Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Blogger Candidate Forum: Who To Choose?

Just a friendly reminder
Hello Everyone:

it is Wednesday and time for the weekly edition of Blogger Candidate Forum.  There was no primary again this week but we are less than a week away from the end of Primary season and "The Big One"-the California Primary.  At stake for the Republicans-172 delegates and 546 delegate for the Democrats.  While the Republican primary season is effectively over, Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton continue battle it out for every last delegate in the Golden State.  Blogger will be going to the poll next to cast her vote.  Yours truly still has not completely decided whether the Gentleman from Vermont or Madame Secretary deserve Blogger's vote.  On that note, it might be a good time to what the surveys say about how each Democratic candidate would fare against Donald Trump.

Hypothetical General Election Trump vs. Sanders
Despite being far behind in the delegate count, the Gentleman from Vermont does well in a hypothetical contest against presumptive nominee Donald Trump.  This fact gives the Sanders campaign a sense of optimism about next week's primary.  So much optimism that the Gentleman from Vermont made this assertion on the May 29, 2016 episode of NBC's Meet the Press,

Right every major poll, national poll and statewide poll done in the last month, sex weeks, we are defeating Trump often by big numbers, and always at a larger margin than Secretary Clinton is.

f you look at the graph on the left-hand side, you can see the Gentleman from Vermont handily beats Mr. Trump by 18 points.   As Blogger has said time and again, numbers do not lie, you can only add, subtract, multiply, and divide.  This is aphorism is certainly true in polls commissioned by NBC, Fox, and CBS news, CNN/ORC, USA Today-Suffolk, and GWU-Battleground that consistently show the Gentleman from Vermont beating Mr. Trump by an average of 6.25 points. (

Quinnipiac University Poll 2016 Presidential Election
Senator Bernie Sanders made a similar claim back in March, which Politifact found mostly true.  During a March 6 debate in Flint, Michigan, the Gentleman from Vermont said,

I would love to run against Donald Trump, and I'll tell you why,...Fort a start,...not all, but almost every poll has shown that Sanders vs. Trump does a lot better than Clinton vs. Trump...And, that's true nationally.  (Ibid)

That statement was mostly true in polls commissioned in February that matched the three remaining candidates.  In similar polls taken in May, the numbers still proves Senator Sanders's assertion correct.  Moreover, the Gentleman from Vermont bests Mr. Trump by an average of 12 points in each of the surveys.  It sounds like, case closed, give the nomination to Senator Bernie Sanders, right?  Not so fast.

Senator Bernie Sanders
Despite his presence on the national stage, Senator Bernie Sanders still remains a relatively new face.  Secretary Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye for the past twenty-five years.  Her every word and deed scrutinized and attacked.  Blogger believes, those emails aside, that there is nothing new to be gained from subjecting Madame Secretary to further examination.  Senator Sanders has, thus far, escaped that kind of microscopic scrutiny reserved for frontrunners and it remains to be seen how he will withstand the eventual negative, especially the ones that emphasize his democratic socialist identity.  It should be noted that being identified as a Socialist in the United States is less attractive than being called an atheist.

Kerwin Swint, a political scientist at Kennesaw State University told Politifact Georgia, "...Sanders shows up so strongly in head-to-head polls because Trump and Clinton have such high negatives.  Specifically, Mr. Swint said,

General election polls don't mean much until the conventions are over and you get to late summer or early fall...A lot of voters don't look at Sanders as a legitimate threat.  It's almost like he's an imaginary candidate.  (Ibid)  Ouch.

Further, early polls do not exclude "likely voters" as the later campaign surgery do.  Washington University political scientist and public opinion specialist Steven S. Smith told Politifact, that it does make a difference given the Gentleman from Vermont's high rates of support among millennial voters with a short voting history.  Specifically,

If Sanders draws disproportionately from people who are not likely to vote, which is a reasonable speculation at this point, then his support may be somewhat overstated in some comparisons.  (Ibid)

Just for the sake of noting, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd observed that Madame Secretary can expect to poll better against Mr. Trump once she secures the nomination and has the backing of former Sanders supporters.  What do the numbers say about Madame Secretary?

Trump vs. Clinton General Election
Looking at the graph on the left-hand side, the numbers are less encouraging for Madame Secretary in a head-to-head match up between her and Donald Trump.  The May 26, 2016 edition of Rasmussen Reports declared, "Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are in a near tie..."   The journal recently surveyed likely American voters, asking them one question, "If the 2016 presidential election were held today, would you vote for Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton?"  The results showed that 40 percent of the voters were likely to support Madame Secretary while 39 percent of the lined up behind Mr. Trump while 14 percent preferred another candidate and 7 percent were undecided. This is an improvement over last weeks's debut "White House Watch" poll which showed Mr. Trump with a 42 to 37 percent lead but it should be noted that this is a hypothetical matchup between the two likely nominees.  Neither candidate has demonstrated any real gain in support or altered their unfavorable perceptions.

Candidate attributes
Looking at how the numbers fall along party lines, Madame Secretary has the support of 77 percent of Democrats and 72 percent of Republicans are behind Mr. Trump.  Each candidate draws 12 percent of cross-party support.  Among unaffiliated notes, Mr. Trump less 34 to 30 percent however, 37 percent prefer another candidate or are undecided.  (Ibid)

If these early polls are indication, the November Elections are going to be very suspenseful.  Could we see another Gore v. Bush like we did in the 2000 cycle?  No thank you.  Early on in the Primary season, Mr. Trump's polemical views on abortion and immigration and his hijacking of the Red Team establishment were considered the gifts that kept on giving.  Blue Team operative were just salivating at the chance to take on the real estate magnet in the General Elections.

"2016 General Election Preference"
  Now as the Primaries recede into the Fall campaigns, the gift that kept on giving may not be so generous after all.  If you look at the chart on the left-hand side, you will see that Madame Secretary and Mr. Trump are in a virtual tie.  No room for complacency.  Mark Alderman, a Democratic fundraisers told CNN,

It will be close...I think that Trump as the nominee is an advantage for our party, but not nearly the advantage that some people thought and hoped it would be...I think he has proven to be a far more formidable candidate than expected.  (

Jay Carson, Madame's Secretary's 2008 press secretary, now producer for the Netflix series  House of Cards (naturally) sounded more alarmist on his Instagram feed,

Here's the bad news--this guy can win the general election pretty damn easily...I hear far too many of my liberal friends calling a 'joke' and acting like the general election (election) is in the bag which is nuts because he's dangerous and he has a path to victory.  (Ibid)  Blogger concurs.

The frontrunners
Early polls present a mixed bag.  A CNN/ORC poll from early May had Madame Secretary beating Mr. Trump by 13 points but growing evidence of a "Trump bump" in the survey data indicates his consolidation of party support.  This week, a Fox New survey had Mr. Trump ahead 45 to 42 percent, while a New York Times/CBS News national survey had Madame Secretary ahed by six point.  (Ibid).  If that was not enough, a poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in the swing sates Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania showed the frontrunners effectively neck-and-neck.  (Ibid)

Now Blogger must attempt to answer the question, "If the 2016 presidential election were held today, would you vote for Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Hillary Clinton?" Or Senator Sanders?  Sorry to sound like a tease but you will all have to wait until the post-California Primary edition of Blogger Candidate Forum.

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