blueollie

Democratic infighting 2016: Desperation is not pretty

Ah, I remember the good old days when I was siding with Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton. Clinton was trailing in the pledged delegate count and was getting desperate. So the surrogates took shots at the Obama supporters: coalition of “African Americans and eggheads”: (Paul Begala)

“Latte drinking, Prius driving, Birkenstock wearing trust fund babies”:

Well, fast forward 8 years later and now the shoe is on the other foot.

*I* (and millions of Democrats like me) am backing Hillary Clinton, who is even further head in the pledged delegate race. While I am not engaged in any family fights this time (as I was in 2008) there are those that are.

And the Sanders campaign is getting desperate. Witness the excuse making from Robert Reich:

Regardless of how well Bernie does in New York today, you’ll be hearing another round of “the Democratic primary is over” blather from the mainstream media. Don’t believe a word of it.

Bernie’s national poll numbers are surging. The enthusiasm behind him is growing. His fundraising is gaining. Future primaries look good, especially California’s giant one June 7. Before New York he won 7 of the last 8 primaries and caucuses.

Besides, there’s almost no possibility Hillary Clinton can accumulate the 2,383 delegates she needs in order to put her over the top before the Democratic convention — without the Democratic insider “superdelegates” she’s relying on.

But those superdelegates aren’t officially pledged to vote for her, and if Bernie’s popularity keeps growing, and hers keeps dropping, those superdelegates may feel compelled to switch. (The latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll gives Bernie a net positive rating but Hillary Clinton is rated favorably by only 32 percent compared to a 56 percent negative score — her lowest rating since the poll started tracking her favorability in January 2001.)

That is just plain irresponsible.

Yes, Sanders has won 7 of the last 8 primaries and caucuses, but of the 7 states he won,

Quite a few people seem confused about the current state of the Democratic nomination race. But the essentials are simple: Hillary Clinton has a large lead in both pledged delegates and the popular vote so far. (In Democratic primaries, delegate allocation is roughly proportional to votes.) If you ask how that’s possible — Bernie Sanders just won seven states in a row! — you need to realize that those seven states have a combined population of about 20 million. Meanwhile, Florida alone also has about 20 million people — and Mrs. Clinton won it by a 30-point margin.

Future primaries look good? Which ones? I’ve linked to fivethirtyeight.com and listed the results of April polls (polling period ended in April)

Pennsylvania? (Clinton by 22, 6, 11)

Maryland? (Clinton by 15 and 22)

California (Clinton by 6, 14, 12)

Now about the claim for 2383 delegates: note that there are only 4051 pledged delegates to be had and 712 “superdelegates” (party leaders; not the ones that are voted for). One needs a majority of these one needs 2382 delegates. Now to reach 2382 without the help of the superdelegates one would need 58.8 percent of the total of pledged delegates.

So, is that Reich’s bar for Hillary Clinton: she needs 58.8 percent of the pledged delegates? The reality is that she has a lead of about 210 pledged delegates and is poised to add to that lead both tonight and next Tuesday.

What is true is that Sanders has mostly caught up in NATIONAL polls..just not in the polls of the upcoming big primary states that he really needs to win (see the above links)

The most charitable one can say about Reich’s rhetoric is that it is political spin and advocacy; it sure as heck ins’t sound political analysis.

Now the campaigns are really getting snippy:

hillarystretchestherulessaysbernie

And the Clinton response:

hillarysayshedidnt

No, Clinton’s PAC fundraising isn’t violating any laws:

At the heart of the matter is a claim that the fundraising effort may be improperly subsidizing the Clinton campaign. A letter sent by Brad Deutsch, the Sanders campaign attorney, to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, suggests that money spent by the fund has benefited the Clinton campaign in a way that could constitute “an impermissible in-kind contribution from the DNC and the participating state party committees.” The fund “appears to operate in a way that skirts legal limits on federal campaign donations and primarily benefits the Clinton presidential campaign,” a press release sent out by the Sanders campaign warned.

That doesn’t mean that the allegations are true. “It looks like basically sour grapes,” said Brett Kappel, a campaign-finance lawyer not affiliated with any presidential campaign. “He’s complaining that he’s being treated unfairly by the DNC, and I’m sure it appears that way to him, but joint-fundraising committees can be set up to raise money in just this way.” Election-law expert Rick Hasen wrote on his blog that “legally this seems weak.”

For Sanders, it could still be smart politics. It’s bold for a Democratic presidential candidate to take on the Democratic Party in the midst of a primary election. But it’s not unprecedented for the Sanders campaign, which has gotten into dust-ups with the DNC before. The most obvious risk is that the accusations will create friction between the campaign and the party. If Sanders makes it to the general election, he will likely need institutional support from establishment Democrats. Still, while it might be devastating for most Democratic candidates to pick a fight with the DNC, the tension could actually benefit the senator’s White House run.

Yes, Senator Sanders is a good fundraiser and he is using this to shake the money tree.

But none of this is going to get him to half of the pledged delegates.

April 19, 2016 - Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social | , ,

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