While Republicans confront their summer of discontent, the Democratic Party has a wealth of riches. Democrats are happy with their candidates. Hillary Clinton versus Bernie Sanders makes for an interesting race. Who will win the nomination?
In a reversal of form it is the Democratic Party instead of the Republican Party that seems ready to nominate the next person in line of succession for the nomination of the Democratic Party. The former Senator and Secretary of State has piled up the endorsements and is compiling quite a war chest of campaign funds in preparation for the battle for the White House that lays ahead.
In passing it would be negligent on my part not to mention the fact that for over 20 years there has been an effort on the Republican Party’s part to destroy Hillary Clinton’s reputation. Campaigns should be about which candidate has the best ideas and or policies that will help improve the lives of Americans. What has happened in this effort to destroy the reputations of all candidates is that the American people have even less of an opinion of politicians than they used to have. They have attempted to make up scandals in order to tarnish and harm the trust that people would have in candidates and in particular Hillary Clinton. Character is important but one should consider the source and the validity of the accusations.
In contrast to what the media would have you believe Democrats are happy with Hillary Clinton. What is interesting is the support and excitement that Bernie Sanders is drumming up. Hillary is like an old familiar and comfortable pair of shoes. You know how it fits. Bernie is the new kid in town. He is the crusading king of economic populism. His crowds are large and interestingly, white with a wide age range. Decidedly Progressive and well educated they are drawn to Bernie by his fierce independence and willingness to speak candidly about issues which strike at the heart of what concerns many Americans, income inequality and the inherent unfairness that the Middle Class faces.
Hillary Clinton is also speaking to the same issues. Her previously hidden Progressive side is coming out. If you read Robert Reich, she has always been liberal since her college days. Her meeting with Elizabeth Warren in December of 14, helped fine tune her message. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have a lot in common on the issues of the day.
In the initial primaries, the race has tightened up but that is to be expected. New Hampshire and Vermont, are after all neighboring states.
The key question is whether or not Bernie is topping out. Hillary is a known quantity among three segments of the Democratic demographic spectrum. She has been and is popular among women, African-American voters and Latino voters. Can Bernie gain sufficient strength among these key Democratic voting blocs to make it a real race?
The Media of course would like to make it a real competitive race to the White House. They could sell more air time and more newspapers if it becomes a close race. What was interesting over the weekend was how Meet the Press tried to skewer the numbers in their attempt to try to portray the race as being competitive. First they touted her unfavorable numbers regarding trustworthiness. The problem was that those numbers were national numbers including Republicans and Independents. Then they gave you the poll numbers in Iowa and in New Hampshire. I am sorry but even if the numbers have narrowed to a 11% lead for Hillary in New Hampshire that is still a sizable lead when you consider how close Vermont is to New Hampshire and how few the minority voters are in New Hampshire. It is true that for the general election trust may be an important consideration but so will competence.
What is most important is whether or not Bernie Sanders can gain a foothold in the demographic support that Hillary has. If in fact Bernie can make inroad among women voters, if he can make inroads in her support among the minority communities than political junkies we will have a real race, a competitive race for the nomination. If Senator Sanders does not start to gain support among those three groups of traditional support for Democratic candidates than the race will not be one that he can win. At a minimum Senator Bernie Sanders is a breath of fresh air for any race to the White House. He is not afraid to take on the powerful as he attempts to gain the support of voters in his quest to take back our country from the rich, from the oligarchs.
Candidates are becoming more aware of what the media tries to do. In interviewing Bernie Sanders, the moderator of Meet the Press, tried to have Bernie conform to their theory of the day, in that they were touting for the day the idea that supporters for Bernie and for Donald Trump were from the same group of disaffected voters. Bernie correctly responded by saying that his supporters have nothing in common with Donald Trump’s supporters. Then they tried to demean Senator Sanders for some imagined lack of support for the Black Lives Matters campaign. He wisely responded by reminding the viewers of his life long commitment to Civil Rights for all Americans.
Democrats are lucky, they feel that they have strong candidates for the race to the White House. What is even better is that Democrats feel that their candidates are speaking to the real issues that Americans face.
This is an important election if we are to make progress towards taking our country back from the new aristocracy, the top 2% of Americans, that rule and heavily influence our Congress with the corrupting influence of money. Truly having policies that will revive the Middle Class are key to maintaining and reviving our strength as a nation.