Sunday, March 6, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.6: Expanded Delegate Lead, More Endorsements, Media Diversity Matters


Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of yesterday’s primary and caucuses, which further expanded Clinton’s delegate lead in the race for the Democratic nomination.

FiveThirtyEight reports:
Sanders won Kansas and Nebraska. That’s the good news for him. The bad news is he’s even further from the nomination than he was before the day started: He lost Louisiana, and, in doing so, fell even further behind in the delegate hunt.
Let’s take a look at the math. Sanders won 23 delegates in Kansas to Clinton’s 10. He won —  preliminarily — 14 delegates in Nebraska to Clinton’s 11. That’s a margin of 16 delegates.
In losing Louisiana, however, Sanders only claimed 12 delegates to Clinton’s 39.
Combine the three states, and Clinton gained 11 delegates on Sanders.
Now you might be saying, but didn’t we expect Sanders to do poorly in Louisiana? Yes, that’s true. But according to our delegate targets, which takes that into account, Sanders is now 3 delegates further behind the pace he needs to win a majority of pledged delegate than he was at the beginning of the day. Considering he was already running 82 delegates behind his delegate goals, he needs to be exceeding his delegate targets.
Overall, it was actually a bad day for Sanders by the math, even with his two wins.
The Washington Post reports:
Here is a party trick. Tell someone that you can predict the result of a Democratic primary in advance, by asking one question. "Ooh," the people around you will say, and give you money and attention. The question you ask? What percentage of the state is black?
If the state is more than 10 percent black: Easy call. Hillary Clinton wins it. Under 2.5 percent black? You're probably safe saying that Bernie Sanders will triumph. Anything in between, and you can guess -- but this should pretty much have you covered.
Stepping back to look at the forest, this is why Clinton is likely to be the nominee. There are several big states still to come with large black populations. If your parlor trick is any guide, those are states that Clinton should carry.
The Huffington Post reports:
Sanders won big in Kansas -- 23 delegates to Clinton's 10 -- and Clinton did significantly better in the more populous state of Louisiana, getting 35 delegates compared to 10 for Sanders. In Nebraska, the race was closer, so Sanders received 14 delegates, but Clinton wasn't far behind at 10.
The Clinton campaign played down expectations for this weekend's caucuses in advance, acknowledging that they were better territory for Sanders. Their strategy was to basically minimize their losses so that the senator didn't run up too many delegates. Campaign manager Robby Mook said they were staying focused on steadily amassing delegates in the long run.
"We have no doubt that as long as Sen. Sanders remains in the primary, he will continue to win elections along the way, but it will make little difference to Hillary’s pledged delegate lead. ... [O]ver the upcoming weeks, we intend to steadily add to Hillary Clinton’s already sizeable lead in delegates, and as we do, it will become harder and harder mathematically for Sen. Sanders to ever catch up," Mook wrote in a memo to reporters this week. 
Essentially, Sanders has to start winning states outright in order to rack up enough delegates to catch up.
How did Clinton keep it closer in Nebraska than demographics would suggest the margin should be? Absentee ballots.

Iowa Starting Line reports:
At caucus sites around the state, enthusiastic Sanders supporters packed caucus locations and scored win after win over Clinton’s groups. But Clinton often kept her totals close enough in most districts and caucus locations to keep the count close. She did win big in a few areas, including the heavily African American districts in North Omaha. Anecdotal accounts and results from several sites, however, had Sanders winning the majority of Latino voters.
The difference in organizing strategy from the Clinton and Sanders campaigns played out in a very stark way on Saturday. The Clinton team focused heavily on the absentee ballot option in the Nebraska Caucus. At many caucus sites, the Sanders presence in the room was twice or three times the size of Clinton’s. Yet Clinton often pulled close, or even surpassed Sanders, once the absentee ballots were counted.
That absentee strategy may have provided Clinton anywhere between a 5% and 20% boost when you compare Nebraska’s results to other caucus Midwest caucus states (excluding Iowa, which had its own special dynamic). Sanders won the Kansas Caucus today 68% to 32%, the Minnesota Caucus 62% to 38%, and the Colorado Caucus 59% to 40%. Much of the closer margin in Nebraska could likely be chalked up to those absentees.


Three more newspaper editorial boards have weighed in.

Orlando Sentinel endorses:
To help wavering Democrats make up their minds, we recommend they do what Sanders has urged, and compare the records of the two candidates. Based on that comparison, Clinton, not Sanders, is the better choice.
Clinton entered national politics as first lady, a time when she might be best remembered for spearheading her husband's failed health-care reform campaign. But after that campaign collapsed, she worked with leaders of both parties in Congress to launch the Children's Health Insurance Program. It has provided health coverage to millions of children.
Comparing the candidates' campaign promises also is revealing. Sanders' pie-in-the-sky platform includes "Medicare for all," free tuition at public colleges and universities, higher Social Security benefits and other programs that would swell the $4 trillion annual federal budget by another $2 trillion or more, according to left-leaning economists surveyed by The New York Times.
Clinton's platform, by contrast, would add about $100 billion a year to the budget. Considering that budget deficits are on the way up again after several years of decline, Clinton's plan is at least more reasonable and fiscally responsible.
Both candidates have proposed tax hikes on the wealthy and corporations to cover the cost of their proposals, but independent budget analysts have said Sanders' plan — despite a top individual tax rate that would exceed 70 percent — would still fall trillions of dollars short.
There's no question that Clinton is a polarizing figure. She has made some big mistakes, such as using a private email server as secretary of state. But there might be no more battle-tested presidential candidate than Clinton. She is much better prepared than Sanders to be an effective commander in chief, and has a far more realistic set of goals.
The Clarion-Ledger endorses:
Clinton bridges a great political divide, from a time when all politics was local to today, when all politics is global thanks to the Internet, social media, fact-checking sites and constant opposition. While she and her husband have always had a political machine praised for its rapid response operation, nothing can withstand the instant response of today's political playing field. Little white lies — not to mention great big deceptions — no longer simply go unnoticed on the campaign trail or brought to light in only small corners of the country.
Nevertheless, Clinton is not the lying, completely untrustworthy politician her opponents — including Sanders at times — make her out to be. She is an intelligent, successful, passionate woman who brings a lifetime of personal and professional experiences that would serve her well as president. She is not an idealist, but a pragmatist who is dedicated to fighting for her principles while understanding that compromise is the bedrock of our republic government. It is an approach to leadership sadly missing today, and we feel she would help restore it as president.
We wholeheartedly endorse Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president.
The Charlotte Observer endorses:
We admire the populist message and passion of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but Clinton has the breadth of experience and practical policy positions that have more of a chance in Washington.
Here’s what ultimately counts most: We agree with Clinton on many of the country’s most pressing challenges, such as improving Obamacare, tackling income inequality and securing America’s safety with a blend of diplomacy and strength.
I personally stopped watching MSNBC after the Melissa Harris-Perry debacle, but their diversity problems continue. If there had been a woman on the panel last night, would this mansplaining disaster still have happened?
 
Polticus USA reports:
During Super Saturday coverage, an all-male panel on MSNBC led by Chris Matthews cut away from Hillary Clinton’s speech to discuss how she needs to speak more softly when she’s in front of a microphone. The three men then mansplained that this isn’t a matter of gender, in case anyone was wondering.
The men decided that when Hillary Clinton is speaking in an interview, she does well. It’s just when she is using a microphone to speak to a crowd that she has issues, apparently, as she speaks up like all public speakers do when they are speaking in front a large crowd. They tried to avoid using the loaded words that hung in the air like “shrill”. But the message was obvious enough to outrage many women journalists who heard the sexist whistle.
No one asked a woman if it might be related to gender because apparently men are the experts on sexism.
Being criticized for being “shrill” and sounding “angry” is old news for powerful women. Women are supposed to be strong but not so strong that they sound “strident”. Strident is bad.
Maybe before male hosts announce something isn’t due to gender they should know something about sexism from… oh… say a woman. A panel full of men shouldn’t criticize Clinton’s voice for not being soft enough. It is sexist. It’s right next to commenting on her hair.
Sexist commentary about a politician reduces their standing among voters. This has been proven in studies. The media needs to get it together. There’s no excuse for this kind of ignorance about well documented evidence regarding what constitutes sexism. It’s not up for debate and it’s not up to a panel of all men.

5 comments:

  1. I would love to read something explaining why Bernie does better in caucuses, just like Obama did. I'm in a primary state and have never participated in a caucus. Do supporters who argue more, shout, etc., win over others?

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  2. Suzie, I went to my first caucus yesterday, in western KS. Here's my take:
    Caucusing is an exciting, community-feeling event. It's natural that (mostly younger) Sanders voters would dig this. But it also requires TIME -- you have to have the ability to be free for hours. In western KS, some people would have had to have driven 3 hours just to caucus, and then plan on another 2 hours at the site.

    Could some of Sanders caucus success is due to the fact that younger voters simply have more free time? Students on the weekend, fewer family obligations, etc.

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  3. Suzie, I've been to a couple of competitive caucuses in Nevada. You're right to ID social pressure as an important component of the caucus effect. Everything Zuck says rings true, too. Also, caucusing is much more physically demanding than voting. You have to stand around for over an hour. At the caucus site I observed in Nevada this year (which went heavily for Sanders) the oldest person in the room was maybe 80. That just doesn't match up with the normal demographic profile of a primary election.

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  4. Suzie, having worked at a WY caucus in 2008, here's my observations: unlike voting in a primary, where you show up anytime during long open hours to cast your ballot in secret and go home, a caucus requires lots of standing around and waiting that can be very difficult on older people with mobility issues, and people with jobs or other commitments that make it difficult to spend hours to vote, or people who don't want to spend time arguing with their neighbors. It can be a very trying process, which tends to make most people decide not to participate, leaving caucuses to committed candidate activists with time on their hands. In 2008 that often turned out to be college students for Obama. From reports I've seen that's much of the caucus dynamic in 2016 -- college students for Sanders. To see what a difference this can make, check out Washington in 2008. The Dem party there decided to award it's delegates at a caucus, even though the State of Washington would also hold a primary. Obama cleaned up in the caucus, Hillary rocked in the primary. For what it's worth, I personally think the DNC should investigate how best to move away from caucuses to mandatory primaries because caucuses are an anti-democratic mess.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Suzie, having worked at a WY caucus in 2008, here's my observations: unlike voting in a primary, where you show up anytime during long open hours to cast your ballot in secret and go home, a caucus requires lots of standing around and waiting that can be very difficult on older people with mobility issues, and people with jobs or other commitments that make it difficult to spend hours to vote, or people who don't want to spend time arguing with their neighbors. It can be a very trying process, which tends to make most people decide not to participate, leaving caucuses to committed candidate activists with time on their hands. In 2008 that often turned out to be college students for Obama. From reports I've seen that's much of the caucus dynamic in 2016 -- college students for Sanders. To see what a difference this can make, check out Washington in 2008. The Dem party there decided to award it's delegates at a caucus, even though the State of Washington would also hold a primary. Obama cleaned up in the caucus, Hillary rocked in the primary. For what it's worth, I personally think the DNC should investigate how best to move away from caucuses to mandatory primaries because caucuses are an anti-democratic mess.

    ReplyDelete