Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

2016 Postmortem

Showing Original Post only (View all)


(2,088 posts)
Fri Jul 1, 2016, 02:59 PM Jul 2016

Why Sanders lost, and why I think it matters. [View all]

(part of this was a reply in another thread, which I recycled, excuse my laziness. )

There is a certain narrative floating around that goes something like this: Hillary Clinton was/is the champion of minorities, women and LGBT folks, who stood solidly behind her. Bernie Sanders represents the white male vote within the Democratic party, who were concerned with economics and not much else.

I think that this narrative is as wrong as it is counter-productive at this point.

I think the truth of the matter is, Hillary Clinton was the default candidate for all demographics. She started out with a 50 point lead, with Sanders being virtually unknown. She had the entire Democratic party behind her, was part of a sitting administration and wife of an ex-president. It was an up-hill battle for Sanders all the way.

As far as the DNC is concerned, Sanders should not have happened at all. The expectation was that Hillary Clinton would sweep to the nomination unobstructed. No one was supposed to flip over to some unknown outsider. But they did flip, and in large numbers. I think this the underlying reason of the "sore winner" phenomenon. Hillary Clinton "only" got about 60 percent of the vote, instead of around 97 percent as expected.

As to why some demographics were faster to flip to Sanders than others, I think there is probably a large number of different reasons for this, none of which are "The behavior of his supporters in the Youtube comment section" or "A BLM activist calling him a white supremacist.". I think most people are not tuned into such things and would not care either way.

Young voters I think are easiest: They are quick to embrace new things and have little of what some would call "experience" and others would call "baggage". This is true across all genders, races, sexual orientations etc.

If you look at how support for Sanders built up over the months, the trajectory of the curves for different demographics were similar, with slightly different slopes. Trying to read something into this, imo, leads one onto very speculative ground. In the end it boiled down to him lagging behind by a month or two with some demographics, and this making a big difference. Such is the nature of primaries. They are highly non-linear systems, with early successes generating more successes and so on.

So why does this matter, now that Hillary Clinton won?

I think the question one should ask is why so many people were willing to latch on to an alternative to the "default candidate". I think this is something the Democratic party needs to think long and hard about, and I think drawing the wrong conclusions can become a serious problem in the General Election.

I think the straight forward answer is economics: Not all people benefited from the economic recovery after 2008 equally. This breeds discontent. First Occupy Wall street, now Sanders.

Falling back into the narrative that the Sanders phenomenon is some sort of expression of a racial divide means running head first into a trap. It is a convenient narrative, since it places the blame on some outside influence that lies beyond the control of the party. It saves one from having to take a look in the mirror. But it is dangerous, because it is a game the GOP plays very well. Nothing will mobilize the GOP base faster than a Democratic party that presents itself as out of touch with the struggles of people who are at an economic disadvantage.

Disclaimer: This is not a thread about the primaries. Hillary Clinton won. This is about the General Election.

111 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
And that economic discomfort will continue demwing Jul 2016 #1
Your comparisons for Sanders are very confusing. tonyt53 Jul 2016 #3
more people liked her message SoLeftIAmRight Jul 2016 #26
The majority vote in state after state is a fact. Hortensis Jul 2016 #33
Climate change and the sixth global mass-extinction event is happening now SoLeftIAmRight Jul 2016 #49
Hillary thoughtfully addresses the problems of climate change pnwmom Jul 2016 #55
great SoLeftIAmRight Jul 2016 #60
She doesn't, actually. Scootaloo Jul 2016 #77
Fracking? rickford66 Jul 2016 #100
Please don't refight the primary. Bernie isn't the presumptive nominee. nt pnwmom Jul 2016 #103
Do you even understand fracking? I make a good living from alternative and renewable fuels tonyt53 Jul 2016 #104
lol La Lioness Priyanka Jul 2016 #64
I would think that if 16,838,264 voted for Clinton and 13,100,987 voted for Sanders, the premise.... George II Jul 2016 #70
The only fact you get from that is that Clinton got 3,737,277 more votes Scootaloo Jul 2016 #78
This message was self-deleted by its author rjsquirrel Jul 2016 #87
.+1 840high Jul 2016 #47
The narrative is wrong. The word "young" was left out before white male. tonyt53 Jul 2016 #2
Thanks for saving the rest of us the time in making the same point. politicaljunkie41910 Jul 2016 #17
This explains what is going on with the "revolution." BobbyDrake Jul 2016 #20
Awesomely interesting! Entryism definition Her Sister Jul 2016 #42
Post removed Post removed Jul 2016 #46
That's about how 840high Jul 2016 #48
You do realize she won delegates based on how people voted right? mythology Jul 2016 #92
That's the claim anyway. timmymoff Jul 2016 #96
Your assumption that we're not part of the party is vile Scootaloo Jul 2016 #79
You just saved me a BUNCH of time with this reply. Thanks bravenak Jul 2016 #44
No we can't!! Isn't that inspiring? eridani Jul 2016 #74
^^^AMEN to this!^^^ Surya Gayatri Jul 2016 #95
Hillary won because more Democrats voted for her still_one Jul 2016 #102
Post removed Post removed Jul 2016 #4
LOL! Politicalboi Jul 2016 #7
What a shameful piece of text. SpareribSP Jul 2016 #11
The Mothers, The Grandmothers DianaForRussFeingold Jul 2016 #13
Can you explain how "bro" could possibly be considered racist? Is there some sort of hardship bettyellen Jul 2016 #24
To some, it is a pseudo-ghetto title...not quite a pejorative, libdem4life Jul 2016 #28
No it's actually referring to generally I whiter generic collegiate dudes..... bettyellen Jul 2016 #30
It was a mistake. DianaForRussFeingold Jul 2016 #35
"friendly" ?! DianaForRussFeingold Jul 2016 #29
Yeah dudes and bros have generally positive connotations.....the only negative would bettyellen Jul 2016 #31
I Miss-typed DianaForRussFeingold Jul 2016 #37
Well people use dude and bro for both sexes- it's just like "pal" but sort of young maybe post bettyellen Jul 2016 #38
Well, that's not how the term "berniebro" has been used. Ever. Scootaloo Jul 2016 #81
It's not that a singular bro is a bad thing - it's the swarm of bros we all saw on Reddit and even bettyellen Jul 2016 #93
Post removed Post removed Jul 2016 #111
It doesn't matter. No matter how polls hyped Hillary from the get-go, people need to be more BlueCaliDem Jul 2016 #5
The only group that went for Bernie was the one he pandered to. CrowCityDem Jul 2016 #6
Those are policies he has fought for his entire political career. bvar22 Jul 2016 #12
Where are the bills he introduced in Congress for free health care and free tuition the politicaljunkie41910 Jul 2016 #19
This message was self-deleted by its author DianaForRussFeingold Jul 2016 #15
Bingo Justice Jul 2016 #21
+1, they didn't put much resources in the southern states uponit7771 Jul 2016 #32
And that gorup is our future eridani Jul 2016 #75
Question... Scootaloo Jul 2016 #82
For example: CrowCityDem Jul 2016 #90
That he was inexperienced and basically unknowledge about social bettyellen Jul 2016 #98
There are a number of very good reasons why Sanders didnot win the vote of key groups Gothmog Jul 2016 #8
I would go so far as to guess that the Clinton campaign's vetting of Sanders as an opponent is why BobbyDrake Jul 2016 #22
I agree with everything you said about President Obama, and would just add the following: politicaljunkie41910 Jul 2016 #23
+1 uponit7771 Jul 2016 #34
Most voted for Hillary because she is the most qualified, has the most experience upaloopa Jul 2016 #9
The "sore winner" phenomenon, as you call it, is about one thing and one thing only. DanTex Jul 2016 #10
Your third paragraph is exactly right realmirage Jul 2016 #41
Hillary won because she is the better candidate. JaneyVee Jul 2016 #14
. MohRokTah Jul 2016 #16
^^This^^ Loki Jul 2016 #68
Bernie Sanders lost because of his mistaken belief KMOD Jul 2016 #18
nope SoLeftIAmRight Jul 2016 #27
+1, angry is easy answers are hard and being sideways at one of the most popular dem presidents... uponit7771 Jul 2016 #36
Bingo! bravenak Jul 2016 #45
He had no relationships with the demographics he needed to win. Starry Messenger Jul 2016 #25
And Bernie's numbers were rising and stopped when he began attacking Hillary CreekDog Jul 2016 #108
Don't forget that Hillary has been under almost constant attack since the 1990's. pnwmom Jul 2016 #39
Describing Hillary merely as the "default candidate" is highly offensive realmirage Jul 2016 #40
+10000000000 Haveadream Jul 2016 #50
THANK YOU!!!!! robbedvoter Jul 2016 #54
K&R! Great Response! n/t DemonGoddess Jul 2016 #65
Totally agree. nt eastwestdem Jul 2016 #43
I think it's disingenuous of us to be dismissive of the discontent. randome Jul 2016 #51
OWS wanted to recruit Warren. Sanders was Plan B robbedvoter Jul 2016 #53
If the disconnect grows more strongly down the road, I think both 'sides' will be to blame. randome Jul 2016 #57
Charisma is a subjective thing, To you, media she is not, To her voters robbedvoter Jul 2016 #69
Money quote. forjusticethunders Jul 2016 #72
It didn't help that most of you laughed when we got our asses beat Scootaloo Jul 2016 #83
No one laughed at you and no one is laughing at you now. randome Jul 2016 #84
Ah yes, I'm lying about my experiences Scootaloo Jul 2016 #85
No one ever said you were lying, either. randome Jul 2016 #86
So, the majority D voters are numbskulls who voted for generic candidate robbedvoter Jul 2016 #52
I'm sure the women of Iraq and Libya are endlessly thrilled n/t eridani Jul 2016 #76
The things... Mike Nelson Jul 2016 #56
Post removed Post removed Jul 2016 #58
Well, sure a virgo would say that. We libras, on the other hand, know better. randome Jul 2016 #59
LOL. yeah. that was it. La Lioness Priyanka Jul 2016 #63
. RandySF Jul 2016 #61
Change is scary TexasBushwhacker Jul 2016 #62
Nope DemonGoddess Jul 2016 #67
Nope. We actually like and respect her. grossproffit Jul 2016 #71
So many posters here who voted for Sanders think that Hillary won because of something wrong with us CreekDog Jul 2016 #109
If that's what you need to tell yourself MaggieD Jul 2016 #66
Perhaps you should think about how easily you dismiss the votes of BainsBane Jul 2016 #73
I guess even democracy has to be Bernsplained to us. RandySF Jul 2016 #80
Sanders lost because of the African-American vote oberliner Jul 2016 #88
Post removed Post removed Jul 2016 #101
That's true oberliner Jul 2016 #105
How'd that argument work out? BainsBane Jul 2016 #110
If the GOP becomes the party of economic populism TheFarseer Jul 2016 #89
I disagree ismnotwasm Jul 2016 #91
Ugh. A long, long post that simply regurgitates what BS supporters have said or implied all along: Squinch Jul 2016 #94
Agreed La Lioness Priyanka Jul 2016 #97
perfectly said, G_j Jul 2016 #99
why are you relitigating the primary? comradebillyboy Jul 2016 #106
Arguments such as this ignore several things Buzz cook Jul 2016 #107
Latest Discussions»Retired Forums»2016 Postmortem»Why Sanders lost, and why...»Reply #0