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In the discussion thread: Enough with the scolding please. [View all]

Response to calimary (Reply #97)

Sat Oct 14, 2017, 07:37 AM

123. I think the evidence is strong that Bernie did not cost Hillary the race.

 

A good summary here: "Did Bernie Sanders Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency?"

An additional point that the article overlooks is that Bernie's campaign brought into the political process many people who had previously dismissed the process or had been alienated. When Bernie wasn't nominated, some of them returned to their previous disengagement and sat out the general election, but those are votes Hillary wouldn't have gotten anyway. It seems certain that some of the people newly galvanized by Bernie's campaign then voted, however unenthusiastically, for Hillary.

I frankly can't see the "made it okay to go renegade" argument. Bernie's "continued presence" was his campaigning for Hillary. He dismayed some of his supporters, who had wanted him to endorse Stein or even run as a Green himself. It's not plausible to say that by campaigning for Hillary he made it okay to vote for Stein. (And I can only imagine what Hillary would have said in her book if Bernie had instead decided not to inflict his "continued presence" on the nation.)

There are some informative numbers here: "What really happened in 2016, in 7 charts". A salient feature of the 2016 election was that both major parties nominated historically unpopular candidates. The result was that minor-party voting approximately tripled, from 1.7% to 5.7%. Yes, Stein nearly tripled her vote over 2012, but Johnson more than tripled his vote. The Green Party increase wasn't because of Bernie's campaign. It also wasn't because, over the course of four years, Stein had improved her image with the American people. If Stein had decided not to run, the Greens would have nominated someone else who would have done about as well.

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