Monday, September 14, 2015


Thanks, Yastreblyansky and Crank, for some great posts while I was gone.

I came back to more miserable polling for the former inevitables:
The new [YouGov/CBS] poll finds Sen. Sanders with 52% support among Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, while former Secretary of State Clinton, long considered the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination, receives 30%....

Possibly more worrying for the Clinton campaign is her performance in Iowa, where Sanders now leads by 10 points, with 43% to Clinton’s 33%....

Clinton remains firmly in the lead [in South Carolina] with 46% support.
Meanwhile, Jeb Bush is in eighth place in Iowa, with a wretched 3% of the vote; at the top, it's Donald Trump 29%, Ben Carson 25%. In New Hampshire it's Trump 40%, Carson 12%, with Bush in fifth place at 6%. It's Trump 36%, Carson 21% in South Carolina, with Bush tied for fourth at 5%.

I'll state the obvious: Jeb Bush will not be the Republican presidential nominee. It's over for him. He's now doing worse in states where voters are paying the most attention -- his numbers are slightly better in national polls than they are in early states, which means that, the more voters get to know him, the less they like him.

At this point, voters seem to be rejecting Bush because voters are rejecting Bush. What I mean is that these voters seem to sense that their fellow Republicans don't like Jeb, so a loathing of Jeb becomes an automatic response for Republicans. If you're a GOP voter, "Jeb sucks" is what you now believe if you want to be a member in good standing of your peer group. It's the comfort zone in your affinity group. It's the default.

Something similar is happening with Hillary Clinton, at least among white Democratic and independent voters. I think a lot of white Democrats are genuinely excited by Sanders, but the sense that Clinton is deceitful and, well, just plain tiresome is so widespread (and so endlessly repeated in the media) that it's being picked up by people who've rallied to the Clintons in the past, in some cases literally for decades. The safe default opinion of Clinton is that she's unappealing, so a lot of white moderate and liberal voters have just come around to that opinion. She still might win the nomination, but she's struggling to reverse that perception of her.


Over the weekend, Yastreblyansky wrote this:
That's my biggest fear about a Bernie Sanders candidacy ... not that the public would reject Sanders's program, which is hardly radical ... or even that the media would make him sound like the second coming of Eugene V. Debs, which they certainly would, but especially that the Hedge-Fund Democrats, the people who fund candidates like Andrew Cuomo and Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein and Ron Wyden ... will jump off the train if Sanders is nominated and attempt to push some kind of No Labels campaign for some unspeakable candidate like Harold Ford to guarantee the election of JEB! (the media attempt to destroy Sanders being just one part of this large corporate effort).
Interesting scenario: Run a corporatist phony Dem third-party to try to split the Democratic vote and ensure the defeat of Sanders? Run a black phony Dem on the assumption that non-white support for Sanders is soft (although it's hard to imagine Harold Ford having much black support either)?

Yeah, maybe. Or would the Dem-leaning fat cats just ply Jeb with so much money that they assume he'd be sure to win (probably correctly, given how much campaign-financing sleaziness Sanders will continue to renounce on principle)?

But it doesn't matter, because Jeb isn't going to be the nominee. In fact, the GOP nominee is probably going to be somebody who would have been deemed unelectable just a few months ago. The politician doing best in the early states in that YouGov poll is Ted Cruz, who's in third in Iowa and South Carolina (although in New Hampshire he's in seventh).

I think the fat cats will still assume they can beat Sanders with the raw power of cash if it's Carson, Cruz, or Trump. But would they actually want Trump to win, assuming he's still serious about going after the carried interest deduction?

They might just conclude that on balance he'll give them a sweet tax deal, or that Republicans and corporatist Dems will bottle up any such change in Congress. But maybe they'll actually try to run an Establishment figure on a third-party line, in the hope that a gray eminence can beat two guys they hope can be portrayed as wild-haired wild men.

I'm surprised I'm not already reading about an Establishment effort to secure third-party ballot lines, just in case.


Lex Alexander said...

I'm not, simply because the results of a third-party candidacy are so unpredictable and the GOP wants things nice and orderly. I mean, it's predictable that a third-party candidate can't win, but it's much less predictable how such a candidate would split voters who otherwise are looking only at the major parties' choices.

I don't usually do predictions, but I'm going to predict that if Bernie Sanders isn't the nominee, it's going to be a very, very close thing. We're looking at the 2008 Dem primary season all over again, simply because, as in 2008, support for Hillary, for good or ill, is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Victor said...

Debs, my ass!
Our MSM, after viciously attacking Hillary for... for... well, for being Hillary, they'll make Bernie out to be a blend of Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao, and Castro!

We will be done-in by our lazy, comfortable, cowardly, compliant, and complicit "Fourth Estate."

Our MSM will do the GOP's work for them!

Victor said...

Btw - major reconstructive surgery on my ankle on Thursday.
No walking - except to pee and poop, maybe - for 3-4 months, and no driving for another 4-6 months after that.

I'll probably be in rehab for a week or two, and I'm not taking my laptop or Nook with me, for fear I'll leave without them.

So, you won't hear from me for awhile after Wednesday.

Steve M. said...

Good luck with that -- we'll miss you....

Anonymous said...

I don't think "Dem-leaning fat cats" are particularly concerned about Bernie Sanders. They'll always have a respectful ear in a Democratic Senate caucus, and that's enough to round off the rough edges of anything a Pres. Sanders would talk about doing to them and their money. I can't imagine that they'd defect to any Republican. Even the notionally reasonable Republicans stand for things that will appall anyone who could be characterized as "Dem-leaning."

Curt Purcell said...

This is a rough patch for Hillary, no doubt. She's made a fan of me this cycle, though, and I hope she can rally once Biden announces he's definitely not running (please God) and the e-mail nonsense grows too stale to have any more effect.

I'm not so sure Jeb! is finished. Too much has been invested in him to let him just flame out like that. I don't expect it to look pretty, but I expect him to pull it out in the long run like McCain and Romney both did.

I'm happiest to see Walker tanking, and hope he truly never recovers. He's the one who scared me the most.

If Jeb! continues sinking and Rubio or Kasich fail to rally in his place, I don't know what the establishmentarians will do. Maybe Romney will even jump back in?

Who could have predicted at the beginning of summer that the GOP field would look like this now?

Philo Vaihinger said...

If Trump is nominated Wall Street will have no GOP candidate.

For the first time in decades, the GOP nominee will NOT be a Wall Street conservative for free trade, open borders, and repeal of every progressive achievement since before, during, and after the New Deal.

If Sanders is nominated Wall Street will have no Dem candidate.

For the first time in decades, the Dem nominee will NOT be for free trade, open borders, and "the end of Big Government as we know it."

Very interesting.

At the top of the ticket, anyway, both parties will have moved toward the left, toward economic nationalism, an a bit away from their parties' usual degree of enthusiastic interventionism.

Philo Vaihinger said...

It is interesting, too, that some - maybe many or even most - liberals not so far left as Bernie on economics (they are not happy with socialism, either the word or the thing) are both more interventionist and more cosmopolitan (anti-nationalist).

Liberals comfortable with the label "center left" are often much closer to the open borders and free trade (which they hide under the label "fair trade") positions of Wall Street conservatives, and commonly berate opposition to either as racist.

Some conservatives are already attacking both Trump and Sanders as racists on these grounds.

If Bernie starts to look like the Dem front runner we will hear liberals attacking him, too.

And it won't just be the black renegades of #BLM.

Victor said...

Thanks, Steve!

When I come back home, I'll be back to leaving my word-turd's on your blog! :-)

BKT said...

I don't think the GOP establishment fixers are going to sit by and accept Trump or Carson hijacking "their" nomination. I'd bet practically anything Romney will jump back in at some point-- he still thinks the presidency is his by right.

Good luck with your recuperation, Victor.

Luigi said...

White, Democratic voter here. The people who lean to Bernie are youngsters who, unfortunately, don't vote. I'm a college professor at a large college in Ohio. I'm not worried about Hillary. She will cream any of the Repugs.

John Taylor said...

The bright side of this is the obliteration of the obnoxious Snotty Walker.

mlbxxxxxx said...

No voters have rejected Jeb Bush. No voters have voted. We have polls that are increasingly unreliable made worse by the presence of a bloviating celebrity. And no one has pulled a lever or caucused for anyone. These polls are fun and have some value but to call the race on them is nuts. The odds-on favorite is still Jeb and his opponent is likely to be Hillary. Jeb is struggling and Bernie's making it a race, but the likely winners are still Jeb and Hillary. Think of all the people who are invested in Bush being the nominee. Think of who they are. Are they going to let Bush lose? Not likely. I think the Bushies have been playing it cool and attempting to wait out Trump. Is that a good idea? IDK, but it's probably their only and best option. Trump is yet to be truly tested as to his ability to pull in the xtian vote which I think is likely to turn against him when the rubber meets the road next year.

Never Ben Better said...

Best wishes, Victor, for a smooth, uncomplicated operation and a swift recovery, and get yourself and your "word turds" back here as swiftly as you can!

Why, without your dedicated contributions, I might have to help pick up the slack and up my game from one-liners. ;)