Sanders’ Popularity Does Say Something About the Rising Left-Wing

Ryan Cooper - Rising Left-WingWhat is needed, I think, is a retreat from endless parsing of The Data and a little common sense. Bernie Sanders has been for years the most left-wing member of the Senate, from the second-smallest state in the nation. He ran on extremely aggressive and easy-to-understand left-wing policy. In contrast to the other white man in the race, the young, handsome, and (before the primary started) much more famous Martin O’Malley, Sanders stubbornly embraces one of the most toxic labels in American politics. But he completely blew O’Malley out of the water, and gave Clinton a serious run for her money, on the strength of colossal margins among young people — most of whom have come of political age in the worst economic environment in 80 years.

Surely some of that support is due to raw anti-Clinton animus or other distasteful characteristics, just as some of Clinton’s support can be chalked up to a selfish refusal to pay the higher taxes that Sanders’ program would require. But anyone who can talk themselves into thinking that his candidacy does not represent a resurgent American left has another thing coming.

—Ryan Cooper
Clinton Supporters’ Newest Delusion about Bernie Sanders

Update: Comments

I’m on the road and cannot comment at length regarding the comment thread here. I do however think that things are a bit extreme in both directions. I believe that most of the people in the party are of goodwill. And from a policy perspective neither Clinton nor Sanders are that different. What Sanders has as an advantage is a clear and consistent message. That doesn’t make Clinton disingenuous. I admire both candidates.

The point of posting this comment was to make a point about the people in the Democratic Party not the leaders of it. I do believe that the Democratic party is moving in a liberal direction. And that is not just a matter of the young people. If Bill Clinton were to become president now he would be much more liberal than he was then because the party itself is much more liberal than it was then.

Finally I want to say that James is my Digby. As you may know she got her start as a commenter on Atrios’ blog long before going on to start her own that greatly surpassed his. I appreciate his role as peacemaker even while remaining opinionated and interesting.

But as ever: play nice!

Three Races to Watch in Nevada

Nevada Representative Michele Fiore Christmas Card

Anyway, Nevada had its primary on June 14th and there were some surprising results for Nevada 03 and 04.

Nevada 03

Going into the primary there was the colorful Michele Fiore v two establishment politicians.  Assemblywoman Fiore has frequently gotten some national press from her various stunts for attention such as when she took a very controversial photo with her family for her Christmas card. For those who are not fans of guns, the fact that the only people not armed were the carried toddlers, was definitely upsetting. The child in the middle is five years old and carrying a Walther P22.

However she lost with only 18% of the vote while Danny Tarkanian got about 31% making him the winner of the primary.  He is facing (and already attacking) Democrat Jacky Rosen who won her race with a comfortable 62% of the vote.

Nevada 04

This race was of particular interest because it was one of the down-ticket races that Senator Sanders endorsed a candidate in. There were three top Democratic candidates but it was mainly between Lucy Flores (endorsed by Sanders) and Ruben Kihuen who was endorsed by Senator Harry Reid.  Kihuen was also endorsed by the local culinary union which is fairly strong in the state but particularly in the district. There has been speculation on Twitter that Susie Lee being in the race led to Lucy Flores losing. Lee captured 21% of the vote and Flores, 26%. Regardless, Kihuen won the primary with 40% of the vote.

He now will face Representative Cresent Hardy and is already eagerly tying him to Donald Trump.

US Senate

I haven’t talked about the Senate race yet because I was focused on the House. But with Senator Harry Reid retiring, it is going to be a major battle for the Democrats to hold on to the Senate seat.

The two expected winners of their respective primaries: Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Joe Heck caused no surprises as both won.

Catherine Cortez Masto would be the first Latina woman to serve as a US Senator. She served as the Nevada Attorney General and while she had something of a rocky time as the Attorney General, time heals all wounds.  She is endorsed by outgoing Harry Reid but I am not sure if she has been endorsed by the powerful (and active) culinary union that pushed Kihuen to victory in Nevada 04.

Joe Heck is a doctor/executive, former Army general, and current US Representative. In what may be a bad move, he has endorsed Donald Trump. This will give political observers a chance to see if embracing Trump hurts or helps someone.  Considering Trump’s sinking numbers: I think it will hurt him.  He is otherwise not a remarkable Republican officeholder.

November Outcome

In Nevada 03, Rosen seems to be a quiet campaigner while Tarkanian is ready to go against her.  How this will play out is anyone’s guess. She may decide to let him act like a bully while she simply continues to talk to voters. Meanwhile, in Nevada 04, Kihuen is going to take the fight to Hardy and push him hard.

For the Senate, it is also anyone’s guess.  The last polling that was done was back in December. The two candidates were evenly split with a lot of undecideds. So it depends on how they campaign against one another and how the very top of the ticket plays out.