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Old 05-06-2019, 02:34 PM
Ulf the Unwashed is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,425
Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
For the age thing: Age might be a barrier to the general voting public, but for these types of voters, as long as the candidate "speaks" to them, they're ok. At least that's my take right now, just thinking about Uncle G and Cousin D. Biden, old as he is, can speak their language, and can come across as tough. His past votes, how he raised money in the past, those things are less important than how he can speak to them now. Uncle G and Cousin D aren't political nerds combing The Hill, Politico and FiveThirtyEight for info, so a lot of the past details on candidates aren't as important with them, and I don't think age would be either.

For the socialist thing: This one puzzles me (and admittedly worries me, as I'm not confident it wouldn't end up being a problem with voters down the road). I would say 80% of union members I've talked to in Michigan and Ohio are 100% in the bag for Bernie (point of reference, I worked in labor for 15 years, and still have a number of friends and acquaintances in the labor movement). Donating, posting stuff on Facebook, going to hear him speak, etc. So, it would seem anyway, the socialist thing doesn't bother union people. My only worry is that the only union members I'm hearing from are the most vocal ones, who happen to support Bernie. Perhaps the less vocal ones (and maybe they outnumber the vocal ones) support someone else.

So I'm not fully sold on Bernie, but if the socialist thing doesn't become an issue, Bernie has the message and style to win the vote of Uncle G and Cousin D.

So if I were to rank my three, it would be:
3. Sanders
I had this discussion regarding union members and PA/OH/MI/WI with someone here--might've been you! Anyway, gist is that regardless of what support he might have gotten from the union people you know, Sanders didn;t actually do all that well in these states during the 2016 primaries. If you look at the "Midwestern" states that Obama won in 2012 and Trump took in '16:

+Sanders won the Wisconsin primary with room to spare,
+barely won the Michigan primary,
+barely lost the Iowa caucus,
+lost Ohio handily,
+and lost PA handily.

On the whole, a net negative.

So while he did better in this region than he did in the South, or in California, or in the area around DC, it wasn't as though he was on fire among primary voters in these states. Certainly he lagged behind his performance in the Pacific Northwest, or the Great Plains, or New England. Those 100% in the bag for Bernie voters didn't really help all that much.

Which leads me to think that you were talking to a skewed sample, as you mention might've been the case, and that the bulk of blue-collar union guys either stayed home or preferred Clinton; or that the influence of men like your cousin and uncle is overblown and the key voters are now, I dunno, older women, or racial minorities, or tech workers, or health care employees, or some combination of the above. I did read today that Clinton beat Sanders among union members almost 2 to 1 in the primaries, though of course "unions" includes a lot more than just "traditional blue-collar jobs."

All of which is to say, I don't think Sanders is the "answer" in those states, and I'm not so sure Biden is either! Guess we'll see how things shake out.