A Bad Case Against Sanders: Voter Turnoff

Since I’m discussing Democratic presidential candidates, I’ll offer my typical disclaimer that I’m currently leaning towards Warren. Anyway, last week Eric Alterman offered this as a reason to not support Sen. Bernie Sanders (boldface mine):

Sanders turned so negative toward Clinton that it hurt her in the general election. Even though he campaigned for her after he lost the nomination, roughly 12 percent of Sanders’s supporters switched to Trump, and enough of the rest supported Jill Stein’s kamikaze candidacy that it helped tip key states to Trump.

The problem is that a small fraction–with one exception–of losing primary supporters always switch parties (boldface mine):

For example, Schaffner tells NPR that around 12 percent of Republican primary voters (including 34 percent of Ohio Gov. John Kasich voters and 11 percent of Florida Sen. Marco Rubio voters) ended up voting for Clinton. And according to one 2008 study, around 25 percent of Clinton primary voters in that election ended up voting for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the general. (In addition, the data showed 13 percent of McCain primary voters ended up voting for Obama, and 9 percent of Obama voters ended up voting for McCain — perhaps signaling something that swayed voters between primaries and the general election, or some amount of error in the data, or both.)

Moreover, the Sanders to Trump voters weren’t likely to vote Democratic anyway. The reason I bring this up isn’t because someone is wrong on the internet (though it’s kind of shocking that it’s Alterman, whose Sound and Fury is a classic). Candidates should ‘go negative.’ Not over stupid stuff, but should Warren lay off Biden on his bankruptcy-related awfulness? Of course not. I’m sure others can think of similar examples. As long as we continue to think that negative campaigning is bad (and people really seem to have deep-sixed just how awful the 2008 Democratic primaries were), we’re not going to vet the nominee adequately.

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5 Responses to A Bad Case Against Sanders: Voter Turnoff

  1. Ron Zoscak
    Ron Zoscak says:

    I am so fed up with Hillary zealots blaming Bernie for 2016 that the only reason I have for voting in 2020 is my hatred of what Trump represents. I don’t hate Trump himself because he’s become so incoherent he’s just embarrassing.

  2. nicoleandmaggie – We rumble grumpily, 'cuz that's how we roll, yo.
    nicoleandmaggie says:

    I’m so fed up with Sanders zealots helping Russian propaganda to get Trump elected by continuing to attack HRC after Sanders bowed out. I don’t hate Sanders himself, but I do hate Trump and I am pissed off at the misogynists who helped to get him elected.

    If putting kids in concentration camps isn’t enough to get you to hate a white man, what is? What are your feelings on, say, Hitler? Do they have to be kids with white skin for you to hate someone? Or is even that not enough?

    • Ed Martin
      Ed says:

      The non-white world demands of the white man; “Lay down, for we cannot bear to stand in your shadow!”

  3. Ed Martin
    EWM says:

    The voting booth should reconfigure the ballot lever to a dildo and require the Helots to use their mouths to make the selection of their next master, it also provides a keen preview of things to come for the voter.

  4. anynameleft
    K says:

    As soon a bernie decided to help legitimize the faux propaganda channel he lost any hope of support from me.
    Same thing goes for buetieg and his rant against D voters who refuse to dive into the gutter to appeal to the knucle dragging trogalytes that are thuglican voters.
    Maybe with no likihood of a primary challenge coupled with increaseing number of “open” primary’s ( i.e. Washingon State) to demented donnie buttgieg is rerunning a variation of fatboy rushes stratagy of getting thuglicans to vote in D primary’s. So he ha decided that by deriding D voters and reveling in the human wte of thuglican voters that he might get enough of them to vote for him in primarys.
    Just auditioning for the role that jill stein and ralph nader filled in previous election fiasco’s.

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