Why Bernie Lost

One thing that the Democratic primary should have made clear to everyone is that no one is ever again going to be able to win the nomination unless they can attract the votes of African Americans, Latinos, and women.  From the outset it was clear to me that Senator Sanders was going to lose because his appeal was primarily to white men.   And there just aren’t enough of them to select the Democratic nominee on their own anymore.  There aren’t enough of them to elect a president on their own either, which is why the Republicans are in the fix their in.

As usual, Paul Krugman says it better.  He’s worth a read.

Also, while Senator Sanders’ record on reproductive rights is fine, his first speech after winning the primaries would not have been at Planned Parenthood, an organization he called “establishment.”  This speech rocked.




7 responses to “Why Bernie Lost

  1. Jane Gagle-Bennett

    I found his calling PP and NARAL “the establishment” very irritating – if both were establishment, we wouldn’t still be fighting Roe v. Wade. That’s one of the reasons he didn’t appeal to me. I think that “can’t win by just appealing to white men” is news to a lot of people on the left – it shouldn’t be.

  2. She’s simply amazing.

  3. I have respected Paul Krugman for quite some time. Your reference to his article was most informative and he is generally correct. Hopefully we can all work to make sure he is correct. Thanks for your post and his article.

  4. While the demographics of the American electorate has shifted away from older white men to being much more diverse. However, both Nate Silver of five thirty-eight fame and Nate Cohn at the NYT’s Upshot seem to feel that the electorate is more old white men than thought. Both go through some impressive data mining to establish this thesis.

    There is a narrow road to victory on the backs of white men, but it is not very likely.

    This election is shaping up to be an amazing affair. It has been and continues to be the most entertaining of my lifetime.


  5. There is perhaps a deeper lesson here. While black activists I respect have argued that Clinton is not a real supporter of their causes, Sanders has not convinced nearly enough black voters that he would provide a better alternative.

    Pundits have copious evidence of the impact of negative campaigns. Is there perhaps a glimmer of hope that positive information might actually have some value? I don’t think we will see enough of it this year to tell, but I remain hopeful.

  6. TPWard, neither Secretary Clinton nor Senator Sanders ran negative campaigns and, to the extent there was any negativity, it was directed from the Sanders camp towards Clinton. African Americans evaluated the evidence and preferred Secretary Clinton. I don’t believe that you meant it this way, but the implication of what you say is that most African Americans simply didn’t have enough information to make the “right” choice, i.e., the one that white millennial men and some activists think they should have made. That attitude is part of the reason Senator Sanders lost among African Americans.

  7. Well, this witch found Sanders wonderful because he called out parts of our politics that have not been named explicitly. And while I’m white, I’m not a white man.

    I’m responding to your original remark that Sanders lost because he appealed to white men. There were plenty of women and people of color in the crowd when I went to hear him speak. I live in CA……so our votes are like yours in Washington DC, after the AP called the election for Hilary. We’ll never know what the numbers might have been if they had had respect for the DNC’s request not to count the superdelegates in the predictions.

    Water under the dam as they say. Sanders got millions of votes. The things he brought to the table should NOT BE IGNORED. If they are, it’s quite a message to those millions of us from the Democratic Party.

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