June 9, 2016

Bernie Sanders: His supporters failed him once again. This time in the California Primary Election.

Bernie, you really should have anticipated ... should have known ... that your supporters would fail you once again.

On May 19, shortly after the violent outbursts by Sanders’ supporters at the Nevada Democratic Convention, I published a post discussing Bernie Sanders’ campaign and the near impossibility that Sanders could win the Democratic presidential nomination.   I stated:
“At the same convention, not all of Sanders’ supporters that were asked to attend showed up, and others were ruled ineligible to participate. 
If Sanders’ supporters … surely not all, but some of them, anyway … are going to turn to violence and death threats to get Sanders’ political platform message across; if Sanders’ supporters fail to show up when desperately needed by him; how can Sanders count on his supporters?  Will Sanders’ supporters also fail to show up to vote in November, if indeed Sanders were to be the Democratic Party presidential nominee?"
Unfortunately for Bernie, too many of his supporters failed to do so in the California Primary Election.

Hate to say I told ya so, but:  My poignant questions proved accurate; that’s just what happened in the June 7 California Presidential Primary Election.  While most polls had shown Clinton and Sanders in a statistical tie, Clinton ended up giving a spanking to Sanders at the polls.  Clinton currently leads Sanders by about 12.6 percentage points in the California Presidential Primary Election.

Heck, Clinton even handily bested Sanders in all 9 of the liberal San Francisco Bay Area counties.  Which were supposed to be solid supporters for Bernie.  Were supposed to be fruitful ground for Bernie's "political revolution".


And despite a surge in voter registration in California (17.9 million people were registered to vote for the June 7 Primary Election, a record for a California Primary Election), only 33.3 percent of California registered voters actually voted.  (UPDATE 6/11/2016:  California officials have revised estimated voter turnout to be 48% of California's registered voters, or about 8.6 million people.)

What happened? 

Sanders has attempted to blame his California supporters’ low voter turnout on the Associated Press’ Monday, June 6 release (the day before California’s Primary Election) stating that Hillary Clinton had enough delegates and superdelegate commitments to become the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Sorry, Bernie.  I don’t buy that argument.

Why?  For a couple of reasons.  

First, early voting – both by mail and at polling locations – had been going on for nearly a month in California, since May 9, providing plenty of opportunities to vote.  Second, if voters did wait to vote at the polls or by mail on the traditional primary voting day of June 7 (as I did, voting at my Pleasant Hill precinct's polling location), why would someone not vote simply because of an AP release?  After all, the presidential primary was only 1 of many items on California’s primary election ballot; local elections, state elections, and depending on location, other issues including voter initiatives, measures affecting sales taxes and property taxes, and school bond measure also appeared.   It wasn’t only Bernie on the ballot.

Rather, what happened to Bernie Sanders in the California Primary Election was just what happened to him at the Nevada Democratic Convention:  His supporters that had registered to vote, that had promised to vote, failed to do so.  In spite of huge attendance at the 30 rallies Bernie held in 3 weeks before June 7.   Or as Hoover Institution research fellow Bill Whalen (whose poll was accurate, predicting Clinton would best Sanders in California by 13 percentage points) stated:
"There was this anticipation [by Bernie Sanders and his campaign] that on June 7 this wave of young voters and independents would hit the shore, and that wave died somewhere out at sea." 
And one fact proven yet again:  Just because someone registers to vote doesn't mean the person will actually vote.

Bernie, Bernie.  

You have become yet another example of those who fail to learn from history – in this case, the history of your failed supporters at the Nevada and the historical precedent of many young registered voters failing to vote – are doomed to repeat it.

Now pop some popcorn, pour a drink, and let the Clinton-Trump smack down begin.  One thing is certain:  Saturday Night Live and other late night comedians will have plenty of material for their shows.

Looks like Feel the Bern has burned out.   

Mary Rae Fouts

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