Thursday, February 4, 2016

Democratic presidential primary news

The first three items are from Greg Sargent's Plum Line (Washington Post).

Four Democratic debates scheduled

The four debates will be sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee, a spokesman for the DNC, Luis Miranda, confirms ... The first of these will be [tonight, Feb 4] in New Hampshire, to air on MSNBC. The second will be in Flint, Michigan (as Hillary Clinton has requested) in March; the third will be in Pennsylvania in April, and the fourth will be in California in May, a source close to the talks confirms ... now that Martin O’Malley has dropped out, these will be head-to-head affairs. All this will mean more exposure to a national audience for the Democratic candidates and their ideas, perhaps contrasting well with the intensifying GOP primary madness ...

Clinton vs. Sanders intensifying

Basically the report is about the back-and-forth about appearances at debates, especially the one in New Hampshire. It seems settled now - see above post 24 hours later. Interesting if you like campaign bickering.

Clinton's bet on non-white voters

Now that it’s clear that we’re going to have a protracted Democratic primary, the Clinton camp’s bet [on minority voters] presumably means a robust debate on issues that matter to minorities. Both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns appear to have anticipated this: prodded in part by the Black Lives Matter movement, they have already taken steps to showcase their records and positions on race and civil rights.

This one is from Matthew Yglesias at

"You cannot be a moderate and a progressive"

That quote is from Sanders' tweets and from last night's Town Hall. I think Sanders is right but there is another angle. Since 1992, Gallup surveys show that self-identified moderates have decreased (43% to 34%) while self-identified liberals have increased (17% to 24%). However, the numbers of self-identified conservatives have remained relatively stable (36% to 38%). Using the most recent percentages, in order to achieve a 51% victory, Republicans need to add 38% of the moderates to their base but Democrats would need 80% of the moderates.

There are enough self-identified conservatives in the United States that a Republican can win a presidential election while losing self-identified moderates. But a Democrat needs to win the votes of self-identified moderates by a healthy margin in order to have a chance, so Democrats who want to win need to bridge a divide between liberal and moderate self-conceptions.

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