[Marxism] Fwd: Perlstein: Conservatives drawn to a socialist senator
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Oct 23 06:25:42 MDT 2015
By Rick Perlsetein
Nate Silver has the Bernie Sanders campaign figured out. Ignore what
happens in Iowa and New Hampshire, the “data-driven” prognostication
wizard wrote back in July, when Sanders was polling a healthy 30 percent
to Clinton’s 46 percent in both contests. That’s only, Silver says,
because “Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa and Democratic primary voters
in New Hampshire are liberal and white, and that’s the core of Sanders’
Silver has a chart. It shows that when you multiply the number of
liberals and whites among state electorates, Vermont, New Hampshire, and
Iowa rank first, second, and third. Texas is near the bottom—a place
where Bernie Sanders should feel about as welcome as a La Raza
convention at the Alamo, right?
I have a new friend who begs to differ.
It’s July 20, and my airplane seat mate asks what brought me to Texas.
He is a construction company sales executive from Houston. He’s watching
Fox News on his cell phone. He tells me he considers himself a
conservative. I tell him I’m a political reporter covering the Bernie
Sanders campaign. He perks up: “I like what I’ve heard from him. Kind of
middle of the road.”
Eleven days later, I’m at a Bernie Sanders house party in the depressed
steel town of Griffith, Indiana, in a state that places in the bottom
quartile on Silver’s chart. I approach a young man in his twenties
wearing a thrift store T-shirt. I ask him what brings him here tonight.
“I’m just helping out my friends because they asked me to help out,” he
tells me. He adds that he’s a conservative: “But I approve of some of
the stuff that Bernie stands for. Like appealing to more than just the
one percent and just trying to give everybody a leg up who’s needing it
these days.” Data-driven analysis is only as good as the categories by
which you sift the information. If you’ve already decided that
“liberals” are the people who prefer locally sourced arugula to eating
at McDonald’s, or are the people who don’t watch Fox News, it is a
reasonable conclusion that there aren’t enough “liberals” out there to
elect Bernie Sanders. Yet political categories shift. One of the things
the best politicians do is work to shift them.
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