[Marxism] Sanders's "turnout" strategy not working
1999wildcat at gmail.com
Tue Feb 25 06:42:50 MST 2020
Sanders is building his base, especially among black and Latino voters. But
his claim that he will win by bringing new voters to the polls, does not
seem to be confirmed by the facts so far. Here's a review in the NY Times
of the recent elections:
"CHARLESTON, S.C. — It is the most politically provocative part of Senator
Bernie Sanders’s campaign pitch: that his progressive movement will bring
millions of nonvoters into the November election, driving record turnout
especially among disaffected working-class Americans and young people.
And yet despite a virtual tie in Iowa, a narrow victory in New Hampshire
and a big triumph in Nevada, the first three nominating contests reveal a
fundamental challenge for Mr. Sanders’s political revolution: He may be
winning, but not because of his longstanding pledge to expand the
The results so far show that Mr. Sanders has prevailed by broadening his
appeal among traditional Democratic voters, not by fundamentally
transforming the electorate.
In Iowa, for instance, turnout for the caucuses was lower than expected, up
3 percent compared with 2016, and the increase was concentrated in more
well-educated areas where Mr. Sanders struggled, according to a New York
Times analysis; in the Iowa precincts where Mr. Sanders won, turnout
increased by only 1 percentage point.
There was no sign of a Sanders voter surge in New Hampshire either, nor on
Saturday in Nevada, where the nearly final results indicated that turnout
would finish above 2016 but well short of 2008 levels, despite a decade of
population growth and a new early voting option that attracted some 75,000
voters. The low numbers are all the more striking given the huge turnout in
the 2018 midterm elections, which was the highest in a century.
There was also no clear evidence across the early states of much greater
participation by young people, a typically low-turnout group that makes up
a core part of Mr. Sanders’s base and that he has long said he can motivate
to get out to the polls. And Mr. Sanders has struggled to overcome his
longstanding weakness in affluent, well-educated suburbs, where Democrats
excelled in the midterm elections and where many traditionally Republican
voters are skeptical about President Trump’s performance, meaning they
could be up for grabs in November.
Because the moderate wing opposing Mr. Sanders, a Vermont liberal, is so
fragmented, the lower-than-hoped-for turnout has not slowed his ascent.
Sanders aides point to the simple fact that he has won, finishing atop all
three states with a coalition of young people, working-class voters and
people of color — which was crucial to his victory in Nevada. And they say
it is still early.
But many Democrats believe that for a general election, their nominee will
need to pull in new voters, including those who sat out 2016 and moderate
Republicans repelled by Mr. Trump. Even some inside the Sanders campaign
expressed concern about the race’s initial turnout....
The share of the electorate made up of first-time Democratic voters also
decreased in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada compared with 2016. And unlike
four years ago, when Mr. Sanders mobilized far more first-time voters than
Hillary Clinton did (averaging a 30-point lead over Mrs. Clinton across the
three states), he had only a modest 10-point edge over his closest rival,
Mr. Buttigieg, in that metric this time around.
Among young people, entrance poll data showed that the share of those
voters remained essentially unchanged across the three early states.
Participation was basically flat in precincts and townships in New
Hampshire and Iowa where 18- to 24-year-olds made up more than 50 percent
of the population.... "
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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