Wednesday, March 09, 2016


Although Hillary Clinton coasted in the Mississippi primary yesterday, and won the greater share of delegates overall, Bernie Sanders scored an upset victory in Michigan, one that pollsters really didn't see coming. (Polling averages had Clinton winning by 20 points.)

Obviously the appeal of Sanders to Democratic voters in Michigan was underestimated. But on the other hand, there was this:

When I first read that tweet, I thought Weigel was mocking a conspiracy theory about the Sanders win. Then I read his Washington Post story. He's serious.
[There was] a late surge of votes for Kasich, some of it from Democrats who saw him as the best option for slowing down Trump and Cruz. According to adjusted exit polls, 7 percent of Republican primary voters were Democrats, and 32 percent were independents -- the latter group gave Kasich 27 percent of the vote. Trump and Kasich were tied, 37 percent to 37 percent, among voters who called themselves "moderates."

Plenty of Democrats found themselves at Kasich rallies, or choosing Kasich in the polling booth. Pollsters who saw an easy Michigan victory for Hillary Clinton convinced some liberals to cast a stop-Trump vote instead. Kasich's best performance came in Washtenaw County, home of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, and he overperformed in other college towns.

“I’m anti-Trump, anti-Cruz, anti-Rubio, and the Democrats don’t need my help right now,” said Kate Hude, a 38-year old attorney who came to Kasich’s final pre-primary rally in Lansing.
So congratulations, GOP establishment: your anti-Trump campaign worked ... with Democrats. You sent out a call for anti-Trump voters and Trump won three out of four contests, because your voters still give him solid pluralities, but you started the general election campaign early -- our general election campaign -- and we learned that your denunciation of your likely nominee really motivate our voters. That'll be really helpful in November, when it's just Trump vs. our candidate.


Will that candidate be Sanders? Well, on delegates he lost the night, so Clinton maintains a solid lead, even if you don't count superdelegates. And after this, it's likely that pro-Clinton voters won't take the results of Democratic contests as a given, at least outside the South (and nearly all the contests from here on will be outside the South). From here on there's a mix of open, closed, and semi-open contests. (Ohio's is not fully open, for instance.) On the other hand, Sanders is more popular than polls indicate. But he has an uphill climb.


Meanwhile, the Kasich thing baffles me. It's especially baffling that he won votes from Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in Michigan, given this:
... in 2011, Kasich pushed through a law barring public sector workers from collectively bargaining for better wages and working conditions -- a law that went beyond a similar move in Wisconsin by including firefighters and police. That law that was overwhelmingly overturned by voters a year later....

... just before ... Memorial Day weekend [in 2015], the Governor issued an executive order stripping away union rights from nearly 10,000 independent home health-care and in-home child-care workers.
It's true that, more recently, Kasich has withheld support for an effort by legislative Republicans to make Ohio a right-to-work state -- or at least he's responded to questions about the legislation with a weasel phrase, saying right to work is "not on my agenda." But he's clearly no friend to labor.

He's also been signing a raft of anti-abortion bills, including one effectively defunding Planned Parenthood. Oh, and he backs a balanced budget amendment, which, if enacted, would severely hobble the government's efforts to provide services and deal with crises, and he backs the wingnut-supported Convention of States in order to get it passed.

Yet I know of quite a few moderately liberal people who think he's terrific. In a head-to-head with Hillary Clinton, he polls 7 points better than she does.

Fortunately for Democrats, he won't be the nominee. Trump will. Good job, GOP.




Never Ben Better said...

Interesting. Given how narrow Sanders' margin of victory was, one has to wonder whether those crossover votes were enough to change the Democratic outcome?

The New York Crank said...

Kasich was also a big booster of fracking in Ohio, even in communities that voted to ban it. This enraged some citizens, but Kasich didn't care, leading to signs, for example in Yellow Springs, Ohio, that said "No fracking way!"

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

Joey Blau said...

Why would Democrats want to stop Trump? Either of our candidates will beat him and we will take the Senate. Cruz is a much scarier option and may yet gain mainstream GOP support.

mlbxxxxxx said...

Kasich expanded Medicaid in Ohio. I think that is the secret to his appeal for some Dems. Also, he's clearly the nearest thing to a sane candidate the R's have.

Victor said...

Kasich, being the most "reasonable" in the entire GOP field - and I'm talking about from the very start - would be the most likely to beat either Hill or Bern.

He's the only non-rabid Honey Badger.

Drumfkopf is a wannabe Dictator: Think Ill Douche.
Cruz-ader is a wannabe Theocrat: Think The Ayatollah.
Rubio is a... is a... is a loser. Think Buffalo Bills.
Kasich is a trickle-down, anti-union/abortion "modern" conservative: Think W with an extra helping of "'Compassionate' Conservatism," and without speaking like English is his 2nd or 3rd language.

If I wanted D who wanted to stop Drumpfkopf, I'd have voted for Ayatollah Cruz-ader.

Feud Turgidson said...

I think there's a simpler way to explain both what Steve notes AND primary voter behavior this year.

Who votes in primaries? Typically, the most active party establishmentarians.
On the R side, nationally anyway, that's become atomized; now the core support for local, state and federal Congressional RW screwballs is all fragmented under oligarch sponsorshiup and townhall flashmob control. I blame Nixon, Cheney, Bush (all of 'em), Reagan, Gingrich, Peters & Lewie Raneiri particularly, but in the end, white men denied love as infants and raised bullies, plus systemic corruption disguised as ideology. And this year their numbers have been swelled by the return of the swallows from Capistr-, uh, the Birchers: Bundy white nationalists, insurrectionist "patriots", gun numbskulls, societal cheats, blatant bigots, all of whom keep Drumpf in plurality.

On the D side, all the typical types, party insiders & officials, are more centrally coordinated than usual, particularly compared to atomizaton on the R side (at least some of which is to be expected when one party's held the WH for 8 years), BUT - polling has shown those voting in some of this year's D primaries to date are more liberal than the party as a whole, more than at any time since 2008 at least. Yet, D primary vote totals are 'down', not just compared to the crowd-drawing pornographic gong show on the R side, but even against the last 2 cycles.

IMO what these dueling trends within this year's D primary voters means this: There's an unusually high, those not black swanish (like in 1932) concentration of D primary voters so liberal and progressive they trend effectively socialist, & it's higher than anytime I recall in at least 4 decades - but at the same time also quite a bit higher than the average D traditionally likely voter.

This analysis - or chunk of wild pungent theory plucked from out of my ass, you pick - fits wit the picture of many HRC voters either not bothering because the general's still 8 months hither so why now, or if they're voting, they've been doing to screw with the R primaries, thereby yielding more of the field of battle over the D primary vote process to Bernie Feelers.

HRC's support in the general from in the D party is likely way more robust than we see now, outside some African-American communities.

Professor Fate said...

Unless one is concerned that Trump might actually beat Hillary in November, I can't fathom why a single democratic voter who supported Hillary would vote in the GOP primary. When your political opponent is tearing itself apart by all means let them continue. I personally fail to understand this concern over the health of the GOP - their party if the situation was reversed wouldn't lift a finger to help and would be trying to think of ways to make things worse.

Of course I think that Trump will prove to be a harder opponent for Clinton in the general than most folks are saying - given that the beltway press HATE Clinton and are willing to legitimize almost anything said about her (suggesting she had Scalia killed seems to an exception to this rule) and that Trump can play the media like a violin will leave her spending a lot of time answering questions rather than giving folks reasons to vote for her.
Still I've been wrong so often I'm hoping I'm wrong about this as well.

Ten Bears said...

I have to admit that holding my nose and violating the moral and ethical standards I've subscribe to by changing my No Party Affiliation to democrat so as to primary for Senator Sanders felt kinda' dirty, like stepping off the curb into the gutter. I can only conceptualize flipping to Retard as a swan dive into the sewers.

It could be these dem voters are not rat-fucking the retards but registering disgust with Clinton, her apparent lock on the nomination, and her and her supporters republican lite treatment of those who disagree.

Feud Turgidson said...

1OB, you can say that again.

sdhays said...

There's also a fairly strategic argument for Democrats to vote in the Republican primary now. Right now, voting for chaos seems likely to be a great option - you don't actually have to decide whether Trump or someone else will be the weakest candidate in November (a dangerous game IMHO). All you need to do is help the Republicans fail to make a decision until the very last moment, making sure whatever result they ultimately squeeze out of their sphincter of a convention is seriously damaged. At this point, it doesn't matter how successful #NeverTrump is, it can't be successful enough to make him go away - all it can do is heighten the tension between the desire to deny him the nomination and the near certainty that he will have a plurality of delegates and thus the "moral justification" to be the rightful nominee. Weakening that "moral justification" without eliminating it can increase the pain at the convention, and that's not nothing...

I'm not saying that they all or most of them thought like this, but it's an interesting thought and another way of looking at it. If my state had not yet voted and the Democratic primary was no longer contested, I would consider voting for chaos (not sure if I could actually bring myself to actually vote for one of those cretins, though, no matter how strategic the reasoning).