Still Blaming Bernie

August 24, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: 2016 Election, Flamethrower

Yesterday, Newsweek published a story accusing Bernie voters of tipping the 2016 election to Trump.  It uses data from the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey, compiled by Political Wire, that showed that, indeed, 10% of Bernie primary voters went for Trump in the general. It then goes into a swing state analysis that showed that Trump’s winning margin was less than the Bernie’s voters who went for Trump.  The implication was clear – stubborn Bernie voters wrecked Hillary’s bid for the presidency.  How evil they were and inconsiderate of Hillary and all of her supporters.  Fair enough.

There was an interesting mention, though, of a few not insignificant details at the very end of the article…First, the 10% of Bernie voters that went for Trump paled in comparison to the TWENTY FIVE percent of Hillary voters who went for McCain in 2008 (hypocrisy, anyone?).  More important, and one that I hadn’t realized was so large, was that almost 30% of Bernie voters were actually self identified Republican or leaned Republican.  Conversely, Hillary only attracted about 6 or 7% of the same demographic.

So, was it Bernie and his evil bots who wrecked Hillary’s election, or was it actually the fact that Hillary failed to attract the same demographic that Bernie did?  Trump certainly attracted a wide demographic of support.  Bernie attracted a wide demographic of support.  Hillary simply did not.  So, should the headline of the Newsweek article have been BERNIE SANDERS VOTERS HELPED TRUMP WIN AND HERE’S PROOF,  or should it have been HILLARY CLINTON LOST BECAUSE SHE FAILED TO ATTRACT A WIDER DEMOGRAPHIC THAN TRUMP?

I know the answer, but Hillary’s supporters, and many in the party, still cling to the myth that Bernie wrecked her election.  The inconvenient truth is that the numbers are the numbers and they speak for themselves; this lesson must be learned by the Democratic party lest it have to re-learn it in 2020.

I’m not holding my breath.