Showing posts with label Bernie Sanders. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bernie Sanders. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Bernie Meeting In Johnstown 1/26/2020

Teaching has been getting busier lately so it has been harder to find time to post here.  I'm also getting close to having my book published.  In addition to all of this I will be working to organize for Bernie Sanders once again in Pennsylvania.  We were able to win Cambria County for him in 2016 and expect to do the same this time.  We had a late start last time but this time around we will be better prepared.

The First Meeting for Bernie in 2016
On Sunday we will have a meeting at Panera in Johnstown (address 400 Town Centre Dr, Johnstown, PA 15904) to organize for Sanders from 1-3pm.  People from the statewide campaign will be there.  The image at the top of this post shows how the Real Clear Politics poll average shows how the gap between Sanders (light blue line) and Biden (green line at top) has been narrowing nationally in recent weeks.

Bernie and the other Senators in the race have been unable to campaign during the Trump impeachment trial so volunteers taking the initiative is more important than ever.  We will organize phone banking to help him in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada where momentum is crucial.  Hope you all can come on Sunday or to another Bernie meeting in your area.
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Friday, July 29, 2016

Time for Reflection After the Conventions

I was going to post on how the Facebook and Twitter followings of the major party candidates (including 3rd party candidates) correlate with their poll numbers but with the conventions just concluded it will take about a week to see what impact they have on their poll numbers and their social media following.  Instead I will share my thoughts on how the conventions transpired and where we Bernie people should go.

I know many of my friends in the Sanders campaign were disappointed that he did not get the nomination at the roll call, in the selection of Tim Kaine as Clinton's running mate, and in the release of DNC emails which seemed to show plotting against Sanders.  This was evidenced by the walkout that was staged after the convention completed the roll call and Sanders moved to nominate Hillary Clinton by acclamation.  The Sanders campaign brought in many new people to the political process.  Some may not fully understand the process (who really does) at the convention.  Nomination by acclamation is what is normally done at the conventions to show unity behind the nominee.   

At the GOP Convention the non-Trump delegates staged a similar walkout when they wanted a roll call for the rules of the convention.  They had enough signatures from 7 states on a petition for the roll call but pressure from party leaders caused 2 states to withdraw their signatures.  Both conventions seated state delegations that were more sympathetic to the winning candidate closer to the podium to give the illusion of unanimous support.

Bernie Sanders was just doing what he said he would do by challenging Hillary in the primaries.  The primaries are not just the time to choose a party nominee.  It is a time to give the voters a say in what direction they want their party to go and, hopefully, for the parties to follow their lead.  He did get some concessions from Clinton on the minimum wage, the public option in the Affordable Care act, and not endorsing (though not opposing) the Trans Pacific Partnership.  There's not telling how much of these planks in the platform will be enacted after the election.

The selection of Tim Kaine is troubling for Sanders supporters because of his support for free trade/neoliberal policies.  Is this a signal for Clinton's fat cat donors to not worry about her once she is in office?  Like Obama in 2008, African American voters were the primary bloc that propelled Clinton to the nomination so she owes them big time more than her fat cat donors.

The Wikileaks email dump, whether it came from Russia or Trump or not, shows the bias in the DNC that many supporters already suspected were there.  How rigged was the system against Sanders?  Clinton did better in closed primaries like PA's than in open ones like NH's.  The media coverage of Sanders may have been slanted against him due to DNC pressure.  The system of closed primaries and superdelegates is a long standing one but the media coverage may have helped too.  In spite of all that, Sanders won 22 states, garnered more than 12 million votes and 1836 delegates which both Clinton and (clumsily) Trump have been appealing to.  

Even if Bernie Sanders had won the nomination and defeated Donald Trump he would still have a hard time governing as the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers, and 'centrist' Democrats would work to defeat his agenda.  What is at least as important as winning elections is having a large grassroots movement to counteract these forces.  I have been working to build this here in Johnstown, PA in healthcare. 

As the general election goes I believe that Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson should absolutely be on the ballot and in the debates to keep up the pressure on both Clinton and Trump.  I am waiting to see how the election transpires before deciding for whom to vote.  

**Related Posts** 

What Effect Do 3rd Parties Have on Trump and Clinton? 

Divergent Movements in PA Primary in Cambria County for Bernie and Trump 

Clinton 7 Times More Likely to Win in States Where Trump Wins

Friday, June 10, 2016

Taking Stock Now that the Primaries Are Almost Over....

There's be a sense of deflation now that it's pretty clear that Bernie Sanders is not going to get the nomination.  Many were crying foul when the Associated Press announced that Hillary Clinton had secured enough delegates to win the night before the California, New Jersey, and 3 other states had primaries.  Many were especially disappointed that the California Primary was won by Clinton with 56% of the vote when the pre-election polls showed a statistical tie.  

Certainly an argument could be made that that AP announcement the night before suppressed voter turnout in CA and in other states such as NM, SD and CA.  Clinton might have gotten the needed number of delegates even if she had lost those three states given that she had a big lead in NJ in the pre election polls there but it would've been embarrassing for her going up against Trump.  Two million votes have yet to be counted in California and in Puerto Rico as is discussed in the clip below..
Complaints of media bias against Sanders were many long before this last round of primaries.  The media watchdog group FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) published many studies showing how little air time was given to Sanders relative to Trump.  The challenge now for Sanders' supporters is not only to advocate for his ideas.  It is to level the playing field for candidates like him.  The struggle is going on now to curtail super delegates which like open primaries were created to favor more moderate candidates like Clinton as Mother Jones reports.

Another FAIR story on bias against Sanders was directed at internet stats guru Nate Silver.  It argues that he has consistently made negative predictions against Sanders.  Many of which have been wrong such as the one in the photo at the right.  Silver has also been consistently wrong on Donald Trump predicting that he would fade like the rest of the GOP establishment assumed he would.

In the last two Presidential elections which more or less followed the conventional wisdom, Nate Silver was amazingly correct at predicting the outcome of elections.  This election year has been one of the least conventional that people can remember and Silver's prediction rate has taken a hit.  He is now predicting a close general election based on current polling.

Predictions are based on certain assumptions which may or may not be valid.  An astrologer's predictions rest on the erroneous assumption that the stars in the sky influence people's behavior.  Conventional wisdom can cloud the inferences of even the most expert statisticians.  It is important to make as few assumptions as possibleIn the end it is the people who determine the outcome of elections not the supposed experts.
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Friday, May 6, 2016

2016 Election: A Rerun of What Year?

I was going to blog about the most recent Census Bureau county and state level estimates for PA but they haven't been released yet for 2014.  I did look at some of my posts from the 2012 election titled 2012: A 1912 Rerun? (Only if you make it)The post included video/audio clips of the three main contenders for the presidency in 1912: Woodrow Wilson, William Howard Taft, and Teddy Roosevelt.  One contender I did not include in that Post was Eugene V. Debs,  He finished fourth in the vote that year with 6% of the vote. He ran for President four other times on the Socialist party platform with 1912 being the high water mark for the number of votes.  The 5th time he ran in 1920 he was imprisoned by the Wilson administration for opposing the US participation in WWI.  He still received 1 million votes that year while in prison (the first year women could vote). 

Bernie Sanders created the above documentary on Debs life with Sanders providing the voice of Debs.  Looking at the current crop of three presidential candidates it's tempting to say that there has never been anything like this year.  Looking back it can be seen that outsider campaigns were the norm rather than the exception.  The current group of candidates was whittled down to three after the Indiana primary.  Indiana just happens to be the home state of Eugene Debs.  He was followed in this tradition by Robert LaFolette, Henry Wallace, Ralph Nader, and many other lesser known candidates in running outside the two party system to promote new progressive ideas that the two major parties were not discussing. 

Anti immigrant/labor candidates like Trump are also not new.  The Know Nothing party of the 1850's is a good example.  They had nominated former President Millard Fillmore as for President in 1856.  I have written about other contemporary politicians like Rick Santorum, Tom Tancredo, and Joe Arpaio.  

Where will the current group of candidates end up?  That is up to all of us or at least the ones who participate.  Many were predicting that Trump and Sanders would both fizzle out in the primaries even as both were .  Neither has so far though the Democrats have been somewhat more adept at denying Sanders the nomination.  

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2012: A 2004 Election Rerun?

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Immigration: An International Issue

2012: A 1916 Rerun

Friday, April 29, 2016

Divergent Movements in PA Primary in Cambria County for Bernie and Trump

2016 Election Map for PA Democratic Primary
The headlines from this year's Pennsylvania Primary were that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have all but clinched the nomination of their respective parties for President with their wins on April 26.  Clinton won Pennsylvania with 55% of the vote while Trump won with 57% carrying all 67 counties.  In every election with millions of participants there are millions of stories that don't get reported.  

The county map above shows that Sanders won 31 out of 67 counties.  The results were close in many counties.  Bedford County was the closest in the state with Clinton beating Sanders by 5 votes.  Many counties were decided by a few hundred votes.  The outcome in some counties may change when absentee ballots are included.  Philadelphia County had the biggest margin for Clinton with 63% of the vote.  Columbia County was largest for Sanders with 58% of the vote. 

In Cambria County where I was organizing for Bernie we had a group of 30 volunteers (some of whom are pictured below at the election night party) canvass, leaflet, and phone bank for Bernie in Cambria County for the last 3 weeks of the campaign.  The Clinton campaign sent in Bill Clinton and volunteers from Arkansas a week after.  We covered the city of Johnstown and made it as far north as Ebensburg and Loretto.  The results on the Cambria County office of elections gives the following results that show Sanders won here by 537 votes out of 18,857 cast.





Roque Rocky De La




The group of volunteers who made it happen for Bernie Sanders in Cambria County
For comparison below is the election map for the PA primary in 2008.  Clinton won it by a similar margin with 55% of the vote but the pattern of wins by county was very different.  Obama won only 7 counties but winning 45% of the vote.  Turnout was higher that year with 2.3 million voting compared to 1.6 million voting this year in the democratic primary.  

For Cambria County, Clinton won there with 72% of the vote in 2008 with 31,643 turning out.  The turnout was down by 40% countywide in 2016 compared to a 29% decrease statewide.  This decrease may be partly explained by a decrease in population in the county (5.1% decrease or approximately 7,000 since 2010) and by reports of 61,000 Democrats statewide switching to Republicans presumably to vote for Donald Trump.  18,000 of which are in the southwest corner of the state.
2008 Election Map for PA Democratic Primary

For the Republicans, turnout was about 50% higher in the County and statewide partly due to Democrats switching sides and also due to there being a competitive primary which hasn't happened for Pennsylvania Republicans since 1980.  Donald Trump won the county with 65% or 10,795 votes out of 16,478 cast which is higher than Trump's percentage for the state.  

The outcomes of the primaries in both parties suggest that both sides are unhappy with politics as usual and their economic conditions in both the state as a whole and more so in Cambria County.  Our group took steps to address these concerns in a different manner than the Trump supporters.  Not by scapegoating foreigners but by addressing economic inequality.  There are some areas of agreement between Trump and Sanders supporters on free trade agreements being bad for the economy and the Iraq war being a big mistake.  To build a long term effective coalition one needs more than just fear to hold it together.  The primary shows that Cambria County can be fertile ground for Sanders' as well as Trump's ideas.  Time will tell which ideas will grow the most.

**Related Posts**

2014 Income and Poverty Update for Pennsylvania and Cambria County 

In Johnstown, PA to Organize for Bernie

Which Religious Group Supports Trump the Most?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Buyers Remose for Hillary Voters

In my last post I spoke of how Bernie Sanders has moved into a statistical tie with Hillary Clinton in the national polls since April 9.  It recently occurred to me that at this point most of the Democrats in the US has had their primaries or caucuses.  35 states have voted including New York which voted last night.  15 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia have yet to vote.  

Looking at the Real Clear Politics tally of the popular vote from the primaries.  Clinton has had 57.4% of the popular vote in the contests so far.  Not included in the total are caucuses like Iowa which only report the county delegates that are selected.  Utah's caucus was a quasi primary where participants filled out paper ballots so they are included in the total.  The relative size of the caucus states not included (many of which Bernie won in landslides) is relatively small and would not narrow this gap appreciably.

The national nature of these polls should include many states that have already voted at a time when Hillary Clinton had a 10 to 20 point lead in the national polls.  An interesting question is how have voter preferences changed in those states since their contests.  Is there buyers remorse among the Hillary voters?  Another issue is how many of these voters were unable to vote in their states such as those in Arizona and New York due to either stringent laws or inadequate polling facilities.  Many polls in the states yet to vote still show Hillary with a lead which seems to lend credence to the buyers remorse argument.  These issues have yet to be resolved and I haven't seen documentation in the polls to answer these questions.

These issues could spell trouble for Clinton if she were to win the nomination and/or the election making it hard to govern.  The conditions could still be ripe for a primary challenger in 2020.

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