Strong Possibility That Democrats Will Have A Tumultuous National Convention, Reminding Us Of 1968

There is a growing feeling that the Democratic Party will be divided all the way to the national convention in the second week of July in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Neither the progressive nor moderate wings seem likely to be able to gather enough delegates to lock up the nomination before July, as things now stand.

The Nevada Caucuses, South Carolina Primary, the 14 states on Super Tuesday, and 10 other states in the two weeks following Super Tuesday, might decide, but no certainty at this time.

The longer the struggle goes on, the more likely, horrible to say, that Donald Trump COULD win reelection, and destroy the Constitution and rule of law, making it impossible to recoup the damage that has been done during these three years of his Presidency.

The last time the Democrats were totally divided was 1968, and it led to the victory of Richard Nixon over a good, competent, decent man, Hubert Humphrey, who would have been far better than Nixon was.

The question remains: who is best equipped to win the Midwest, the area that had Hillary Clinton won, Donald Trump would not be President today, creating a constitutional crisis never ending!

9 comments on “Strong Possibility That Democrats Will Have A Tumultuous National Convention, Reminding Us Of 1968

  1. D February 18, 2020 7:06 am

    Ronald writes,

    “The question remains: who is best equipped to win the Midwest, the area that had Hillary Clinton won, Donald Trump would not be President today, creating a constitutional crisis never ending!”

    The answer:

    Bernie Sanders.

  2. Pragmatic Progressive February 18, 2020 8:25 am

    Latest polling from here in Virginia has Bernie and Bloomberg tied for first with Biden in second.

  3. Former Republican February 18, 2020 8:39 am

    Sounds like we might wind up with President Bloomberg.

  4. Former Republican February 18, 2020 4:00 pm

    Here’s exactly how Michael Bloomberg is surging

    Michael Bloomberg soared into second place nationally in a new NPR/PBS/Marist poll released Monday morning, a stunning surge fueled by hundreds of millions of ads funded by the billionaire former mayor of New York City.

    That poll allowed him to qualify for Wednesday’s Nevada debate, the first 2020 debate in which he will appear.
    That Bloomberg is now a major factor in the race is beyond question. The more interesting question is who, exactly, are Bloomberg voters? Where are his pockets of support? And perhaps most importantly, who has Bloomberg taken these voters from?

    A look inside the NPR/PBS/Marist poll suggests that the answer to that final question is, generally speaking, former Vice President Joe Biden. Bloomberg rose 15 percentage points from the December version of this poll until today. Biden fell 9 points — from 24% to 15% — in that same time period.
    Dig even deeper and you see that a Bloomberg voter today looks a lot like a Biden voter from back in December — with one clear difference, which I’ll get to.
    First, here’s where Bloomberg is running strongest (and remember that the former mayor trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders by 12 points in the overall national vote):

    1) Moderates: Bloomberg has emerged as the top choice for Democratic voters who view themselves more in the ideological middle of the party. He takes 29% among moderates as compared to 23% for Sanders, 14% for Biden and 13% for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

    2) Non-college whites: This was one of the pillars of Biden’s support going into this race — he’s from Scranton! — but no longer. Among this group, it’s Sanders who leads with 34% followed by Bloomberg at 24% and Biden at just 10%. (Among all white voters, Bernie leads with 29% followed by Bloomberg at 18% and Warren at 15%. Biden takes just 9%.)

    3) Old(er) voters: While Sanders has a massive lead over the field among voters younger than 45 (he’s at 54%!), it’s Bloomberg whose the top choice of the 45 and older crowd. He takes 27%, to 22% for Biden and 13% for Sanders.

    4) Small-town/rural voters: Yes, it’s not exactly the most obvious fit: the guy who spent more than a decade running New York City performing well among people who lives in small towns and rural areas. But here we are! Sanders leads among these voters with 28%, but he is followed closely by Bloomberg at 24%. Biden takes 13%.

    The one place where Biden remains strong(ish) — I told you we’d get here! — is among black voters. Biden wins 31% among that group, to 28% for Sanders and 16% for Bloomberg. Among all non-white voters, it’s Sanders in the lead at 34% followed by Biden at 21% and Bloomberg at 19%. In the December NPR poll, Sanders led among non-white voters with 29%, with Biden at 26% and Warren at 13%. Bloomberg’s support among that group, such as it was, was lumped into “other candidates” in the poll.

    While there’s a tendency to focus on the ongoing fight between Sanders and Bloomberg in the race, it’s actually Biden that Bloomberg needs to put down before he can worry too much about Sanders. If Bloomberg can eat into Biden’s support among black voters, Biden is done for. Bloomberg will have fully taken his slot in the race — and his voters.

    Because Bloomberg isn’t on the ballot in any states until Super Tuesday (March 3), it’s possible Biden can make a comeback in Nevada this Saturday and South Carolina next Saturday. But Bloomberg has made that path much, much more difficult for Biden. At the moment, it’s Bloomberg, not Biden (or Klobuchar or former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg) who is emerging as the pragmatic alternative to the liberal Sanders.

  5. Pragmatic Progressive February 18, 2020 4:03 pm

    Most Democrats we know in our town are in:

    1 – Moderate group
    3 – Older voters
    4 – Small town/rural voters

    College education – Mixed – Some have college education, some don’t.

  6. Former Republican February 18, 2020 4:19 pm

    Is This Country Ready to Lurch to the Left?
    Younger voters are more progressive, but it’s unclear if they can get their way.

    It’s easy to get whiplash these days, especially if you believe in data. This morning, you can learn from Gallup that the country remains ideologically slanted to the right:

    [“As Americans continued to lean more Democratic than Republican in their party preferences in 2019, the ideological balance of the country remained center-right, with 37% of Americans, on average, identifying as conservative during the year, 35% as moderate and 24% as liberal.”]

    You can also learn from Daily Kos Elections that Donald Trump’s reelection prospects have never looked worse:
    [We’ve swapped in some new @Civiqs polls on the @DKElections home page. One is Trump’s re-elect vs. a generic Dem, which just ticked up to its widest spread ever, 49 D, 43 Trump. The trend overall has not been good for Trump — @DKElections on Twitter]

    You can read Eric Levitz’s big piece in New York magazine that explores the hard-left leanings of Millennials and Generation Z.

    [Blue America’s gaping chasm of a generation gap has been a — if not the — defining feature of the Democratic primary race thus far. An Economist/YouGov poll released this week found that 60 percent of Democrats younger than 30 support either Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren; among those 65 and older, the progressive candidates’ combined total was 27 percent. Before the Vermont senator’s strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire, surveys showed an even wider age divide: In late January, Quinnipiac had Joe Biden leading the field nationally — even as he trailed Bernie Sanders among voters 35 and younger by a margin of 53 to 3 percent. Exit polls from New Hampshire affirmed this generational split, with Sanders winning 47 percent of voters 18 to 29, but just 15 percent of those over 65.]

    Technically, it’s possible for all of these things to be true at the same time despite the fact that they seem to tell contradictory stories. If you’re trying to put together this puzzle to see what it portends for the upcoming election, it seems like a very daunting task. We’re accustomed to seeing a gender gap and voter preferences starkly divided by region and race, and we know that the electoral college is very capable of rendering a different verdict from the popular vote. We’ve never seen generational splits like this, however, and pollsters aren’t giving us the information in a way that really allows us to understand how it might shape the outcome in November.

    For example, we don’t know if the youth vote is as divided by region as the rest of the electorate. Are the kids in Oklahoma as socialist friendly as the left-leaning kids in Oregon? How about in the rural areas of the Rust Belt? Can Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren hope to outperform Hillary Clinton in small-town Pennsylvania because folks under thirty there will vote differently from their MAGA hat-wearing parents? How would these same kids feel about Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg? What would this age difference look like with Pete Buttigieg on the ballot? Finally, how much youth turnout would be necessary to overcome the natural tendency of older voters to hit above their weight in the voting booth?

    We can ask similar questions about the folks over sixty-five. The data suggest that they’d be far more likely to back a candidate perceived as moderate than a strong progressive. To what degree is this true, and at what point would it overwhelm any surge in voter participation from younger voters? We might only need the answer to this question in a small handful of swing states.

    I tend to focus more on the urban/suburban vs. rural/small town split, as it helps me model what it will take to win in the traditionally blue states that Trump carried in 2016. Sanders-style Democratic socialism doesn’t play well in the affluent suburbs outside Philadelphia where I live. My county voted for George W. Bush twice before splitting between Obama, Romney, and Clinton. Clinton actually did the best of the bunch, but there’s a lot of potential swing depending on the candidates on offer.

    And there’s some reason to believe the youth vote here will act differently from the youth vote in less wealthy areas. Eric Levitz looks at the recent results out of New Hampshire in the context of data showing that real median income for college grads looks much different for kids that attend elite vs. ordinary colleges.

    See college info chart in article

    [A vulgar Marxist looking at Bloomberg’s chart might predict that the college students and graduates of less prestigious, public universities — who have been most disserved by the “knowledge economy” myth — would be even more inclined toward left-wing politics than their Ivy League peers. And the results of the New Hampshire primary lend credence to that view: While Pete Buttigieg held his own in the town of Hanover, home to Dartmouth, Sanders cleaned his clock in the precincts surrounding the University of New Hampshire.]

    Since the popular vote doesn’t determine the winner of the presidential election, it matters a lot how sentiments in the youth vote differ by state, and also how turnout might differ by region. It’s quite possible that one Democrat could create a successful distribution of votes while another would not, despite them both getting about the same number of total votes across the entirety of the country.

    Yet, regional and urban/suburban vs. rural/small town polarization seems to be the most immutable and growing phenomenon of the Trump Era. It’s hard to bet on any Democrat being able to stem or especially reverse this trend. A candidate who we can expect to underperform Clinton among the over-30 crowd in the suburbs and among voters over 65 would need to make up for it by over-performing by a bigger amount with the under-30 crowd and in Trump’s rural areas of strength. And they’d have to do this in clearly defined states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

    It’s hard to gamble on this happening when the more natural and obvious road to victory is to roll up bigger margins in the suburbs than Clinton did (which seems to be the trajectory we’re on) while hoping that any Democrat will do better than Clinton with the youth vote in rural areas.

    The surest road to defeat seems to be entering the contest with a badly divided Democratic Party where there are folks who actually prefer Trump to their own party’s candidate, and also a large contingent of people who will sit it out because they’re angry at how their preferred candidate was treated during the primaries.

    It seems obvious that a more progressive kind of politics is on the horizon, but I don’t know if we’ll be there yet in 2020.

  7. Princess Leia February 18, 2020 6:28 pm

    I’m going to see how NV and SC go before I make up my mind.

  8. Rational Lefty February 18, 2020 8:07 pm

    Bloomberg’s in the debate tomorrow night. Prepare your popcorn, folks. Should be lots of fireworks.

  9. Former Republican February 19, 2020 12:32 pm

    Martin Longman has a follow-up article today –

    Bernie Sanders and the Non-Voter Revolution
    Low-proclivity voters have a preference for Donald Trump. How, then, should Democrats mobilize?

    A new study of non-voters by the Knight Foundation confirms everything I thought I knew about the prospects for winning a presidential election through heightened voter mobilization. Whatever the intrinsic merits of increased civic participation as an electoral strategy for the Democrats against Donald Trump, it is highly dubious.

    The report examined 12,000 “chronic non-voters in America, across the country and in key battleground states.” Their bottom line finding is that if all these people went to the polls, the Democrats would increase their popular vote margin and lose the Electoral College even more decisively than in 2016.

    Of all the battleground states, my home base of Pennsylvania had the worst numbers. Trump leads here with non-voters by a 36 percent to 28 percent margin. This is consistent with my impression that most of the untapped vote in the Keystone State is composed of white voters who have little to no higher education. A similar situation holds for Virginia, Florida, and Arizona. Of the nine battleground states where the study questioned non-voters, only Georgia showed an advantage for a generic Democrat over Trump that is outside of the survey’s margin of error.

    Another suspicion of mine was confirmed too; Bernie Sanders would fare best among this group largely because he’s not perceived as a typical Democrat and his calls for systemic change match the sentiments of non-voters. It’s this sentiment that explains why Trump does so well with this group and it’s also why more conventional politicians, like Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney, have little appeal to them.

    [In [Meagan] Day’s estimation, Bernie Sanders, like Trump, is appealing to people who don’t typically vote because he has managed to put some distance between himself and the Democratic Party establishment. “There are a lot of people who like Donald Trump who don’t necessarily love the Republicans,” she notes. “When we look at who doesn’t vote, we’re looking at people who are feeling alienated from the political process because they feel like there’s nothing on offer from them from either party. And they don’t get the sense that anybody wants to fight for them.”
    …In a New York Times survey of swing state nonvoters, Sanders was the most popular Democrat, besting Trump by 4 percentage points, while Warren was actually 1 point less popular than Trump among nonvoters. The same survey showed that between Democratic voters and nonvoters who favor Democrats, fewer nonvoters consider themselves “very liberal” or say they want a candidate who “promises to fight for a bold progressive agenda,” but more nonvoters than voting Democrats want a candidate who “will fundamentally change America.” The Times survey also showed that more Democratic-leaning nonvoters than Democratic voters in swing states support single-payer health care.]

    Armed with this data, perhaps it is easier to understand my point of view. Winning Pennsylvania appears to be a prerequisite for a Democrat hoping to defeat Trump. Bernie Sanders is using an approach that intuitively makes no sense in Pennsylvania, which is to trust in mobilizing low-proclivity voters to the polls using a populist approach that will hurt his performance badly in the suburbs where Democrats have been surging massively over the last four years. In general, low proclivity voters in Pennsylvania heavily favor Trump, so higher turnout is not going to help a generic Democrat.

    Yet, Sanders is not a generic Democrat. And, for this reason, he might be able to win here using this approach while other Democrats would fail. Perhaps his best argument is that this election will have historically high turnout and he’s best positioned to compete for those votes in Pennsylvania.

    But that’s highly speculative and tremendously risky. It’s also not something most Pennsylvania Democrats want to try because even if it were to succeed for Sanders it might not be a success for them. This is what I tried to explain in my piece: Bernie’s Coalition Doesn’t Overlap With Dem’s House Majority. The short version is that the Democrats have recently won scores of federal, state, and local races in the suburbs and those seats could be at risk if the top of the ticket underperforms. The shape of the electorate matters a lot, as we know from watching Clinton win the popular vote and lose the election.

    But Clinton actually lost the popular vote in Pennsylvania, which is why I began arguing immediately after the election that the Democrats needed to get away from a strategy that relied solely on the suburbs and instead focus on winning back some support in rural areas and small towns. Sanders would create a test-case for that, but it’s really flying in the face of all the momentum the Democrats have made using the suburban approach.

    A simple way of putting this is that Donald Trump has more say in how the country is polarized than any challenger could ever have. His policies and behaviors have pushed suburbanites away from the GOP and given the Democrats a House majority based on their support. The party needs to protect that majority and the new officeholders certainly prefer a strategy premised on winning over rather than alienating their constituents.

    I’d prefer a left-wing coalition that is more in the FDR mold of representing working people first and foremost. The country club folks could go back to complaining about how the unwashed are getting more than their fair share rather than constituting the backbone of the Democratic majority. But Trump doesn’t really allow this shape to take form, and the Democrats would be foolish to toss away easy seats in a theoretical effort to win difficult ones.

    Those who believe in Sanders, trust that he can pull off a win by mobilizing non-voters. They’re probably right that he’s the only Democrat running who has a chance at victory with this approach. But non-voters in battleground states are currently leaning to Trump, so this strategy looks perilous and it has a serious downside.

    The downside is that a lot of Democratic officeholders do not see the strategy as serving their self-interest, which means many of them will reject it or try to keep their distance. The cost comes in a lack of party unity, and it’s hard to measure how lack of unity might impact the campaign.

    There is no absolutely safe strategy. The Democrats could nominate a more mainstream candidate who is broadly liked in the suburbs and discover that way too many Trump-leaning non-voters turn out in November and swamp them at the polls. But this strategy would also keep the party more united, and that counts for a lot.

    None of this is really that complicated. If the Democrats nominate a candidate who is not actually a Democrat, they’ll be splintered as a party but probably have more appeal to folks who don’t really like Democrats (or Republicans) in the first place.

    I guess my biggest worry is that I have doubts about any strategy that depends on people doing what they have not done in the past. I have too much experience with people who suffer from addiction to believe that this is often a winning bet.

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