7 votes

The primary difference between 2016 and 2020

14 comments

  1. [14]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    A mildly optimistic article on why Biden won 2020 more strongly (and on states like Michigan where Sanders got 20 points more than expected). That's pretty significant, and also a decision...

    A mildly optimistic article on why Biden won 2020 more strongly (and on states like Michigan where Sanders got 20 points more than expected).

    Between 2016 and 2020, the number who prioritized electability over issue agreement jumped by more than 20 points.

    Even before Democrats started voting, they viewed Biden as more electable than Sanders by 20-35 points, depending on the question posed.

    That's pretty significant, and also a decision distinctly made by voters, long before the party establishment did anything.

    There's also this far more optimistic article (The Democrats need little from Biden beyond his corporeal presence), which talks about how Biden is more the representation of an idea of nomalcy born form the abnormality of politics under Trump rather than an actual candidate with ideas, so his complete unremarkableness compared to Sanders' both rhetorically/on policy and on campaign finance is actually the whole point.

    6 votes
    1. [13]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      Generally speaking, I don't think that second article is true, or at least, as you say, it is very optimistic. Biden will have to do more than simply exist counter to Trump. He will have to...

      Generally speaking, I don't think that second article is true, or at least, as you say, it is very optimistic. Biden will have to do more than simply exist counter to Trump. He will have to present at least a vaguely coherent platform.

      With that said the cries of "Sander's was the only one who can beat Trump", and "It's going to be 2016 all over again", are clearly wrong, and the first quote you posted are just one indicator of why. Furthermore, and I don't see the media cover this enough, Biden doesn't have any of the baggage that Clinton does. This country has an irrational hate for Hillary Clinton born of decades of right wing propaganda. Biden has, at most, a year of these smears to his name.

      6 votes
      1. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Repeat it enough and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. A big part of the Twitter-verse is committed to making it so.

        With that said the cries of "Sander's was the only one who can beat Trump", and "It's going to be 2016 all over again", are clearly wrong, and the first quote you posted are just one indicator of why.

        Repeat it enough and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. A big part of the Twitter-verse is committed to making it so.

        5 votes
      2. [7]
        Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        I think there is a bit more nuance here than that. Biden absolutely has as much if not more baggage to his name than Hillary did. I'll agree there has been less of a long-term attack on Biden that...

        Biden doesn't have any of the baggage that Clinton does. This country has an irrational hate for Hillary Clinton born of decades of right wing propaganda. Biden has, at most, a year of these smears to his name.

        I think there is a bit more nuance here than that. Biden absolutely has as much if not more baggage to his name than Hillary did. I'll agree there has been less of a long-term attack on Biden that makes the response less visceral, and Hillary had being a woman on top of her baggage that made it more of an uphill battle for her than Biden. But if the media and Democrats actually looked at Biden's past for 10 seconds he has a ton of baggage that is going to turn off a ton of voters.

        4 votes
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          This the kind of bagage I'm referring to. Not actual real, bona fide baggage. When I refer to America's "irrational" hate for HRC I'm not referring to the actual good reasons to hate her. I'm...

          had being a woman

          This the kind of bagage I'm referring to. Not actual real, bona fide baggage. When I refer to America's "irrational" hate for HRC I'm not referring to the actual good reasons to hate her. I'm talking about the bullshit that Rush Limbaugh and the like have implanted into the American psyche over thr last thirty years.

          4 votes
        2. [5]
          NaraVara
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Depends on what you mean by "baggage." Policy-wise I would prefer Clinton to Biden for sure. She's more progressive that the center of the party, just not by as much as I would like. Biden's to...

          Biden absolutely has as much if not more baggage to his name than Hillary did.

          Depends on what you mean by "baggage." Policy-wise I would prefer Clinton to Biden for sure. She's more progressive that the center of the party, just not by as much as I would like. Biden's to the right of the party's center which is just really troubling. I think lots of people who think Biden has more baggage are in this boat.

          But people don't vote on policy or voting records that much. They vote on general brand association with good feelings. In that sense, Biden has a lot less. People remember memes about him waxing his Trans Am while they remember Clinton from all the shit that's been dredged up about her since the 90s. This manifests as "I dunno. I just don't trust her." Whereas with Biden (and Trump and Sanders) it works the opposite way. People look for reasons to validate their trust for them in spite of negative news they hear.

          1 vote
          1. [4]
            Micycle_the_Bichael
            Link Parent
            I guess some of the things I am about to list as baggage can be considered policy, but I think the overlap between personality and policy is murky in areas so I'm listing them anyway. Some pieces...

            I guess some of the things I am about to list as baggage can be considered policy, but I think the overlap between personality and policy is murky in areas so I'm listing them anyway. Some pieces of baggage that I foresee Biden having to deal with:

            1. Anita Hill.
            2. The very credible rape allegations against him.
            3. The definitely-not-weird tendency to smell and touch women.
            4. His tendency to tell voters to "Go vote for someone else" if they ask him a remotely hard question. He said it about Millennials, hes said it to climate activists, he's said it to m4a advocates, he's said it to progressives in general. Independent of any policy stance he disagrees with, I specifically want to focus on how confrontational and condescending he is, and how many voters these quotes and attitudes are going to turn off.
            5. If people think the Ukraine thing is dead, they're wrong. Every right-wing news source is going to be banging that drum until the end of time. Will it be hypocritical because of the everything about Trump? Yes. Will that matter? No. They'll still do it anyway.

            This is what I can think of off the top of my head doing 0 research. I can guarantee there will be a lot more by the time the election is here. And again, this is independent of policy, which I think Biden is weaker from a policy perspective than he is an optics perspective.

            3 votes
            1. gpl
              Link Parent
              I have seen quite a few things like this, but I don't understand why people think this issue is unique to Biden. Every career politician has 'baggage' they will have to deal with. For Bernie a...

              I have seen quite a few things like this, but I don't understand why people think this issue is unique to Biden. Every career politician has 'baggage' they will have to deal with. For Bernie a list might look like:

              1. Being socialist. (!)
              2. Vocalizing support for Castro.
              3. Supporting the Sandinistas.
              4. Being helped by Russian misinformation campaigns.
              5. His wife running a college into the ground.
              6. His recent heart attack.

              I'm not saying any or all of these are actually valid (and I disagree with some of your points regarding Biden being valid), but they are all certainly things that would be used to bludgeon Bernie in the general just as your list are things that will be used to bludgeon Biden. If the 2018 Midterm taught us anything, it's that the demographic Democrats have the best chance of flipping are educated suburban voters who have traditionally voted Republican but are repulsed by Trump. Most seats that were flipped were in such districts. I personally think the above list of "Sanders baggage" would damage him much more in those demographics than the corresponding "Biden baggage" list would, and that's really all that matters due to the electoral system in the US.

              Point 2 alone in the above list writes Florida, a nominal swing state, off as a potential swing state. Bernie didn't even win a single county in Michigan (another important state that swung to Trump) this cycle, so I'm not sure why people assume he would do better against Trump there if he couldn't even beat Biden. Step one of winning a state is getting your party's voters to vote for you!

              We have to accept the fact that no matter who won the Democratic nomination, they were always to be demonized by right wing media, and no matter who it was, there's plenty of material to do so. Right wing media would portray Sanders as a hypocritical socialist millionaire who wants to raise your taxes, take away your rights, and has no problem supporting communist regimes. Cries of "But it won't work with Sanders because he's authentic" ring hollow because they fail to recognize that authenticity only matters if you agree with what he's authentic about. Centrist and Republican voters would not see Sanders as a party outsider, but rather as the logical culmination of every Democratic policy they disagree with for the last 30 years. And while many of the policies he supports are popular in the abstract (looking at you, Medicare for All), their level of support greatly varies with how much voters know about them. 60% of Americans oppose M4A if they learn it leads to an increase in taxes, and 58% oppose it if it eliminates private insurance (slide 10). So I'm skeptical of the claim that as these policies will become more popular as they are scrutinized in the general.

              If Democrats want to beat Trump, they have to win over voters that are closer to the center than their left wing. A Sander's style revolution driven by people who weren't traditionally voters could have made sense in theory, but it simply did not materialize in practice. Democratic voters (particularly those with more electoral enthusiasm, who are typically the ones that vote in primaries) supported Biden far and away, and he has a much better chance of winning over independents and centrists than Bernie did (in my opinion). He is candidate who has the better chance of beating Trump.

              5 votes
            2. dubteedub
              Link Parent
              I think we have extremely different definitions of the word credible.

              The very credible rape allegations against him.

              I think we have extremely different definitions of the word credible.

              6 votes
            3. NaraVara
              Link Parent
              A bunch of stuff from decades ago when it was fairly normal + a rape allegation whose credibility seems to be directly proportional to how much you like Sanders or Trump are, frankly, not that...

              A bunch of stuff from decades ago when it was fairly normal + a rape allegation whose credibility seems to be directly proportional to how much you like Sanders or Trump are, frankly, not that strong.

              I specifically want to focus on how confrontational and condescending he is

              This is why the people who like him, like him though. The same way the people who like Sanders liked his curmudgeonly Larry David affect and the same way people who liked Elizabeth Warren liked her "that one professor whose class changed your life" vibe. For one thing, people actually like confrontational as long as the people being confronted are people you don't like. Sanders and Warren are both extremely confrontational too. It's just that Warren confronts investment bankers and Michael Bloomberg so we're cool with it. The same way you're cool with it and want to cheer when Sanders scolds "the establishment," people who have been unashamed, lifelong Democrats want to cheer when Biden dresses down the people hassling him. When they see him do it, they see him doing what they wish they could do to all the mobs of twitter trolls.

              If people think the Ukraine thing is dead, they're wrong. Every right-wing news source is going to be banging that drum until the end of time.

              The audience for a right-wing news source is already never voting for Biden and was never voting for Sanders either. Some of it might percolate into the mainstream media coverage but honestly, there was going to be some such fuckery about any Democrat running. You think they didn't have a ton of oppo with clips of Sanders being friendly with communist dictators to drop and bang on 24/7? If it was Sanders you could expect Venezuela memes, (((globalist))) signaling with hook nosed imagery, and stories about him being a deadbeat dad and his wife defrauding and running a university into the ground. The mere existence of a negative angle from the GOP isn't really disqualifying, it's par for the course.

              I mean, don't get me wrong. Gabbard and Williamson were about the only people on stage who I would have preferred less than Biden. But the gulf between him and any other choice on the table now, though, is undeniable. And I think fixating on all the ways he's bad is kind of missing the plot.

              6 votes
      3. [4]
        Kuromantis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Yeah, although I'd be hard pressed to say that will make Biden's problems less impactful (rape is very powerful in the era of #MeToo, also the dealings with segregationists is pretty damn bad out...

        Furthermore, and I don't see the media cover this enough, Biden doesn't have any of the baggage that Clinton does. This country has an irrational hate for Hillary Clinton born of decades of right wing propaganda. Biden has, at most, a year of these smears to his name.

        Yeah, although I'd be hard pressed to say that will make Biden's problems less impactful (rape is very powerful in the era of #MeToo, also the dealings with segregationists is pretty damn bad out of context, which is what Trump based is smearing of Clinton on), although I remember reading an article that showed Bernie won conservative Democrats in 2016 despite literally calling himself a socialist so that seems to be a pretty fair interpretation electorally.

        1. [3]
          dubteedub
          Link Parent
          The exit polls that I have seen show that moderate and conservative Democrats and Independents went overwhelmingly for Biden in the primaries. In Michigan Biden won 55% of primary voters who were...

          I remember reading an article that showed Bernie won conservative Democrats despite literally calling himself a socialist so that seems to be a pretty fair interpretation electorally.

          The exit polls that I have seen show that moderate and conservative Democrats and Independents went overwhelmingly for Biden in the primaries.

          In Michigan Biden won 55% of primary voters who were somewhat liberal (40% of primary electorate) and 62% of moderate and conservative votesr (39% of the electorate). This surge of voters led to Bernie losing every single country in a state that he won in 2016.

          It looks like this was the same in all Super Tuesday states as well. Biden won somewhat liberal voters 39% to 29% over Bernie and moderate / conservative voters 47% to 17%.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            Oh, I forgot to write that was in the 2016 primaries against Clinton, not now. My comment was about how conservatives preferred Bernie to Clinton, not Biden.

            Oh, I forgot to write that was in the 2016 primaries against Clinton, not now. My comment was about how conservatives preferred Bernie to Clinton, not Biden.

            2 votes