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Convention delegates are “not normal” party members

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the twitters…

* When you see “Bernie or bust” delegates loudly acting out, openly weeping and being interviewed on the teevee, remember this

Pew Research has been polling on the 2016 campaign for months, allowing it to track attitudes among voters over time. Nearly half of the Democratic electorate, 44 percent, changed their preference over the course of the three surveys Pew conducted. About 3 in 10 supported Clinton, wire-to-wire; about 20 percent Sanders.

Pew asked those consistent Sanders supporters whom they support in the general election. Ninety percent said they back Hillary Clinton. […]

Last week, as the Republican convention was going on, Pew offered similar research about the Republicans. Of the 44 percent of the party that never supported Donald Trump, 79 percent were planning on backing him in the general election — lower than the percentage of Sanders supporters backing Clinton, but still nearly 8 in 10.

So why so much outrage in Philadelphia? Delegates to party conventions are not normal members of political parties. [Emphasis added.]

Arguably, his most fervent supporters in the country are at the convention. They’re the ones who did the hard work to get themselves on the ballot, or worked the caucuses the most. The Bernie or Bust folks have put their hearts and souls into this “revolution,” and they’ve been convinced all along that the establishment has thwarted their will at every turn (and, indeed, the hacked DNC e-mails show that was the case in many respects). They are the true believers. Most people just aren’t that way, which the Pew polling shows.

In a nutshell, the Republican elite created their own problems by catering to the fears and beliefs of often angry white people for decades - and the “stuff-stirrers” firmly took over that party this year. The Democratic elite took their “stuff-stirrers” for granted for decades and they very nearly paid a heavy price this year, and are still having problems at their convention this week.

…Adding… As a longtime subscriber just told me, many of the younger Sanders supporters were raised in an era of participation trophies. “They were never taught how to lose”…


  1. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    Sounds right.

  2. - Belle - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    I can understand where they are at with him. I’ve been getting emails from him for a few years and the Kool Aid tasted great! At some point, I realized the taste wasn’t of this world but it wasn’t going to happen now. I know — it’s a dopey metaphor.

  3. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    As someone who voted Sanders in the primary, let me just say 2 things. First, I have no problem with the people who run the party wanting someone who has been a registered member of said party to be the nominee, so the whole DWS thing is ridiculous to me. Secondly, while I think we could do better than Mrs. Clinton, I can’t imagine what living under the Trump regime will be like. I would in all honestly vote for Blago if he were running against Trump. So I’ll deal with it.

  4. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:25 am:

    The Sanders delegates are like Ron Paul’s followers: completely (fanatically) committed to their candidate and his message (revolution). It was interesting how they booed Sanders when he spoke of supporting Clinton as the nominee. Like the DNC, has he betrayed them as well?

  5. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    huh…Wensicia..I never thought of Sanders followers being like Pauls. Makes some sense to me. I’m going to have to think more on that. hmmmm. Thanks

  6. - ChicagoVinny - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    So far the minority of Sanders delegates acting out are making a pretty good case for closed primaries IMHO.

  7. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:39 am:

    The two major parties have served up seriously flawed candidates for POTUS. Illinois’ dysfunction is a canary in the coal mine for many other states.

    I offer a few lines from a Buffalo Springfield tune: “There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear.”

  8. - RIJ - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:42 am:

    Excellent observations in your final paragraph, Rich. We are all well aware of the GOP’s catering to “the base” strategy and what has resulted, but less aware of the Dem’s failure to respond to the far left in any way.

    Of course, considering either the far right or the far left as the base of your party is long-term idiocy.

  9. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:49 am:

    “In a nutshell, the Republican elite created their own problems by catering to the fears and beliefs of often angry white people for decades..”

    That is one way to look at it but it is also the typical White male bashing that is so fashionable these days among some politicos.

    The Republican Party lost its way by having their own elites- Bushes, Ryan, Boehner, et, al.- types who have run the party.

    Always for big business and international world trade deals that export jobs, useless wars that drain the nation, and the continued turning of blind eye to illegal immigration and massive legal immigration of impoverished people (this is the 21st Century , not the 18th or 19th C.) so they can prop up the Chamber of Commerce and Ag business types.

    Provided for an alternative view.

  10. - BIG R. Ph - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    90% may back Hillary but will they actually get out and vote? With 2/3 negatives for both candidates, I believe that you will see the lightest turnout in a long, long time.

  11. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:52 am:

    One thing you can say about Sanders, whether you like him or not, he has been a Class Act during this whole process and particularly at the Convention.

    States his opinions and views outright but still has the grace to back Clinton and does so in a genuine manner. Very much unlike so many of the Republican contenders and party establishment types who acted like spoiled brats.

  12. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 11:54 am:

    We Illinoisans must attest to the calamitous implications of letting our anger and trepidation of a known candidate by sitting it out or voting for the promise everything candidate. Many union and public sector workers did that and we have ended up with the devastation of our state.

    Sarah Silverman said it best. “Can I just say to the Bernie or bust people, you’re being ridiculous”

  13. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:08 pm:

    Class Act during the whole process? have you actually watched and listened to Jeff Weaver, Jane Sanders, and sometimes Bernie himself? In addition to a clear lack of understanding of math…talking about actual addition and subtraction….their megalomania was ridiculous. Taxes and mismanagement of the college would have disqualified any other candidate.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:13 pm:

    Hillary has moved left as the party has moved left. These Bernie or bust people are like little kids who don’t get their way. because they didn’t win they want to run away and pout. this from a retiree who struggles month to month but still contributed to Bernie. don’t give up the revolution take over the Dem party It can happen will happen but not in one election cycle

  15. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    I would like to know the names of any Illinois delegates participatimg in the weeping and carrying on and shouting over speakers so I can know to never support them for any office. Those fools already made me regret my Bernie primary vote. Loved Sarah Silverman telling them they were being ridiculous.

  16. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:15 pm:

    Norseman is on point.

    To reiterate what I said last night in the convention post, this is the “Rauner can’t be any worse for unions than Quinn” portion of the convention. So focused on the perceived slights - by the DNC, by Hillary, now even Warren and Sanders himself - they end up missing the forest for the trees

  17. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:16 pm:

    –Sarah Silverman said it best. “Can I just say to the Bernie or bust people, you’re being ridiculous”–

    I really resented that statement. I’m not Bernie or Bust. I’ve stated my voting plan several times on this blog. But maintaining cultural hegemony and silencing any dissent is in large part why we have two crappy candidates on both sides of the aisle.

    People have been silenced and stifled, cheated and swindled across the board by our political elite in this country.

    No I’m not being ridiculous. I’m engaging in and wrestling with the Democratic process. For me, that means that sometimes I get loud and passionate. We should be only so lucky that people like me and protestors care so much.

    I don’t believe that Democracy should necessarily be orderly and neat.

  18. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:41 pm:

    I’m sure that the DNC e-mails don’t look good. Can you imagine what the RNC e-mails look like with plans to get out their current base? Of course, Russia didn’t go after those so they could hand them to Julian Assange and influence the American elections.

  19. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 12:45 pm:

    @Honeybear - Sorry but expecting people to not boo/talk over true blue progressives like Elizabeth Warren or even Bernie Sanders himself is not cultural hegemony. It’s basic decency. It would be one thing if they only had been acting up against DWS or Barney Frank but booing cause Hillary’s name came up in a prayer? Classless tantrum-throwing that does zippo to advance progressive politics.

  20. - Mittuns - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 1:10 pm:

    “…Adding… As a longtime subscriber just told me, many of the younger Sanders supporters were raised in an era of participation trophies. “They were never taught how to lose”…”

    Ah, yes. The tried and true old man yells at cloud routine, likely coming from an anonymous baby boomer whose generation is single handedly responsible for most of the ills that plague this state and nation. Massive debt, meaningless wars, growing poverty, busting unions, declining opportunity, exponential growth in the cost of higher education, stagnant wages, and a middle class in free fall.

    If the younger generation was never taught how to lose, it is because we’ve learned it from a generation who never looked beyond itself. Younger people are rightly upset that we’re left holding the bag for your indiscretions.

  21. - YSW - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 1:22 pm:

    I’m a millennial and the notion that we were never taught how to lose is baseless. The participation trophies we received may have made the baby boomers who bestowed them feel better, but kids aren’t THAT dumb - we understood what was happening.

    We also understand that many of us are likely to have a lower quality of life than the two generations before us, that we are mired in an unsustainable student loan bubble, and that we generally need to achieve far more educationally than our parents did to sustain a middle class lifestyle.

    The 2008 Great Recession was a formative experience for us, and our grandparents taught us the lessons of the Great Depression. That is part of why we are slower to start families and buy homes of our own.

    Some of us have fought and died in irresponsible and unwinnable wars. We have seen wealth inequality continue to increase. We have witnessed the increasing jeopardization of the environment from species loss and climate change.

    So we know a thing or two about losing. And perhaps we deserve to be forgiven for not agreeing to support a hawkish, corporatist, triangulating candidate lightly.

  22. - JackD - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 1:33 pm:

    Sarah Silverman’s point was that Hillary won and Bernie lost. Bernie himself acknowledged that. Obama made a similar statement about winning and losing to John McCain early in the Obama administration. I don’t claim “millennials” don’t know how to lose. The people in the hall last night, whoever they were, apparently didn’t know how to lose. They were, indeed, being ridiculous.

  23. - Graduated College Student - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 1:58 pm:

    So how many of those Bernie supporters are planning on running for office in the next few years? It’s not much of a revolution if you don’t know what it takes to bring it about.

  24. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:01 pm:

    But if the email leaks disclosed anything, the deck was stacked to make certain that Bernie or anyone other than Hillary was not going to be nominated. The super delegates have to go.

  25. - Graduated College Student - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    === The super delegates have to go. ===

    5 electoral routs out of 6 tries in between 1968 and 1988 say otherwise.

    That said, Bernie’s supporters are ignoring that many of the superdelegates backed Dean in 2004 and Hillary in 2008 before switching to the actual nominees once the primaries were over. Unlike Kerry and Obama, Sanders never had the same electoral case in the primaries to make them change their mind.

  26. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:11 pm:

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC was disgraced as a result of the hacked emails. Sanders and his supporters had been demanding that she step down for quite some time. Finally, on the eve of the convention, she resigns in disgrace. Instead of isolating herself from DWS, Hillary doubles down and announces that she has hired her to chair her campaign. And people wonder why they would boo any mention of her?

    I don’t know about the polling. I feel a lot of people will hold their nose and vote Clinton but a large number, especially the youngest Bernie supporters, will just sit this one out. There’s clearly not much excitement for Clinton in that demographic.

  27. - ZC - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:22 pm:

    One other possibility, is that some fraction of the Bernie delegates there in Philly, were never all that into Bernie. I mean, clearly the vast majority are. But some of these people on TV look like your standard anti-globalization protestors; taking a stand in front of the cameras is their job.

    I’m sure they did vote for Bernie, but I’m wondering if the calculus was more, “Hey, if we can get ourselves in as delegates, and pose as implacable ‘we’ll never support Bernie’ delegates, then the nation has to watch us protest and see us interviewed about our issues.” If that’s right … well credit to them, they did a good job planning it out.

    My sense is that quite a few Bernsters in Philly are getting sick of them.

  28. - CrazyHorse - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:29 pm:

    In regards to the Super Delegates, I think the real concern was that the media reported them from the start of the primary and that only results in voter suppression. It’s like turning on a baseball game and the scoreboard says your team is down 5-0 before the first pitch is thrown. You can’t really argue that those super delegatenumbers dissuaded some people from voting, figuring it was a lost cause.

  29. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==and announces that she has hired her to chair her campaign==

    Honorary Chair. The title doesn’t come with any responsibilities or duties.

  30. - JackD - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:33 pm:

    Clinton didn’t hire DWS to chair her campaign. She made her an “honorary chair”; a title without any power. Hopefully some of the progressives who might sit out will remember what that accomplished in the 2010 midterms when they gave away the Congress.

  31. - Not quite a majority - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 2:50 pm:

    Is it just me or is no one at all interested in the idea that Vladimir Putin might have just ‘hacked’ his way into our election cycle? I understand the Bernie people being miffed, and even blowing off steam. But at the end of the day, I really want to know how those emails came to light and it if was Putin, that puts a whole new spin on it.

  32. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 3:43 pm:

    Apparently George Will(!) is on Fox News (!!) saying the reason Trump won’t release his tax returns is because they will show that all of his money is in Russia, or something.

  33. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 5:38 pm:

    “Apparently George Will(!) is on Fox News (!!) saying the reason Trump won’t release his tax returns is because they will show that all of his money is in Russia, or something.”

    That certainly was his very strong implication.

    He could be right but George Will really hates Trump.

  34. - X-prof - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 6:03 pm:

    Agree entirely with first part of Norseman’s comment @11:54. Illinois, especially public service unions, is the poster child for the consequences of voting against your own interest [IL AFSCME] and for the perils of electing a rude, self-involved businessman with a dodgy record, no political experience, and a rigid, uninformed ideology.

    But I’m not so sure that Sarah Silverman’s condescending comment was helpful if her goal was to coax the Bernie or Busters into seeing pragmatic reality. I know that’s her comedic shtick, but in this context, was she the picture of mature pragmatism?

  35. - JackD - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 6:05 pm:

    The behavior of everyone during the call of the states was commendable and a fun event!

  36. - Bill Edley - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 6:38 pm:

    I campaigned for Sanders, both in Illinois and Iowa. Most of our volunteers were newbies, and those that weren’t newcomers were inspired by Sen. Sanders integrity and opposed to Hillary Clinton’s lack of character… I don’t see that changing much.
    The Chicago Tribune had Sanders down over 40 points a week before the Illinois’ March Primary, He lost by less than half-a-point and carried 78 of Illinois 102 counties. Clinton’s campaign generates little enthusiasm besides beating Trump, which if it wasn’t Trump, it would be Cruz or another republican.
    The election boils downs to which voters turnout – Anti-Trump or Anti-Clinton.
    I’ll vote, but not for Hillary Clinton.

  37. - The Fool On The Hill - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 7:20 pm:

    I expect the Never Trump movement and the Bernie or Bust people will cancel each other out.

  38. - JackD - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 8:19 pm:

    @billedley; and were you one of the progressives who blew off the 2010 midterms and gave us the Republican Congress we’ve grown to know and love?

  39. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 9:08 pm:

    Bill Edley, since you are a Dem, or at least used to be, explain to me what sins do you attribute to Hillary that you’re willing to risk a Trump presidency.

    I did a write-in for Gov in 2014 and regret that action (although it was write-in for a great Republican). I knew Rauner was a mistake and refused to support him. I also saw Quinn as an well-intentioned incompetent and couldn’t bring myself to vote for him.

    However, given the HUGE destruction that Rauner has wrought on this great state, I wish I and so many other folks had went ahead and voted for the incompetent.

    If someone had told me just a couple of years ago that I would be voting for Hillary, I would’ve told them they’re crazy. Now, I fear for this country if I don’t.

  40. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Jul 26, 16 @ 10:20 pm:

    Great article I just read.

  41. - Amalia - Wednesday, Jul 27, 16 @ 7:45 am:

    go ahead, Bernie people. stay away and you will help deliver the world Trump. YOU will be responsible. jerks.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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