We are bombarded daily with opinion pieces declaring Hillary Clinton miles ahead of Bernie Sanders in the polls, campaign contributions and endorsements. Let’s take a closer look…
The very first endorsement Clinton received was from Randi Weingarten’s union, the AFT. Weingarten is one of Hillary’s best friends and union members were not polled for the endorsement. As far as most of the other union endorsements given to Clinton, the vast majority were not the result of members voting and were most certainly over the vocal opposition of rank and file membership, to the point that many petitions were filed in protest. This is as true of the AFT endorsement as it is of the AFSCME’s.
Other major groups are choosing to endorse Sanders. The newest endorsement is by Democracy for America, whose membership is around one million people.
Sanders is still breaking fundraising records. He reached the 2 million small donor mark the day after the most recent GOP debate.
Sanders’ campaign rallies continue to be exceedingly well-attended.
During the preamble to the next to last debate, a well-liked MSNBC reporter commented that the Black vote is assured to go to Hillary Clinton because African Americans:
- are unfamiliar with Bernie Sanders or socialism, and
- they want a sure thing
Which made me ask myself, like in 2007 when we didn’t know how much of the vote Barack Obama would end up garnering?
There have also been many endorsements from prominent members of the Black Congressional Caucus. Those are best explained by decades of political associations and political pressure and maneuvering arising from lessons learned from 2007. Let’s be frank, the Clinton political machine is well-oiled with funds and political debts that go back decades. This is more a reflection of the rotting political system we have than anything else. But Sanders did get key endorsement from CBC members he has been closely allied with for decades, namely Keith Ellison, who said it was a matter of conscience. One very prominent and powerful politician, Senator Nina Turner of Ohio, recently switched her allegiance to Sanders and is actively campaigning with him. Several of this generation of rappers endorsed the Sanders campaign early on, including highly respected rapper Killer Mike, who gave Sanders a rousing welcome in Atlanta and recently published a one-hour conversation with him.
As you read people between the lines in places like Black Twitter and other social media outlets, it is easy to see that the disparity in commitment to racial justice between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton is not lost on many. The bitter comments are plentiful, with many “throwing shade” at Clinton for her attitude and lack of proactive initiative when it comes to matching Sanders’ very comprehensive platform for racial justice. Indeed, the Black community’s impressions are just as I wrote about Clinton’s first meeting with Black Lives Matter in New Hampshire. That meeting hasn’t been forgotten, and neither has her second encounter in which she had BLM leaders removed.
The New York Times and many of the nation’s largest newspapers continue to alternatively ignore Sanders on policy and put out hit pieces on a regular basis. This season, while articles by prominent visual op-ed writers analyzing polling data are conspicuously absent from our newspapers, you will find many references to Clinton dominance in the polls, without any analysis of the data. Then, there is the matter of the huge discrepancies one sees between online organizations’ poll results and those published in the mainstream media. So far, after each of the Democratic debates, Sanders’ performance was minimized by the mainstream, even as he was breaking fundraising records as a direct result. After the last debate, outlets like the New York Times called the debate in favor of Clinton while all the online polls, including activist Deray McKesson’s informal Twitter poll called it for Sanders 83% to Clinton’s 17. Ironically, the same thing just happened with the GOP debate, with the mainstream media declaring Trump the loser and the online outlets declaring Sanders the winner the following day.
One fact, and it is a fact, that voters must keep in mind is that in the last seven years, tens of millions of Americans have cancelled their landline phone service in favor of cellular. The overwhelming majority of young people have cell phones. It is against the law for polling organizations to reach prospective voters on their cell phones. According to Pew Research:
As of October 2014:
64% of American adults own a smartphone.
As of January 2014:
– 90% of American adults own a cell phone
– 32% of American adults own an e-reader
– 42% of American adults own a tablet computer
The idea that current polling is out of whack is not at all far-fetched. It isn’t crazy in the least to fathom that primary 2016 will result in the same failure Primary 2008 was for Hillary Clinton, in spite of media efforts to keep the public as uninformed — and even misinformed — as it possibly can.
Voters are urged to find trusted sources of news and analysis. They’re out there and, best of all, they’re either reader-supported or free. Don’t take everything you read as writ and, most of all, remember this phrase from a most talented African American writer, New York Times columnist and CNN pundit:
“The fat lady is waiting in the wings and she’s gargling with honey and lemon juice.”
** Greg Palast on Bernie Sanders and his relationship with the Congressional Black Caucus: