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Bernie Sanders and Rigged Elections: Sometimes You Just Lose

Hillary Clinton has a strong lead by any measure, but many supporters of Bernie Sanders continue to believe that it’s because the primary system was designed to help her. Credit Left, Eric Thayer for The New York Times; Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The 2016 Race
Bernie Sanders and Rigged Elections: Sometimes You Just Lose


Each week, Nate Cohn, The Upshot’s elections analyst, and Toni Monkovic, an Upshot editor, will discuss the 2016 race and post a lightly edited transcript of their written exchange. The Democratic primary season has led to some grumbling from supporters of Bernie Sanders that the primary system is rigged. This week, we start on that subject, and look ahead to the California contest on June 7.


Toni: There is a perception among a lot of his followers that the election system is rigged. What about some of the examples they cite, like the Brooklyn voter purge in the New York primary?

Nate: Well, I think the first thing that’s important to acknowledge is that the American election system is a disaster. It’s administered at the local level, by thousands of jurisdictions across the country. It’s often grossly underfunded. Voter registration systems are truly a mess. Put it all together, and we have a very ineffective voting system that always produces a steady stream of errors.

That said, these errors are not really signs that our elections are rigged.

With Brooklyn, the Board of Elections purged more than 100,000 voters just ahead of the election. This shouldn’t happen: Purges should happen well ahead of an election.

But did it affect the race? Not really. The people who get “purged” from voter rolls are “inactive” voters — people who haven’t voted in two straight elections and didn’t return postcards seeking to verify their address. These are generally people who moved, or have died.


So realistically, most of the people who were purged were not going to vote. They probably don’t live in Brooklyn anymore.

And the people who were purged in Brooklyn were probably likelier to be supporters of Clinton than Sanders. Brooklyn voted for Clinton by 20 points. Most inactive voters are older (after all, a 20-year-old hasn’t had the opportunity to skip two consecutive federal elections).


Clinton launching national security case against Trump in California speech

Hillary Clinton’s campaign hopes that there are many more national-­security-minded Republicans and independents who would vote for her, even grudgingly, rather than see Donald Trump win the White House. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

By Anne Gearan June 1 at 12:01 AM

Retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor plans to vote for Hillary Clinton for president this year, but not because the longtime Republican and former top aide to then-Gen. David Petraeus has had a political conversion. He just thinks Republican Donald Trump is too dangerous to be president.

“It will be the first Democratic presidential candidate I’ve voted for in my adult life,” said Mansoor, a professor of military history at Ohio State University.

Clinton’s campaign hopes that there are many more national-­security-minded Republicans and independents who would vote for her, even grudgingly, rather than see Trump win the White House. Those voters are an important part of the audience for her case that she is fit to be commander in chief and that Trump is not.

Clinton has begun making that argument more forcefully as her long primary battle grinds to a close. She will deliver what her campaign calls a major foreign policy address in California on Thursday, focused both on her ideas and leadership credentials and on what she will describe as the threat Trump poses to national security.

Continued at the Wash Post

Clinton-Lazio First Debate, 2000

A look at Hillary vs a Puke in a debate. Part 6 is where he walks over to her to make her sign something about PAC free advertising, apparently she was kicking his butt with her attack ads. The ploy by Lazio is now regarded as a major mistake.

Clinton Lead Over Trump Would Grow Without Sanders in The Race | MTP 5-29-2016

by Dante Chinni

The latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Hillary Clinton with a narrow three-point lead over Donald Trump, 46 percent to 43 percent. But if Bernie Sanders were out of the race the NBC News political unit estimates her lead would likely be much larger, perhaps up around eight points, 51 percent to 43 percent.

The difference in those two scenarios is one kind of voter that pops in many polls: The Sanders-only supporter.

The latest set of presidential polls shows two very different races - the tight three-point battle between Clinton and Trump, and a much larger lead for Sanders over Trump. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Sanders with a whopping 15 point lead over the presumptive GOP nominee, 54 percent to 39 percent.

Full Article at NBC News

Colonel Erik Goepner (Ret.): Trump Is Unfit to Be Our Commander in Chief - OPed Newsweek

A U.S. soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment is dropped off for a mission near Jalalabad in Afghanistan on December 20, 2014. The author, a colonel who has commanded troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, writes, "As a veteran of the Afghan and Iraq wars, and a registered Republican, the thought of Trump sending Americans to war deeply unnerves me."

The loss of life does not change the fact that war can, at times, be necessary. It does, however, remind us of the solemn responsibility of those who lead America’s sons and daughters into war. That ultimate responsibility lies with the commander in chief. The president alone has the authority to send America’s most treasured possession into harm’s way.

As a veteran of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and as a registered Republican, the thought of Donald Trump being entrusted with that responsibility deeply unnerves me.

Trump is a bully. When he wins a primary, the people of that state are wonderful, amazing, and smart. But, when states like Iowa do not adorn him with the victor’s crown, they immediately become stupid. When a reporter with a physical disability fails to back up one of his outlandish claims, Trump’s bruised ego compels him to mimic the reporter’s disability while verbally berating him.

Bullying is un-American. It doesn’t come from a sense of strength or confidence. It is an expression of fear and insecurity; not the traits required for a commander in chief.


America’s Seniors Can Count on Hillary Clinton

Doris Matsui
U.S. Representative, California’s 6th Congressional District

In May, we celebrate Older Americans Month and the fundamental commitment our country makes to its seniors. In November, we will determine whether we honor that commitment.

Every day, thousands of American seniors reach retirement age after a lifetime of working hard to support their families. Because of Social Security and Medicare, older Americans can mark these milestones with the peace of mind that their retirement future is secure. We created these lifelines so that hard working seniors never have to worry about putting food on the table, or landing in debt after their next trip to the pharmacy.

Yet, Donald Trump seems willing to put these programs at risk, and take a gamble on our seniors’ future. He has called Social Security a Ponzi scheme, claiming privatizing the program would be “good for all of us.” He has repeatedly flip-flopped on his position on Medicare, first claiming he would avoid cuts, then having his senior advisor place those cuts back on the table. He won’t even agree to AARP’s call to put out a Social Security plan.

Donald Trump’s radical and unpredictable policies undermine the promises we’ve made to America’s seniors—promises that Hillary Clinton has fought for her entire life, and will honor as president.

Full Op-Ed at Huffington Post

Appreciate all the kicks form the Bernie Sanders dead enders, BoBs, and other miscellanious Clinton haters. Thanks!

Clinton's ace in the hole: Obama


The Hill
By Niall Stanage - 05/29/16 10:30 AM EDT

Hillary Clinton will have a not-so-secret weapon in her quest for the White House: President Obama.

Obama’s approval ratings have been marching upward since the start of the year.

He retains immense popularity with the Democratic base, including vital groups such as young people, with whom Clinton has struggled. And experts also say that there is no one better positioned to unify the party behind the former secretary of State as her long and sometimes bitter struggle with primary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) draws to a close.

If Obama could run for a third-term, “he’d be reelected in a walk,” said New York-based Democratic strategist Jonathan Rosen. “He can play a huge role in bringing the Democratic base and independents, together to unite behind her candidacy.”

That could be particularly important given evidence from the primary season that suggests Clinton has failed to thrill some parts of the Obama coalition, even while she has drawn strong support from other blocs. She has struggled mightily among younger voters, for example, even while beating Sanders by huge margins among African-American Democrats.

Full Article at The Hill

Bloomberg Poll: Clinton Leads Trump in the Rust Belt

Written by Nick Field, Managing Editor

Just what does the Rust Belt think?

That’s one of the biggest questions of this presidential campaign.

Those states usually go Democratic although Donald Trump’s strategy depends on winning over those electoral votes.

Bloomberg Politics and Purple Strategies sought to poll some of the Rust Belt states, choosing Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Additionally, they targeted middle class voters by surveying households with an income of between $30,000 and $75,000. Unfortunately, they did not provide a state-by-state breakdown of the results yet the statistics still provide some intriguing insights.

First, Clinton leads Trump head-to-head by a 46% to 39% margin with 15% unsure.

42% of respondents, though, believe Clinton will win compared to 34% who think Trump will prevail.

Full Story at Politics PA


“Do the math about what a minimum wage brings in, in income. If we don’t send a very clear signal that we’re all in this together, the character of America will change.”

–Hillary Clinton, 4/11/06

In the U.S. Senate

Hillary Clinton fought to tie the minimum wage to future increases in congressional salaries. Hillary Clinton repeatedly introduced the Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act to bind future salary increases for Congress to mandatory increases in the federal minimum wage. Under the provisions of the legislation, the federal minimum wage would be “automatically increased” by “a percentage equal to the percentage by which the annual rate of pay for Members of Congress increased for such year…” Speaking to the importance of her bill, Senator Clinton said, “We can no longer stand by and regularly give ourselves a pay increase while denying a minimum wage increase to help the more than 7 million men and women working hard across this nation. At a time when working families are struggling to put food on the table, it’s critically important that we here in Washington do something. If Members of Congress need an annual cost of living adjustment, then certainly the lowest-paid members of our society do too.”

Hillary Clinton repeatedly introduced legislation to increase the federal minimum wage. Hillary Clinton’s Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act of 2006 would have increased the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years. Introducing her 2006 bill, Senator Clinton stated: “I ask my colleagues to recognize the moral aspect of this issue. It is simply wrong to pay people a wage that they can barely live on… We should raise the federal minimum wage so that working parents can lift their children out of poverty. It is past time to make this investment in our children and families.” Senator Clinton’s Standing with Minimum Wage Earners Act of 2007 would have increased the federal minimum wage from $5.85 to $9.50 an hour.

Hillary Clinton cosponsored bills to increase the minimum wage five times and consistently voted to support it. Over the course of her time in the U.S. Senate, Hillary Clinton cosponsored bills to raise the federal minimum wage in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. Senator Clinton opposed Republican efforts to weaken the minimum wage, and she repeatedly backed Democratic efforts to raise it. Although she opposed the Iraq funding bill it was folded into, Clinton cosponsored the original version of the Fair Minimum Wage Act that increased the minimum wage for the first time in ten years, from $5.85 to $7.25 an hour. It was one of the five bills Senator Clinton cosponsored to raise the minimum wage.

As First Lady

In 1996, Hillary Clinton was a vocal supporter of successful efforts to raise the minimum wage. The San Jose Mercury News reported in 1996, “The argument for increasing the minimum wage – which first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton endorsed Saturday – is simple and direct: The wage has not been increased since 1987 and those earning minimum wage receive no benefits or vacation.” And as she wrote in “It Takes a Village,” released earlier that year, “There are additional actions we can take, through our government, to preserve our country’s promise of opportunity for all. We can raise the minimum wage, which is nearing a forty-year low; two out of five minimum-wage earners are the sole breadwinners in their households, and many recent studies show that a modest increase does not cost jobs.” In his 2007 Hillary Clinton biography “A Woman in Charge,” Carl Bernstein wrote that, “In the ten weeks since the [1996] election, she had been working with administration officials to find ways of saving vital government services and programs that Gingrich and the Republican majority were determined to eliminate in the new session of Congress. They included legal aid for the poor, educational assistance incentives, important Medicare and Medicaid benefits, pension protection, and the minimum wage.” The minimum wage was successfully increased in August of 1996.

In 1999, Hillary and Ted Kennedy worked together to push for a minimum wage increase. As she said at a White House event with Ted Kennedy in September 1999,“America can afford to raise the minimum wage. The last time it was raised in 1996, 10 million Americans got a raise and the economy continued to create jobs at an unprecedented pace. Now raising the minimum wage is certainly an American issue and a human issue, but it is particularly a woman’s issue. It is also a children’s issue and a family issue. So I would hope that every member of Congress—the next time they visit a parent in a nursing home, sit down in a restaurant for a meal, see someone cleaning their office, or know what goes on in so many other settings where people work hard every day—would want every American to share in this kind of prosperity, and would want to raise the minimum wage.” Unfortunately, their push was unsuccessful.

Hillary argues that a minimum wage increase will drive our economy by closing the wage gap between men and women. At a recent speech before the United Methodist Women Assembly, &feature=youtu.be&t=32m34s Hillary Clinton made the case for an increase in the minimum wage saying, “Twenty years ago, American women made 72 cents on the dollar; today, it’s still not equal. Women hold a majority of lower-wage jobs in our country, and nearly three-quarters of all jobs that rely on tips, like waiters, and bartenders, and hair stylists, which pay even less than the average hourly work wage. Now, holding back women is not right, but it’s also not smart. No country can truly thrive by denying the contributions of any of its people, let alone, half of its people…

But if we took a different approach, women can drive economic recovery and growth, they can lift up themselves, their families, and countries, if we ensure equal pay for equal work, if we raise the minimum wage…”

HUFFPOLLSTER: The Election System Didn’t Doom Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton would have won more votes anyway.

05/27/2016 08:43 am ET

Crunching the numbers shows that independents couldn’t have won Bernie Sanders the nomination. Declining trust in political institutions could be driving support for Sanders and Donald Trump. And the “gold standard” of polling isn’t so pristine these days. This is HuffPollster for Friday, May 27, 2016.

CLINTON WOULD HAVE WON IN ANY PRIMARY SYSTEM - Harry Enten and Nate Silver: “Sanders fans have claimed that because caucuses have lower turnout the current national caucus and primary vote underrates how well Sanders is doing. In fact, the opposite is true. When we switch all caucuses over to primaries, Sanders actually does worse. Clinton’s lead in the popular vote would grow from 2.9 to 3.3 million votes. Moreover, her edge in elected delegates would expand significantly….But what would happen if every state held a primary that was open to independent voters? Clinton’s margin in the national popular vote shrinks to about 8 percentage points (from 12)….In fact, if all states held primaries open to independents — instead of closed primaries, or caucuses of any kind — Clinton might have a larger lead in elected delegates than she does now….Realistically, if you throw everything together, the math suggests that Sanders doesn’t have much to complain about. If the Democratic nomination were open to as many Democrats as possible — through closed primaries — Clinton would be dominating Sanders. And if the nomination were open to as many voters as possible — through open primaries — she’d still be winning. [538]

Bernie Sanders voters will likely rally behind Clinton - Alan Abramowitz: “There is mounting concern in Democratic Party circles that even after Clinton clinches the nomination... she will have difficulty winning over Sanders’ base of young, liberal voters… An examination of survey data from the 2008 presidential election, an election in which Democrats experienced an equally if not more contentious nomination battle between Clinton and Barack Obama, suggests that unifying Democrats may actually be easier in 2016 than it was in 2008. The major reason for this is that Donald Trump is a far less attractive alternative to disgruntled Democrats than John McCain was in 2008….Sanders supporters probably do not have to love Clinton in order to vote for her in the general election. They merely have to like her as well or better than Trump, and that should be a very easy bar to clear.” [UVA Center for Politics]

More Poll News at Huffington Pollster
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