At the time I’m writing this, the polling locations in a handful of states are still open. However, also at the time of writing, the Associated Press has already called the entire primary season for Hillary Clinton. Congratulations are most certainly in order for Clinton and her team, should everything play out the way that the AP and her team seem dead-convinced it will.
That said, Democrats, in my never to be humble opinion, are potentially walking into a buzz saw this fall by doing their level best to ignore independents. My good pal Manny Schewitz brought up a terrific point in his piece from today, linked below, about the fact that Bernie Sanders’ campaign has shone a pretty bright light on just how very little the Democratic machine regards independent voters.
The DNC has essentially behaved for decades as if the only voters that matter are those that choose Republican or Democrat as their team. Of course, it seems pretty obvious with so many Americans deciding to stay unaffiliated that those pesky non-partisan progressives have on many occasions helped push their candidate into the winner’s circle. Most recently, it was 2008 and 2012.
The vaunted Nate Silver had this piece today, and he’s not wrong:
Well, as Manny pointed out in his piece, people are fed-up with closed primaries, and that is the only reason “more Democrats” are choosing Hillary over Bernie. These are the people who are first and foremost concerned with their team winning, the Red Team losing, and everything else kind of slots in behind that. Manny pointed to polling that shows a huge number of Americans want open primaries. Are those bad for the parties? Depends on if you think pissing off people and not listening to what they want is bad for a party or not, I guess.
It cannot be that wise a decision to behave as if only Democrats or Republicans turn out for elections, but that’s exactly how the Hillary’s most strident and ardent surrogates have been behaving. To be fair, they are the winners here apparently, and winners get to set the narrative in a lot of ways. However, just looking at states like New York show us that the narrative of 2016 would have been drastically different had more primaries been open.
Do independents help people get elected? I mean, is that even a question worth asking when so many people identify as not being part of one of the major parties? That, to this simple clowny fuck, is the key to understanding what the Democrats’ greatest weakness is — hubris.
Only an overabundance of pride would keep Democrats from recognizing they need independents. Only stubborn pride would keep them from acknowledging that fact. Because it’s obvious to pretttttty much everyone else that the two parties are pretty ubiquitously disliked (Congressional approval ratings, much?) and that has been the case since I was knee-high to a knee of someone taller than I am.
The thing is — I’m not a moron like some people would have you believe simply because I’m a Sanders supporter. There is no doubt Clinton got more votes. We’ll see what California’s totals do the final number, but by any measure, Clinton got more votes. It’s how she got them and from whom, or rather from whom she couldn’t get them because they were intentionally discouraged from voting in the primary since they don’t belong to either party, that’s the issue at hand.
Can Clinton win after pissing off at least half her base by acting entitled to it? Does the AP’s call of the entire primary — which was likely not the Clinton camp’s doing because it’s definitely a big negative for her in the minds of the very people she’s trying to convince she doesn’t feel entitled to their vote — just further set in stone in many peoples’ minds the idea that their vote doesn’t really matter unless the Powers That Be want it to matter? These are the tough questions I highly doubt anyone at the DNC has been asking
There’s also the simple mathematical fact that even after today’s voting, Hillary won’t have enough pledged delegates to seal it. The superdelegates do not vote until the convention. So technically, enough could flip if, say, a big ass state goes for Sanders on the same day a couple more go for him as well…and maybe that’s why the Clinton team has been so desperate to get Sanders out. Who knows?
It’s all probably irrelevant now, and besides, only Democrats vote in November, remember?