How The Mainstream Media And The DNC Are Hurting Bernie Sanders And Democrats Everywhere
It’s pretty amazing. If you turn on any of the major news outlets, you’d be led to believe that the Presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was over. All of the forecasts before, during, and after Super Tuesday, were that he should just give up now because he’s being crushed by Hillary Clinton. The problem is: There is no truth to that sentiment.
If you put on CNN, for example, they’ll show you a graphic that reads as follows:
Hillary Clinton: 1,052
Bernie Sanders: 427
You’d then be treated to dismissive news anchors, and smugly-grinning analysts talking about how Sanders should probably just pack it in. Meanwhile, here are the actual delegate counts:
ACTUAL DELEGATE COUNT (as of March 3)
Hillary Clinton: 596
Bernie Sanders: 407
Those inflated numbers you saw earlier included superdelegates. The thing is, superdelegates have only- at this point- promised to vote a particular way. They’re not beholden to the popular vote, per sé, and they don’t have to cast their ballots until the Democratic National Convention, which is still a ways off. It’s important to note that Clinton once held a healthy superdelegate lead over Barack Obama in 2008, and we all know how that turned out. Superdelegates are allowed to change their pledges, and they typically do so based on the final tally of popular votes, i.e. When the bulk of the American electorate has spoken. Therefore, if the American people make it known that Bernie is who they want, all of those superdelegates can swing his way.
That’s another thing that’s important to consider here: Only 15 states have voted so far. That’s not even half of the states involved in the process. Of those 15, Sanders has won five of them, and has practically tied Clinton in three others (Iowa, Nevada, and Massachusetts).
And if trends are worth following, then here’s one for you to chew on:
The more people get to know Sanders, the more they vote for him.
Sanders is a relative newcomer to the national spotlight, while Clinton is one of the most recognizable women on the planet earth. His campaign has gone from zero recognition, to levels that have forced Clinton’s campaign to stand back and take notice- forcing her to fight for victories she thought were already in the bag. And this has all just been in the last few months.
The reason that trend is worth noting is that Sanders intends to stick around for a while, allowing the rest of the country to get to know him and learn what he stands for, which is something the Clinton campaign is very scared of. It’s why she’s desperately trying to act like he’s a goner, and why the DNC- through their friends who run the major news outlets- want him to throw in the towel.
If Sanders can keep building on what he’s created, and Clinton continues to be an embattled focal point- with all of her current scandals, FBI investigations, disenchanted liberals/progressives, and attacks from the Right- then by the end of this primary season, there’s a very real possibility that Sanders will be the one to go on to the next round.
And that wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
According to Real Clear Politics, a source that’s constantly cited by influential talking heads, Sanders stands a better chance against Republican front-runner Donald Trump than Clinton does:
CURRENT GENERAL ELECTION SAMPLE MATCH-UPS (Hillary Clinton vs Each Republican Candidate) As of March 3.
Clinton v Trump: Clinton wins by 3.4%
Clinton v Cruz: Clinton loses by 1.5%
Clinton v Rubio: Clinton loses by 5%
Clinton v Kasich: Clinton loses by 7.4%
CURRENT GENERAL ELECTION SAMPLE MATCH-UPS (Bernie Sanders vs Each Republican Candidate) As of March 3.
Sanders v Trump: Sanders wins by 8%
Sanders v Cruz: Sanders wins by 9.7%
Sanders v Rubio: Sanders wins by 3.3%
Sanders v Kasich: Sanders wins by .5%
It should be noted that RCP generates these figures by creating an average of several major polls, meaning that it creates a fairly realistic outlook on where the country is.
Sanders beats all of the Republican candidates. Clinton loses to three out of four, and the one victory she’d notch- if the elections were held today- would be against Trump, meanwhile Sanders’ margin of victory over him doubles hers- while hers falls within the margin of error.
Yet the mainstream media somehow manages to miss hitting this point home. Instead, you hear that Clinton scored a “sweep” on Super Tuesday and should now start focusing on Trump. You hear that Sanders is more of a message candidate, and not really a viable option.
Where Have All The Voters Gone?
Interestingly, talk of Sanders’ supposed futility runs parallel to talk of how voter turnout on the Democratic side is lagging. While Republicans are seeing record numbers at all of their caucuses and primaries, the Democrats are nowhere near the levels they were at for the 2008 elections. Yet no one seems to make this one simple connection:
Democrats aren’t voting because you’ve been telling them for months that the race is already over.
If you’re a voter who’s on the fence, but leaning one way or the other, why would you bother to go to the polls when every news outlet is telling you that its a foregone conclusion? You’re more likely to find something else to do, because if you support Hillary, “She’s got this,” and if you support Bernie, “He’s got no realistic shot,” so you feel your vote ultimately doesn’t matter.
It’s the double-edged sword in the media’s handling of Bernie Sanders. On one hand, they’ve succeeded in making Clinton seem unstoppable. On the other, they’ve made the Democratic side of the race for President lack any urgency or require any further consideration.
It’s Far From Over.
In an act that should send a message to those acting like his campaign is dead, Sanders sent out an email to his supporters on Wednesday morning after all of the Super Tuesday results were in that bore the title “The Political Revolution Has Begun.” That’s right. According to Sanders, based on his strong showing so far, his campaign is only getting started.
Keep all this in mind next time a talking head scoffs at Senator Sanders on the air. If you’re a believer in his message, make no mistake about it: Sanders is a viable candidate, and could trounce anyone on the Republican side.
He’s in this for the long haul, and Clinton’s campaign could very well go up in flames by the time all is said and done. With a former aide of hers, Bryan Pagliano, just being granted immunity before he’s willing to speak with the FBI for their current investigation into her, who knows how damaging his testimony is going to be? If he has nothing to hide, and what he did for Clinton- as her aide- is not illegal, then why did he Plead the Fifth at a prior hearing? Why is he only going to speak on a condition of immunity?
There’s definitely a campaign that may soon have to pack it in. Thing is, it’s not the one they’re saying it is.
You can follow Mario-Francisco Robles on Twitter: I_AM_MFR