May 11, 2016

Is Bernie Sanders "prolonging" the primary season or fighting to win?

He says he's fighting to win, but the NYT headline is "Bernie Sanders Wins West Virginia, Prolonging Race With Hillary Clinton." First paragraph of the story:
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont captured the West Virginia primary on Tuesday, forcing Hillary Clinton to continue a costly and distracting two-front battle: to lock down the Democratic nomination and to take on Donald J. Trump in the general election. 
That's so blatantly reporting the news from Hillary's point of view. Sanders won again. He has a path to victory. If Cruz were still hanging on and had beaten Trump in a primary, I'm pretty sure the headline would stress Cruz's valiant fight and his path to victory. But here's Sanders, with all his astounding success, and he's treated like a pest. And I doubt if it even does Hillary any good. Does it make anyone like her more to portray her as distracted by Bernie and annoyed at having to spend money because of him? We're supposed to see her raring to "take on" Trump when she can't begin to shake off Sanders?
Mrs. Clinton has a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates, which Mr. Sanders’s victory, one week after he won Indiana, did little to narrow.... In Oregon, which votes next week, Mr. Sanders appealed to unpledged superdelegates, who can cast votes as they please at the convention, to rally behind him as the stronger opponent to Mr. Trump.
Wait a minute. The lead is only "nearly insurmountable" because of the superdelegates, and those people can shift around, as they did in '08. Sanders isn't limited to winning over the ones who are currently "unpledged." The "pledged" superdelegates can switch if they want and are influenced by what happens in the primaries and caucuses.

Here's a CNN news report from exactly 8 years ago, May 11, 2008, "Obama narrows Clinton superdelegate lead to 1":
Sen. Hillary Clinton's superdelegate lead over Sen. Barack Obama was narrowed even more Saturday, according to CNN's latest delegate estimate. Obama closed to within one superdelegate of Clinton, picking up the support of four party leaders after a flurry of new endorsements over the past two days. Clinton, meanwhile, picked up the votes of two superdelegates but lost one to Obama. That brings Clinton's superdelegate total to 273 and Obama's to 272. At the beginning of the year, Clinton led the superdelegate race by more than 100....
Given the fluidity of the superdelegates, their responsiveness to democratic results, and this recent history of shifting sides, why does the NYT forefront Hillary's "a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates," merging the superdelegates with the delegates she's won democratically and segmenting off the so-called "unpledged superdelegates"? Why is Sanders diminished as if he is only selfishly messing up the Democratic Party's winning game?

51 comments:

Daniel Richwine said...

Yes I noticed a while ago how Trump, who has for quite a while had a clearer path to actual victory the Clinton, has been treated by all media as a very uncertain candidate while Clinton was shown as inevitable even as she lost state after state.
I'm just sick of how it has all been reported. Sick.

tim in vermont said...

There are a lot of reasons Hillary can't "close the deal." I think part of it is that millennials grew up in households listening to their parents, even Democrats, bitch about the Clintons in private in ways they never would in public.

Her ham handed promise to shut down mines and throw miners out of work certainly didn't help her. She can't walk it back because everybody knows she's a liar. Everybody knew Bill was a liar too, but they always figured he was lying to the other people, not to them. Hillary doesn't get off that easy. She's not the trickster her husband was. She's a bumbling fool with a bloody and disastrous record as Secretary of State.

Oh yeah, another story came out today, but I am sure it didn't have anything to do with West Virginia.

One morning after Bill took liberties with an unwilling Arkansas woman the woman received a call. It was from Hillary, who inquired anxiously, “Is there anything I can do for you after last night?” That call was anxious but friendly.

In the 90s, the press would have demanded the name of the accuser, so she could be publicly shamed. Seriously, that's how they Clintons operated. Things are different now. Every time Clinton goes on about women's rights, it just brings this stuff to mind.

Whatever you can say about Trump, he seems to genuinely respect women in ways that Hillary doesn't.

tim in vermont said...

Facebook defended their "curating" of news stories by saying that they gave extra weight to what the New York Times would print. So that relieves them of any charge of bias... LO FUCKING L.

JAORE said...

Such a puzzle.... whatever could it be.... such a puzzle.

Oso Negro said...

The New York Times unequivocally supports the election of Democrats as President of the United States. Bernie Sanders maybe setting the campus radicals ablaze, but I am sure the NYT editorial board does not see him as a strong or even desirable candidate in the general election. Ergo the "Hillary the inevitable" narrative and associated spin.

traditionalguy said...

Hillary relies on the woman card. It's all she's got; and that includes sympathy for an attractive woman having to put up with a strange man with no chance bothering her.

Brando said...

The Times is a disgrace--they are essentially the Clinton newsletter. And frankly, any reporting that treats the superdelegates as anything other than the free agents that they are is journalistic malpractice. If Hillary were indicted tomorrow, does anyone doubt those superdelegates would shift decisively away from her?

Sanders has every reason to stay in this race because with each win he gets more news coverage (even dismissive coverage like from the Times) that reminds people of what he's running for and reminds them that he has the heart of the Left. Hillary is as flummoxed by this as she was by Obama in '08, proving she learned nothing from that experience.

Watching the Trump/Hillary race is like watching two boxers trying to take a dive at the same time. Ultimately, one has to win, but it will be no sign of tactical brilliance--only that the opponent managed to lose.

Birkel said...

More feigned onfusion?

Please, Althouse.

shiloh said...

"He has a path to victory."

What's his path to victory? Ironically, if the Super Delegates didn't exist they would be calculated/prorated into all the state primaries and caucuses and Hillary would still be ahead.

Indeed, as Sanders should have promised more free stuff from the get-go for a bigger % of the younth vote.

Althouse I get it that your totally anti-Hillary, so you're pro-Sanders by default, but now you're just sounding silly.

ok, ok, you've been sounding silly since you predicted Romney's decisive win in 2012.

David said...

Hillary's lead is nearly insurmountable because of pledged delegates.

tim in vermont said...

Shill-o comes to Hillary's aid to explain that the Democrat base shouldn't be allowed a voice and that they aren't really using reason. Go ahead and deny them their voice and watch them notice that Trump is a moderate who listens, who "loves the poorly educated" and isn't beholden to a machine that doesn't have most of these kids best interests at heart.

"Free college" is nothing more than a cry to be released from the bondage the kids liberal professors, who mostly live enviable lives, and the Title IX rule enforcement expenses that people like Hillary have imposed on their schools to "help them."

shiloh said...

Let the record show tim in v didn't disagree with anything I said.

And your "shiloh" fetish is quite embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as Althouse Hillary fetish. A close call ...

Brando said...

"What's his path to victory? Ironically, if the Super Delegates didn't exist they would be calculated/prorated into all the state primaries and caucuses and Hillary would still be ahead."

Why not view the superdelegates for what they really are--a backstop for the party to weigh for whoever they think is the better candidate to win and the better candidate to promote the party's agenda? In that view, whatever the supers say now is irrelevant, as they can make their decision after the primary voting is done and can even decide en masse to back Sanders if they think he's a better bet than Hillary.

Obviously, they could just as easily decide to stick with Hillary, but all this talk of them going down with the ship when Hillary is the weakest candidate they put up since Dukakis or before is just Clintonite spin. They tried the same thing eight years ago, and to his credit Obama bulled on and pulled the upset.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary relies on the woman card. It's all she's got; and that includes sympathy for an attractive woman having to put up with a strange man with no chance bothering her.

I can see you are trying to make a point, but who is the "attractive woman"?

Hillary?

Hillary always had a willing cadre of fellow enablers, from the Arkansan Betsey Wright to her Washington insider, Sidney Blumenthal. Betsey and Hillary worked on abused women down in Arkansas: Jennifer Flowers, Connie Hamzy, Paula Jones, the aforementioned Broaddrick, and many many more. Blumenthal worked with Hillary in Washington: on Kathleen Willey, on Monica Lewinsky — Blumenthal called her a “stalker.” There were many others.

Carl Bernstein writes in his book, The Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, “There could be no question that Hillary was Bill’s fiercest defender in preventing his other women from creating trouble.” And he goes on, “She never doubted that if the women, and the enemies who used them, succeeded or became too visible and credible, the whole edifice could come down…”

Dick Morris, Clinton’s former aide, adds: “… [Hillary] hired this fleet of detectives to go around examining all the women who had been identified with Clinton. Not for the purpose of divorcing Clinton. Not for the purpose of getting him to stop, but for the purpose of developing blackmail material on these women to cow them into silence that had a Nixonian quality.” Come on, Dick, lay off of Nixon,


He forgot to mention Shilo among the willing cadre of enablers.

tim in vermont said...

Let the record show tim in v didn't disagree with anything I said

Let the record show that "shilo" is blind to sarcasm.

shiloh said...

Indeed, I'm a Hillary enabler just like Althouse is a Trump enabler as tim in v continues to embarrass himself!

tim in vermont said...

I promise you shilo, anybody else comes on here defending that witch, I will have at them too. Except it seems you are kind of a lonely voice, even among the liberals and lefties here. Same as I have noticed in real life, where I know only two people who I am guessing privately support Clinton, and none, and almost every one of my friends is a Democrat, none who will publicly speak out for her.

I also don't understand why examining a person's record who, by your account anyway, is guaranteed to be the next POTUS is somehow a fetish.

tim in vermont said...

Indeed, I'm a Hillary enabler just like Althouse is a Trump enabler as tim in v continues to embarrass himself!

One of us is an idiot. To be called a moron by an idiot is one of the supreme pleasures in life, I think a French lady said that. So, your welcome.

shiloh said...

tim in v

You really are fucking stupid! I'm voting for Hillary, but please show me where I've defended Hillary. Elections again, come down to choices and yes at a 95/5 con blog you probably won't find many who are voting for Hillary period. Shocking!

Did I mention you're really fucking stupid!

pm317 said...

Super delegates are there in the first place, to prevent Bernie like people getting the nomination. He is making them look bad, he is making the party he is not part of look bad. They never should have let him run.

tim in vermont said...

Did I mention you're really fucking stupid!

Thanks again.

Bob said...

It is costing Clinton her tribal prestige. Bernie voters will not vote for Trump. They have no choice but to vote for Clinton. Many will stay home in disgust.

The Clinton wing of the party is starting to look like a bunch of old 60's retreads who have as much trouble with their young as Republicans.

shiloh said...

Again, let the record show tim in v hasn't disagreed w/anything I said including thanking me for calling him stupid. The prosecution rests.

mezzrow said...

Given the fluidity of the superdelegates, their responsiveness to democratic results, and this recent history of shifting sides, why does the NYT forefront Hillary's "a nearly insurmountable lead in delegates," merging the superdelegates with the delegates she's won democratically and segmenting off the so-called "unpledged superdelegates"? Why is Sanders diminished as if he is only selfishly messing up the Democratic Party's winning game?

I know that you know that I know that you know the answer to this question, too.

Really. Professor. (shakes head)

Browndog said...

They never should have let him run.

I think "made him run" is more accurate. Somebody had to pretend to oppose Clinton to quash the narrative that she is per-ordained.

Some kook with no shot at challenging her, let alone win anything.

Who knew 4 years of college indoctrination would be so effective so soon?

Eleanor said...

The superdelegates dragged Obama across the finish line in 2008. They could have dragged Hillary across instead. As long as Bernie's pledged delegates plus all of the superdelegates added together is enough to secure the nomination, and she doesn't have enough pledged delegates to win w/o the supers, he's just as eligible to get the nomination as Hillary is. And Hillary Clinton knows that better than anyone else.

pm317 said...

Many Bernie voters have said that they voted for him to only send a message and that they know he won't win the General. It is like Althouse voting for Cruz but thank the Lord, that it didn't stick on the right and Cruz is gone. It easily leads to unintended consequences when you don't vote for or against the person.

Bob Boyd said...

Hillary's problem is how does Bernie bow out without creating suspicion and an angry backlash, without undoing everything he was put in the race to do?

Develop health problems?

The press is doing everything they can to spin him as hopeless now, but people aren't buying it. The press burned through so much credibility getting Obama elected twice and propping him up all these years. The Bernie voters approved, but they still know the press can't be trusted.

Of course Hillary can't just go out on the campaign trail and win. Nobody wants to hear her cackle and screech. She's repulsive.

Martha said...

That mean old white haired man who yells too much is delaying Hillary! from moving into her safe place—the White House.
Hillary! has put up with marauding men off the reservation for decades. Bernie does not get that Hillary! is entitled to a coronation—not a contested primary goddammit!

Phil 3:14 said...

The repeated reporting of "the Superdelegates for Hillary" says to me

We, the Democratic Party establishment picked Hillary, a long time ago.

Isn't the Democratic Party elite being out of step with a large proportion of its voters as newsworthy as the Republican Party being out of setp?

pm317 said...

@Bob Boyd, yeah -- how does he get out when he is winning? She should just go on with her campaign and dare him/them to nominate him.

AllenS said...

Bob said...
Bernie voters will not vote for Trump. They have no choice but to vote for Clinton. Many will stay home in disgust.

I've been wondering how much of this has been going on with Sanders "voters".

Read this from NBC News

Bob Boyd said...

"how does he get out when he is winning?"

And does he want out?

MaxedOutMama said...

Of course you are right. I would hazard that this article comes straight from the Hillary Clinton campaign, and is aimed at preventing the superdelegates from reevaluating.

Sanders is currently only behind by 286 delegates awarded by voting. This race is not over yet.

Meeeea said...

Sanders has quite the pull with the 20-something crowd. As mentioned above, maybe it's due to him being the only alternative to the old screechy woman that's difficult to warm up to--most of the ones I've encountered brush off all the email, Benghazi, and Billy boy antics as right-wing propaganda, so I'm guessing it must come down to a personality choice for them.

A shocker was when I talked to my 26 y.o. son on Mother's Day. Though an independent, he has always voted R. When he said Sanders I was floored--and said "son, he's a socialist!!" he replied, "now Mom, that's a bit extreme" and I replied "no really, he is an avowed socialist, and was registered as such until last year"--he paused for a moment and I could tell he was leaving it at Mom's just being extreme. After, I thought about it, and when would they have heard that in the MSM or on FB feeds? They wouldn't. And did/does Clinton use that against him in her campaign? Nope. Just as Bernie doesn't use the big things against her.

My son has changed quite a bit since he was in college, is addicted to pot (people freak and claim pot is never addictive--BS!) and he moved to Colorado a few years ago. I'm guessing Bernie supports total decriminalization, and that, along with all the freebies, might be why he and so many young people support him. But In the big picture, I wonder if it's more than that. In addition to the wanting an easy life (lazy), maybe they are tired and fed up with all of the political drama they see incessantly on social media, and think that will all go away and everything will be peace and love if Bernie is President. They don't understand it takes work to remain free. Trying to look at it from their perspective, wouldn't a Trump, Cruz, or Clinton represent work, as well as continued drama between the parties? No one has made the case to them that Sanders would also be divisive, ergo they see him as benign, and almost as a bridge-building nice kinda quiet guy that will stop all the noise and make things cheaper and easier.

Bruce Hayden said...

Feel a bit weird about commenting on the opposition, but plenty of Dem supporters comment on Trump, telling us why he is going to buried by Herself.

Yes, most of the SuperDelegates have announced for Hillary, but they had done so last time around for her, then switched for Obama. Bernie supporters have said that they will revolt if Hillary gets the nomination solely because of them. If they win the most bound delegates, they have said they expect the nomination. Which means that this whole thing is misinformation by Hillary people. They want the Sanders to give up, so that they don't face that prospect, and she can pivot towards Trump, as he has pivoted to her.

Maybe this threat of revolt is an empty threat. It would be if the Republican nominee were almost anyone else. But a surprising number of Sanders supporters have indicated a preference for Trump, and even if they don't vote for him, many may not vote for her either. Her side is just assuming that they will fall in line. I think that they may be deceiving themselves. We shall see.

One other thing that is involved here is that Herself is under investigation by the FBI for her email hijinks. What happens if they recommend prosecution? Will she be elected if that happens? If a nakedly politized DoJ refuses to prosecute (and we get some high ranking resignations, along with a lot of leaks as a result)? Are the SuperDelegates going to stick with her in such a situation? Sticking in there may give Sanders the inside track in such a situation, making it hard for the Dems to substitute in anyone else (like Slo Joe Biden). Kinda like what Kasich was doing on the Rep side.

Brando said...

"Sanders is currently only behind by 286 delegates awarded by voting. This race is not over yet."

I see the function of superdelegates to be able to tip the scales of any candidate where no one has a supermajority of earned delegates by the end of the primaries. So if you're far and away the leader among earned delegates, the supers are irrelevant. But in a case like this where neither Clinton nor Sanders can clinch it without superdelegates, then the supers have to decide which candidate is better for the party's interests.

Who can make the better case? The consistent leftist populist who seems to have the energy? Or the dull anti-charismatic who has all the connections?

pm317 said...

And does he want out?

Right, I don't think he does. That is what is the problem. He and his supporters think he can win and GOVERN!

Rae said...

It's all theater, although they haven't told the berniebots. He has to stay in as the backstop until Clinton is out of legal jeopardy. Once that happens, he'll bow out.

Eric said...

Why? Because the New York Times officially changed its motto to "All in for Hillary!" two years ago.

Big Mike said...

Anyone who is still reading the New York Times for objective news and/or accurate political reporting at this point is just a total nincompoop.

AllenS said...

nincompoop

You're being too kind, Big Mike.

Jim Gust said...

Here's what is going to happen.

Bernie will win California, and end nearly tied for bound delegates.

Hillary will be indicted the week before the convention.

The superdelegates will abstain in the early rounds of voting. Loads of acrimony at the contested convention.

The rescue team of Biden/Warren will be airlifted in to "heal" the Democrat party and take the fight to the Trumpster.

Warren has already entered the twitter arena. So you know this will be the result.

Trump will have to come up with a whole new game plan on short notice. Should be interesting.

AllenS said...

Jim Gust said...
Trump will have to come up with a whole new game plan on short notice. Should be interesting.

How about a nice game of Cowboys and Indians?

Skeptical Voter said...

Being a California resident and voting in one of the last primaries, my primary vote doesn't count for more than a popcorn poot in a windstorm. But being in the #NeverHillary camp, and a registered Democrat, this year I get to vote against her twice. Bernie is a certified loon, but he has my vote in the primary. And the Republicans could run Chuckles the Clown against Hillary and I would vote for Chuckles.

But waut--isn't that what's happening?

tim in vermont said...

Exquisite pleasure indeed.

Bruce Hayden said...

I just don't see Biden or Warren being viable as long as Sanders is in the race. Or even together. This is very similar to the wet dream that the GOPe had of parachuting Mitt Romney into the nomination at the convention. Then, the Trump people were threatening to revolt. This case, it is all those Sanders people. I think it is a viable fear - a lot of his supporters are not that invested in the Dem party that they might not sit out the election, or vote for Trump.

The more I see today, the more I think that this is a case of desperate spin and misinformation on the part of the Hillary campaign. She blew it 8 years ago, and the momentum seems to be with Sanders. Today, Drudge has a headline "she loses again". Not good for Herself.

mccullough said...

Sanders campaign has a lot of money. He's not giving it back and is still accepting donations. So he's going to spend it just as he spends our tax dollars. Hillary's 2008 campaign ended in debt. Sanders campaign won't. He's flush with $$$.

Telling his supporters to hang it up is futile. Huge disconnect between the Dem establishment and Bernie's supporters. They don't like Hillary. Most people don't, including her husband

Brando said...

"I just don't see Biden or Warren being viable as long as Sanders is in the race. Or even together. This is very similar to the wet dream that the GOPe had of parachuting Mitt Romney into the nomination at the convention. Then, the Trump people were threatening to revolt. This case, it is all those Sanders people. I think it is a viable fear - a lot of his supporters are not that invested in the Dem party that they might not sit out the election, or vote for Trump."

I don't see why Sanders should be unacceptable for the Dems. The things that make normal people think "far-left dreamer" are features, not bugs, for the Democrats. How is he any less acceptable than Warren, who is also a leftist-populist? Or Biden, who may be more "moderate" but is a gaffe-prone dunce and no proven vote winner?

Sanders has proven to be the only Democrat who gets any excitement this cycle, and unlike Trump he hasn't deviated from the Democrats' ideological principles. They may as well nominate him.

The only reason I could see for voting for Hillary is if you've invested in her influence machine and are hoping to get it to pay off when she takes power. Otherwise it's triangulating mush.

mockturtle said...

If Sanders isn't in it to win, he should be. I am a Trump supporter but I think Bernie has more voter appeal than does Hillary and would give Trump a tougher race.

Jonathan Graehl said...

shiloh, why do you seek attention in this way? it's sad.