policies are indeed popular. But the penalty for extremism is real. When ideologically extreme candidates narrowly defeat moderates for a party nomination, the political scientists Andrew Hall and Daniel Thompson find, they perform more poorly in the general election, in part because they inspire the other partyís base more than their own. For instance, former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, a hard-right conservative, barely beat the Republican governor in the 2018 gubernatorial primary before losing the general election to a Democrat by five percentage points.

Trump might seem to be a counterexample, but Sanders will struggle to replicate his success. Itís true that Trump won the White House despite having unusually high unfavorable ratings and a personal background that many voters considered disqualifying. Like Trump, Sanders would surely benefit from the strong pull of party loyalty, which can help counter the doubts of some potential supporters. But Trump had a key advantage: Voters in 2016 saw him as unusually moderate, which helped him overcome those record unfavorable numbers. Though the public now sees Trump as more conservative than in the last election, it views Sanders as even more distant from the center.

Besides his socialist positions, Sanders also has a long paper trail of writings and statements about sex, gender and race that have received relatively little attention but are likely to provoke far more controversy if he wins the nomination. In one 1969 essay, for instance, Sanders wrote that the ďmanner in which you bring up your daughter with regard to sexual attitudes may very well determine whether or not she will develop breast cancer, among other things.Ē And does his diverse coalition of young supporters know he once compared workers in Vermont to slaves?
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Reply Damned if they do, doomed if they don't: Why Sanders rivals don't go negative (Original post)
Gothmog Jan 2020 OP
Skittles Jan 2020 #1
Gothmog Jan 2020 #2
mopinko Jan 2020 #6
PatSeg Jan 2020 #9
Kurt V. Jan 2020 #3
Skittles Jan 2020 #5
Kurt V. Jan 2020 #10
Skittles Jan 2020 #11
mcar Jan 2020 #4
Thekaspervote Jan 2020 #8
msongs Jan 2020 #7
betsuni Jan 2020 #12
Gothmog Feb 2020 #13

Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:37 PM

1. I really don't even want to know more than I already do about him

 

seriously
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Skittles (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:38 PM

2. After what I saw at the National Convention of sanders and his supporters, I agree

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:44 PM

6. i will never forget that sour face in the stands.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to mopinko (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:54 PM

9. Same here

 

I can still see that face in my mind, probably my most vivid memory of the convention. As time goes on, Sanders disappoints me more and more.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:39 PM

3. when actual fuck does reality kick in?

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Kurt V. (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:43 PM

5. the real question is, why hasn't it ALREADY?

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Skittles (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 09:35 PM

10. you may have misinterpreted my reply. :)

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Kurt V. (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 10:02 PM

11. it's a good question

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:41 PM

4. This has never made any sense to me

 

Until I go on Twitter and see what happens when Sanders is legit vetted.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to mcar (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:50 PM

8. This!! There's sooo much out there.. voters need to know

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 08:49 PM

7. he constantly reminds me of a reallllllly high up current government official nt

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Jan 30, 2020, 10:48 PM

12. K&R

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to Gothmog (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2020, 10:17 AM

13. I am very worried about nominating a weak general election candidate

 


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If I were to vote in a presidential
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Joe Biden

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