Whom Should I Vote For: Clinton or Sanders?

You may be asking yourself the same question, especially if, like me, you vote on Tuesday, March 1st.

For some of us, a related question is which of the two is likely to win the nomination.

If one of the two is highly likely to win the nomination, then it may be smart to vote for that candidate in order to add to the momentum effect and, frankly, to end the internecine fighting and eating of young within the party sooner. If, however, one of the two is only somewhat likely to win the nomination, and your preference is for the one slightly more likely to lose, then you better vote for the projected loser so they become the winner!

National polls of who is ahead have been unreliable, and also, relying on those polls obviates the democratic process, so they should be considered but not used to drive one's choice. However, a number of primaries have already happened, so there is some information from those contests to help estimate what might happen in the future. On the other hand, there have been only a few primaries so far. Making a choice based wholly or in part on who is likely to win is better left until after Super Tuesday, when there will be more data. But, circling back to the original question, that does not help those of us voting in two days, does it?

Let's look at the primaries so far.

Overall, Sanders has done better than polls might have suggested weeks before the primaries started. This tell us that his insurgency is valid and should be paid attention to.

There has been a lot of talk about which candidate is electable vs. not, and about theoretical match-ups with Trump or other GOP candidates. If you look at ALL the match-ups, instead one cherry picked match-up the supporter of one or the other candidate might pick, both candidates do OK against the GOP. Also, such early theoretical match-ups are probably very unreliable. So, best to ignore them.

Iowa told us that the two candidates are roughly matched.

New Hampshire confirmed that the two candidates are roughly matched, given that Sanders has a partial "favorite son" effect going in the Granite State.

Nevada confirmed, again, that the two candidates are roughly matched, because the difference wasn't great between the two.

So far, given those three races, in combination with exit polls, we can surmise that among White voters, the two candidates are roughly matched, but with Sanders doing better with younger voters, and Clinton doing better with older voters.

The good news for Sanders about younger voters is that he is bringing people into the process, which means more voters, and that is good. The bad news is two part: 1) Younger voters are unreliable. They were supposed to elect Kerry, but never showed up, for example; and 2) Some (a small number, I hope) of Sanders' younger voters claim that they will abandon the race, or the Democrats, if their candidate does not win, write in Sanders, vote for Trump, or some other idiotic thing. So, if Clinton ends up being the nominee, thanks Bernie, but really, no thanks.

Then came South Carolina. Before South Carolina, we knew that there were two likely outcomes down the road starting with this first southern state. One is that expectations surrounding Clinton's campaign would be confirmed, and she would do about 70-30 among African American voters, which in the end would give her a likely win in the primary. The other possibility is that Sanders would close this ethnic gap, which, given his support among men and white voters, could allow him to win the primary.

What happened in South Carolina is that Clinton did way better than even those optimistic predictions suggested. This is not good for Sanders.

Some have claimed that South Carolina was an aberration. But, that claim is being made only by Sanders supporters, and only after the fact. Also, the claim is largely bogus because it suggests that somehow Democratic and especially African American Democratic voters are somehow conservative southern yahoos, and that is why they voted so heavily in favor of Clinton. But really, there is no reason to suggest that Democratic African American voters aren't reasonably well represented by South Carolina.

In addition to that, polling for other southern states conforms pretty closely to expectations based on the actual results for South Carolina.

I developed an ethnic-based model for the Democratic primary (see this for an earlier version). The idea of the model is simple. Most of the variation we will ultimately observe among the states in voting patterns for the two candidates will be explained by the ethnic mix in each state. This is certainly an oversimplification, but has a good chance of working given that before breaking out voters by ethnicity, we are subsetting them by party affiliation. So this is not how White, Black and Hispanic people will vote across the states, but rather, how White, Black and Hispanic Democrats will vote across the state. I'm pretty confident that this is a useful model.

My model has two versions (chosen by me, there could be many other versions), one giving Sanders' strategy a nod by having him do 10% better among white voters, but only 60-40 among non-white voters. The Clinton-favored strategy gives Clinton 50-50 among white voters, and a strong advantage among African American voters, based on South Carolina's results and polling, of 86-14%. Clinton also has a small advantage among Hispanic voters (based mainly on polls) with a 57:43% mix.

These are the numbers I've settled on today, after South Carolina. But, I will adjust these numbers after Super Tuesday, and at that point, I'll have some real confidence in the model. But, at the moment, the model seems to be potentially useful, and I'll be happy to tell you why.

First, let us dispose of some of the circular logic. Given both polls and South Carolina's results, the model, based partly on South Carolina, predicts South Carolina pretty well using the Clinton-favored version (not the Sanders-favored version), with a predicted cf. actual outcome of 34:19% cf 39:14% This is obviously not an independent prediction, but rather a calibration. The Sanders-favored model predicts an even outcome of 27:26%.

The following table shows the likely results for the Clinton-favored and Sanders-favored model in each state having a primary on Tuesday.
Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 12.50.21 PM
The two columns on the right are estimates from polling where available. This is highly variable in quality and should be used cautiously. I highlighted the Clinton- or Sanders-favored model that most closely matches the polling. The matches are generally very close. This strongly suggests that the Clinton-favored version of the model essentially works, even given the limited information, and simplicity of the model.

Please note that in both the Clinton- and Sanders-favored model, Clinton wins the day on Tuesday, but only barely for the Sanders-favored model (note that territories are not considered here).

I applied the same model over the entire primary season (states only) to produce two graphs, shown below.

The Clinton-favored model has Clinton pulling ahead in committed delegate (I ignore Super Delegates, who are not committed) on Tuesday, then widens her lead over time, winning handily. The Sanders-favored model projects a horserace, where the two candidates are ridiculously close for the entire election.

Who_will_win_democratic_primaries_Clinton
Who_Will_Win_Democratic_Primaries_Maybe_Sanders_Probably_Clinton

So, who am I going to voter for?

I like both candidates. The current model suggests I should vote for Clinton because she is going to pull ahead, and it is better to vote for the likely winner, since I like them both, so that person gets more momentum (a tiny fraction of momentum, given one vote, but still...). On the other hand, a Sanders insurgency would be revolutionary and change the world in interesting ways, and for that to happen, Sanders needs as many votes on Tuesday as possible.

It is quite possible, then, that I'll vote for Sanders, then work hard for Hillary if Super Tuesday confirms the Clinton favored model. That is how I am leaning now, having made that decision while typing the first few words of this very paragraph.

Or I could change my mind.

Either way, I want to see people stop being so mean to the candidate they are not supporting. That is only going to hurt, and be a regretful decision, if your candidate is not the chosen one. Also, you are annoying the heck out of everyone else. So just stop, OK?

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As you know, I developed a simple model for projecting future primary outcomes in the Democratic party. This model is based on the ethnic mix in each state, among Democratic Party voters. The model attributes a likely voting choice to theoretical primary goers or causers based on previous…
Bernie Sanders has either stated or implied two features that make up his strategy to win the Democratic nomination to be the party's candidate for President this November. Implied, sort of stated: Convince so-called "Superdelegates" (properly called "uncommitted delegates") in states where he has…
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"... a Sanders insurgency would be revolutionary and change the world in interesting ways..."

But but necessarily good ways. A Sanders insurgency could conceivably include Donald Trump as POTUS.

Those who understand a risk assessment view of AGW should see a parallel in this election.

Trump in the White House and Congress well-stocked with Republican religious zealots, free market ideologues, fascists and fossil carbon industry stooges? It is an outcome too noxious to bear thinking about. The default position of progressives, ISTM, must be to make that result is unlikely as possible, which would include supporting Clinton as the Dem. candidate.

As interesting as Bernie might be, once the Republicans have him isolated out on the Serengeti and start stabbing him with the "Socialist" spear (not to mention his very evident age), he will begin receding in their candidate's rear view mirror. His supporters naturally abhor this "hold your nose and vote for Hillary" strategy, but it is a sensible one for those USA'ns desiring to keep as many Right Wing clowns as possible out of national office.

OK, that's the stick. Here's the carrot: With a Clinton victory, the nation's two most recent Chief Executive will then be a black man and a woman. If Hillary were to serve 2 terms, it would mean 16 straight years with the nations top office mot occupied by a white male. How's that for revolutionary?

Greg,

As I pointed out in the previous election discussion, "being mean" at this point is a pretty one-sided proposition.

I have yet to see anyone (Democrats, and especially, Republicans) say anything negative about Bernie Sanders-- it's mostly "he's a nice guy with appealing liberal ideas". Not likely to win the general, but sincere and honorable.

All the personal venom (and I have said *some* of it is obviously from Republican trolls) is directed against Hillary Clinton. And, more concerning, against African-Americans and women.

So I will offer at least one negative observation-- people who say they will withdraw support if Hillary is nominated, and that African-Americans are stupid because they support her, are politically deluded, and stupid themselves, if they think that's the way to get turnout for Bernie.

Using the word "insurgency" regarding Senator Sanders is awesome: thank you.

To prevent the worse evil from being elected, one must vote for Secretary Clinton. If Senator Sanders had not also been a viable candidate, I would without hesitation vote for Ms. Clinton.

However, I choose to "eat the young" and vote for Sanders regardless of the latest polling; I am willing to watch the USA burn rather than compromise my ideals by once again being forced to vote against the greater evil and not being allowed to vote for for the greater good. If that means Trump being President, and he calls down upon our heads global thermonuclear holocaust because his tiny orange penis needed compensating, then I say let it come.

I am 56 years old; in my life time there was only one presidential candidate that was worthy of voting for, compared to all of the other times USA citizens were forced to vote against the most evil. Everyone saw how quickly the USA rebounded from the Bush2 Recession after that election, and the increased recognition for civil and human rights, and the hundreds of curbs placed on government corruption, and the only Executive Office administration free of scandals in the past 80 years or longer.

We could have that again for another 8 years if voters like me stand by their ideals, and I don't give a bloody shit if I'm the only one; even if it means fascism gains even more political power and destroys the country.

Primary elections in New Mexico are on June 7, 2016. I don't care if polls show Trump and Clinton tied, or Clinton is 50% behind; I will be voting for Senator Sanders because he is the better candidate.

By Desertphile (not verified) on 28 Feb 2016 #permalink

A different take:
Any of the three Republican leading candidates in office + Republican ruled House and Senate = a country and people screwed by the implementation of their economic and social agenda

Clinton or Sanders in office + Republican ruled House and Senate = years of nothing meaningful being done because of the same Republican tactics we've recently seen

Neither is very appealing.

Finishing the primary early sounds like a bad idea to me. From that moment on there will be no attention for Democratic topics anymore. The national discussion will be about whether US need to waterboard people or whether you are a wimp to exclude other torture methods. Whether the flat tax should be 10 or 12 percent. Whether the Syria should be bombed or the Middle East should be carpet bombed. And so on. No thanks.

The people in South Carolina were conservative. 60% had made up their mind a month ago, that is a lot. Interviews suggested that many people just supported Clinton based on name recognition and hardly informed themselves.

The whites in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada are different. Why assume that blacks in different states are not also different?

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 28 Feb 2016 #permalink

Adam R.: "But but necessarily good ways. A Sanders insurgency could conceivably include Donald Trump as POTUS."

Have a look on Real Clear Politics at all the head to head polls. They clearly favor Sanders. Clinton may well lose.

Greg is right that these polls are not very informative, but at least there is no evidence that Clinton is more electable. Stop watching TV. And in the year of the outsider, where people are fed up with crony capitalism, it is not a good election to be part of the establishment.

Trump has two selling points: he is a racist and he is his own man. Sanders can disarm the second point. Clinton cannot.

Adam R.: "Those who understand a risk assessment view of AGW should see a parallel in this election."

Yes, thus the main thing is to elect an electable candidate. But do not expect that Clinton will be able to do much more than Obama. Only when you get money out of politics, you can get serious about solving the problem fast enough.

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 28 Feb 2016 #permalink

Be true to your principles, Greg:
Sanders!

By See Noevo (not verified) on 28 Feb 2016 #permalink

Electing Trump will probably mean grand economic gestures towards the middle class, but a dysfunctional relationship between congress and the executive, and not much relief as capital still flows to the few. Electing Clinton means almost the same but different gestures. Electing Sanders means almost the same but different gestures. Without changing out the congress, the chief exec really can't accomplish much.

The Democratic candidate will face three problems in the fall:
1) Turnout
2) Turnout
3) Turnout

Whichever candidate offers the likelihood of higher turnout is the one to vote for. Unfortunately, I don't know which one that is.

Politics is almost never about persuading people to vote for you, it's about identifying the people who will vote for you and making sure they show up at the polls. Given the turnout in these primaries/caucuses so far, either both candidates are awful at identifying their supporters and getting them to show up or potential Democratic voters aren't enthused enough about either Clinton or Sanders to vote in the primaries/caucuses.

Consider the 2008 election when Obama electrified a sizeable number of Democratic voters. S.C. had 535,000 voters in the 2008 primary. This year 375,000 voted.

We're still a long way from November and I don't know if there's much correlation between primary turnout and general election turnout in presidential years, but turnout in general is what wins elections.

By Kevin O'Neill (not verified) on 28 Feb 2016 #permalink

Victor, both sanders and clinton beat trump in the same number of head to head matchups.

These matchups, as noted, have little value at this point in the election.

The matchups that make Sanders look best are done by Fox. Think about it!

Without the Fox News polls: Clinton would win from Trump by 2% and Sanders by 3% (average of three of four last polls show in the above link).

Conclusion: Sanders is more electable.

Yes, the match ups do not say much, certainly with such small differences and with so many people who do not know Sanders yet, but there really is no evidence that Clinton is more electable.

With people fed up with politics and crony capitalism, with the lowest approval ratings for Congress, with the smallest identification with the two main parties, a party would well advised not to ask electorate to vote for an establishment candidate.

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 28 Feb 2016 #permalink

It's highly probable that Hillary is going to win the nomination.

Therefore a vote for Bernie in the primary is at minimum "safe" even for Hillary-supporters, and in any case is likely to give Hillary good reason to embrace certain populist memes that appear to be having universal appeal across partisan lines.

The key dynamic this year in both parties is populism: "the little guy/gal" vs. "The Bigs." Trump's populism comes along with a traditional right-populist appeal to nativism: racism & bigotry. Bernie's populism comes along with a traditional left-populist appeal to class solidarity.

A strong showing for Bernie will encourage Hillary to pick up some of Bernie's populist memes, which in turn will help her in November.

There is a wild card in the mix that may become a key factor as well:

Zika is showing up in Americans, and an outbreak of microcephalic births will bring the abortion debate to the forefront, as occurred with the rubella outbreak in the 1960s. This will substantially favor Democrats.

G: "A strong showing for Bernie will encourage Hillary to pick up some of Bernie’s populist memes, which in turn will help her in November."

She will "pick up" populist memes right up to the end of the election, then drop them.

By Desertphile (not verified) on 29 Feb 2016 #permalink

In reply to by G (not verified)

"Yes, the match ups do not say much, certainly with such small differences and with so many people who do not know Sanders yet, but there really is no evidence that Clinton is more electable."

Right. That is what I'm saying. There is no way to say that one of them is more electable than the other at this point.

"Zika is showing up in Americans, and an outbreak of microcephalic births will bring the abortion debate to the forefront, as occurred with the rubella outbreak in the 1960s. This will substantially favor Democrats"

Zika is only just making an appearance. Human gestation is nine months. The election is nine months away. So, the timing is kinda tight on that one, probably.

G 11,

With respect to abortion, there is no need of Zika virus, since we have the open SCOTUS seat and the Texas clinic case going on right now. Plenty of attention-getting there.

The four Justices who will vote for continuing reproductive rights, overturning Citizens United and maintaining voting rights, and union rights, and marriage rights, and so on, were appointed by

BIll Clinton, that terrible triangulator, and
Barack Obama, that cowardly compromiser.

That happened because they..... won.

So the people who argue that "there's no difference if HIllary wins" are either Republican trolls or just ignorant of how the system works, and the political history of the post-WWII USA.

But the main problem is still that Bernie will lose the general election. Again, look to history. There is no "class solidarity" in the USA, and there never has been. Race and ethnicity have always been very powerful structural factors, and well-exploited by the ruling class.

And to repeat what I said earlier (no to you, G): If Bernie supporters continue to engage in racist and sexist language, they can hardly expect enthusiastic turnout from the targeted groups should he win the nomination.

Greg #13,

"there is no evidence to say that one is more electable"

Come on Greg, you are a smart observer of politics but you sound like you are doing the false equivalency of the corporate media. The fact that the head-to-head polls are meaningless this far out doesn't mean there aren't fundamentals to be considered.

We started worrying about climate change based on the known physics, not on the relatively inconclusive data back then.

Zebra,
I need to push back on a few of your comments. Primarily, I want to call you out on the claim that Bernie supporters are engaging in racist or sexist attacks against Hillary supporters. Do you have anything to support that claim beyond isolated incidents? I'm highly skeptical that you do, so please stop raising that particular straw man as if it were a valid argument. Furthermore, I want to challenge the supposition that predicting a Hillary victory in the general is the equivalent of predicting climate change. This is just more of the "inevitably" nonsense, and it reeks of establishment, beltway thinking. There is a populist movement building in this nation, and Sanders is our current standard bearer on the left. He has carried the flag further than anyone I have seen in my lifetime, and he has my support to the bitter end.
What many of the establishment class don't see are the people like me who have never voted before because we see no appreciable difference in the actual governing policies of establishment politicians like Hillary. We are tired of the system and those who support its current stagnation. I will not vote for Hillary; not in the primary, or in the general. She has come to the left on many issues purely out of political expediency, and if that makes her "inevitable," then that simply confirms the irredeemable level of corruption of our political system. Clinton will be more liberal on some social issues than a republican, and perhaps some of her leftward tacking will hold during her first term should she win the presidency. But the system will not be changed in the ways it needs to change.

"Come on Greg, you are a smart observer of politics but you sound like you are doing the false equivalency of the corporate media. The fact that the head-to-head polls are meaningless this far out doesn’t mean there aren’t fundamentals to be considered.

We started worrying about climate change based on the known physics, not on the relatively inconclusive data back then."

This smart observer of politics has looked at preference questions in every single available poll and I find that the level of support for each of the two Democratic candidates is similar. There are differences in what people support, but the differences are small. In other words, people who want universal health care do not have a meaningful difference in their level of support of the two candidates. Similarly, negatives are of similar levels, but there you do find distinct differences in what thing individuals find as negatives.

The media spin, on the other hand, seems to demonstrate big differences, but what those differences are depends, as expected, on the media outlet.

#18

This election is realistically not about single payer healthcare, or free tuition at public colleges and universities, or removing money from politics, or changing the system. It's about preventing the Republican party from getting control of all branches of government and using that control to repeal Obamacare, dismantle Medicare, turn Social Security over to the “free market,” turn national parks over to private interests, destroy the labor movement, decimate environmental regulations, eliminate research that's inimical to capitalism, overturn a woman's right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy safely and legally, and abolish whatever the U.S. has seen of progressive legislation since the time of Teddy Roosevelt. It's about preventing the Republicans from manipulating the electoral process in ways that would ensure Republican domination for many years to come. It is about preventing the Republicans from enacting huge tax cuts that would benefit the rich and necessitate the destruction of a government that can benefit the people. It's about preserving the initiatives that have been taken to combat climate change. This is not a normal election. The Republican Party is no longer a normal party.

My hope is that a Trump nomination would do so much damage to the party and alienate so many voters that it would result in a rout. My fear is that a candidate Sanders would be attacked as a tax and spend socialist, and that the word socialism would be tied to popular fears of an invasive, big brother government. That would misrepresent where Sanders stands, but fear, even irrational fear, is a powerful motivator.

Whereas the Republican race has weakened its candidates, the Democratic race has strengthened theirs. Clinton has become a better candidate, partly because she's been influenced by Sanders, and Sanders now has an important voice in American politics.

I support Sanders's platform, but even with a Democratic majority he wouldn't be able to get it enacted. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that indicates that the political revolution his program depends on is about to occur. Both Clinton and Sanders would fight against the Republican agenda. With the stakes as they are, not voting for the Democratic nominee, no matter which, would be beyond contempt.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 29 Feb 2016 #permalink

Greg,

When I use the term fundamentals, I'm not talking about policy statements and preferences that you see in polls.

Here's a fundamental: Hillary is a woman, and she's put up with a lot of crap, both from the public and her husband. She has kept at it and persevered and is now actually in the position to be the first female POTUS.

So, when I compare performance in the general election, I ask myself "who will African-American, Hispanic, and even Republican women relate to more-- Hillary or Bernie?".

Now, I can list more things and make comparisons for each potential R opponent, but the basis of my reasoning is previous elections; look at who has won and lost and the characteristics that dominate. There has never been this "revolution" people keep dreaming about. It's about comfort level and likes and dislikes. And for Democrats, it has also been a matter of good fortune in opponents and conditions, and not scaring people with talk of extreme changes.

Here’s a fundamental: Hillary is a woman, and she’s put up with a lot of crap, both from the public and her husband. She has kept at it and persevered and is now actually in the position to be the first female POTUS.

In the beginning of the primary she was at the top. She dropped to 50% when people were informed about her actual positions or were reminded of them. Her pointer can move and the Clinton Foundation taking money for foreign countries is a liability, which may bring a president Trump.

The next banking crash happening early, already before the election, would result in a Republican president if Clinton is the Democratic candidate.

the basis of my reasoning is previous elections; look at who has won and lost and the characteristics that dominate. There has never been this “revolution” people keep dreaming about.

Obama won an election based on the same promise. He unfortunately turned out to be a Clinton, but the campaigned as a Sanders and it worked. He won the election. If a black man can get that message working surely a white one can.

By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 29 Feb 2016 #permalink

cosmicomics #20,

I think I have clearly stated my opinion on the electability of the individuals involved (thanks Greg), but I would be interested in a rational discussion on policy to get away from the nastiness being offered by some.

I think you are absolutely correct that the Sanders platform, or at least certain elements, would not necessarily be adopted even with a nominally Democratic Congress.

For example, if you held a USA referendum on "Medicare For All", where people would be required to give up their existing health insurance, I would wager that it would lose. But an incremental approach, where buy-in age would be reduced over time as part of Obamacare, might have a reasonable chance under those conditions.

What do you think?

I do not have a lot of confidence in the "ethnic model", which may be flawed because the various voters in the different states may be different in the different states, I don't find it obvious that voters of any ethnicity in, say Massachusetts will necessarily vote the same as those of the same ethnicity in, say, Texas.

However, trying to stay with the same basic model, I modified it as follows:

Looking at the South Carolina exit polling results, we see that the total population demographics do not reflect the demographics of the Democratic primary voters. So to get a more representative model of the democratic primary voter demographics, I used the Obama vote in 2012 as an estimate for the total percentage of Democratic voters in each state. Then I assumed that 95% of African Americans in each state are Democrats, that 75% of the Hispanic voters in each state are Democrats, and the remainder of the Democratic Primary voters are white.

Then I assumed that Clinton gets 85% of the African American vote, 70% of the Hispanic vote, and 45% of the White vote. (I have to give Clinton less than 50% of the white vote so allow Sanders to actually win any states at all.)

This allows me to predict the percentage of the vote that each of the two candidates receive, and, assuming purely proportional assignment of delegates, the number of delegates each will receive.

For the Super Tuesday races, this model produces the following, with the first number being the percentage of the vote, and the second the number of delegates:

Georgia
Clinton: 72.7 85.0
Sanders: 27.3 32.0

Alabama
Clinton: 72.3 43.4
Sanders: 27.7 16.6

Texas
Clinton: 66.3 166.5
Sanders: 33.7 84.5

Arkansas
Clinton: 62.7 23.2
Sanders: 37.3 13.8

Tennessee
Clinton: 62.7 47.7
Sanders: 37.3 28.3

Virginia
Clinton: 61.6 67.2
Sanders: 38.4 41.8

Oklahoma
Clinton: 57.3 24.0
Sanders: 42.7 18.0

Colorado
Clinton: 52.7 41.7
Sanders: 47.3 37.3

Massachusetts
Clinton: 51.9 60.3
Sanders: 48.1 55.7

Minnesota
Clinton: 49.3 45.9
Sanders: 50.7 47.1

Vermont
Clinton: 45.8 11.9
Sanders: 54.2 14.1

Total Super Tuesday Delegates: Clinton 616.7 Sanders 389.3, with Sanders winning two states, VT and MN.

Of course, different numbers predict different results. If Clinton gets only 80% of the African American votes, then she will get only 601.4 delegates to Sander's 404.6.

Whoops. After I posted I noticed that I used for each state the total number of delegates, not the number of pledged delegates. This changes only the number of delegates column, and the delegate totals. The prediction using the number of pledged delegates is Clinton 529.5 Sanders 329.5.

And for comparison purposes, the "Clinton favored" numbers above (50% white vote, 86% of the Afroamerican vote, 57% of the Hispanic vote) gives Clinton 542.5 delegates to Sanders 316.5.

#26

Framing it as Medicare for all rather than single-payer would dramatically increase its appeal, because then you would be talking about something people already know, and that's American rather than foreign. And not least, it's popular: remember the Tea Partiers defiantly telling the government to “keep its hands off my Medicare.” Expanding Medicare by lowering the eligibility age and making it an option would probably be easier, but both would run into corporate resistance. To what extent that would prevent the Democratic Party from uniting behind such proposals is something that I'm not qualified to judge. But it would be worth looking into.

To supplement what you've said on other occasions, in this and the following thread, Republican Donors Might Run A Third Party Candidate, Sanders supporters have declared Sanders or nothing. They believe that Sanders has a magic wand, and will be devastated to find that he doesn't. I don't know if I should be surprised, but by refusing to support incremental improvements, they're proving that the system can't change. This reminds me of what the Republicans do: choke the government, and then triumphantly proclaim that the government can't work.

By cosmicomics (not verified) on 29 Feb 2016 #permalink

Adam R. - in nearly every poll so far when asked who stood a better chance against Trump (or the other two) Sanders came out ahead. So a Hillary surge could mean a Trump presidency as well.

You have to vote for who you think will do the best job for your country. It also wouldn' hurt to ask yourself whether you want someone who will continue to bomb the middle east, creating ever more hate, and thus terrorist enemies, for your country, or for someone who will stop doing that and put those wasted resources to use rebuilding your country.

By Douglas C Alder (not verified) on 29 Feb 2016 #permalink

Desertphile #13 - exactly.

By Douglas C Alder (not verified) on 29 Feb 2016 #permalink

cosmicomics 30,

On your last point-- very interesting observation, but I think the imbalance in enthusiasm in midterm elections has many causes, so any intentional non-participation is a minor part.

Was it Will Rogers who said: "I don't belong to an organized political party; I'm a Democrat."? With the decline of unions, and the rise of astroturf organizations like Tea Party, along with more open efforts like ALEC, the loss of State and local elections was inevitable. That's where we need a countervailing "movement", but it just isn't as sexy and magical as one election solving all the problems.

But let me clarify my previous comment because I was not being clear. I'm saying that, beyond corporate opposition, a radical switch to a single-payer system would be unpopular with the public, and a losing part of a presidential platform.

This is where the inexperience of the enthusiasts for Bernie shows up-- if you are 24 now, you were 16 when the battle for a public option in Obamacare was being lost to Democrats, not Republicans. (Probably paying attention to other things, if I remember my long-lost youth.)

That was a reflection of influence by vested interests, of course, but there's a reason President Obama said "you can keep you insurance if you like it" as a main selling point.

If anyone in the world knows how hard it is to pass a health care plan, it's Hillary Clinton. If you are 24 now, you were an infant when the Clinton health care plan was shot down.

Turnout is definitely key in November, not only for the presidential race, but for the unsexy Congressional races which actually will make more of a different in the years to come.

By Miss Cellania (not verified) on 01 Mar 2016 #permalink

Miss Cellania: "If anyone in the world knows how hard it is to pass a health care plan, it’s Hillary Clinton."

Large numbers of USA health care providers were overjoyed when Ms. Clinton regulated them about 16 years ago. As my "friend" Dan Adamson, whom I used to go fishing with (he ran for Idaho governor at the time on the Republican Party ticket, got 21% of the vote) said, "Woo hoo! I wish she would regulate me more!" The fresh piles of money that poured in to the healthcare provider system from tax payers via the new "regulations" was so vast that people with one or two facilities were able to buy ten or twenty more (like Dan did), with very little risk of losing personal wealth. The profit to be made by the new "regulations" was mind-blowing.

Funny thing about Dan, he forgot about the IRS.

By Desertphile (not verified) on 01 Mar 2016 #permalink

In reply to by Miss Cellania (not verified)

Seriously? You're advising that how people vote should be based on speculation about how 'others' will vote? That sounds exceedingly stupid.

Vote based on the candidates polices.
Vote on the candidates historical record.

Don't let anyone else decide for you, just look at both candidates speeches and make up your own mind.
Here is a good place to start the comparison: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-pakman2/bernie-sanders-vs-hillary_b…

Jack: Absolutely not. I think people should vote in whatever way they chose. I'm not advising anyone here on how to vote. I have no idea why you think that. This is not advice on how to vote.

People vote during primaries using a variety of criteria. One is to simply vote for the candidate you'd like to see ultimately in office. During early primaries, or when there is a close primary, that is what people generally do.

However, there is another, perfectly valid approach. This is to vote more strategically. If there is a clear winner, and the alternative candidates don't stand a chance, then one might strategically vote for the clear winner in order to lengthen the lead and help develop momentum. Many thoughtful voters chose this strategy when the primary or caucus comes to their fair city. In writing this post on "Whom should I vote for" I'm looking in part at that strategy for myself. Others who may want to follow a similar strategy may find the analysis useful.

I didn't find it useful, in the end, as you will see if you actually read the post, which based on your comment, you did not do. Go do it now.

Anyway, this strategy obviously assumes that the candidate is suitable with respect to policies, record, etc. For most Democrats, according to all the available information, both Sanders and Clinton are suitable in this regard.

The video you link to long and boring, and people should know that it is not an objective look at the candidates by an objective source. In fact, it is a bit of a shell game posing at journalim. We're seeing a lot of that during this election cycle, aren't we?