Why is Sanders weak in the South?

HRC is capturing the southern states.

Bernie’s rhetoric would seem favorable to the South.

Any ideas?

My oversimplified guess: HRC is more right-wing than Bernie, and the South is more right-wing than most of the rest of America.

The strongest democratic voting block in the southern states consist of blacks i.e. pro Obama. Hillary is considerable more well known and is strongly associated with Obama. She is seen as continuing Obama’s legacy. Bernie Sanders’ movement also tends to be much more heavily slanted to young white grass roots campaigners. Not that many of them down there I guess. So most people there probably don’t know much if anything about Bernie Sanders.

He said he was socialist and in the south all they heard was communist.

Hillary has overwhelming support of black southern Democrats. White southern Democrats are an endangered species.

But that’s the question. Why does Clinton do so well among southern blacks?

The Clintons have a history of addressing racial issues in the south. Clinton worked for the Children’s Defense Fund in South Carolina. She was also the first lady of Arkansas, which gives her a leg up over a northerner up in Vermont.

Clinton ran a different campaign in the south. She visited black churches and other black leaders organized events for her so that she could reach out to more black voters. She campaigned in South Carolina with the mothers of five children who were killed by police violence.

Vermont also happens to have zero black people. It’s possible that few black people even heard of Sanders before he started campaigning in their state.

Sanders sounds tone deaf on the difference between racial disadvantage and economic disadvantage. Middle class black people know it isn’t all about poverty - its about race. You can get pulled over for driving while black no matter how much money you make. (See the ghetto comment for an example of tone deaf on this topic).

Also, it isn’t just about racial issues. Bernie plays well with younger voters - Hillary better with older voters (my mother told my sixteen year old daughter “if I were your age, I’d be a Bernie supporter, too”). Bernie plays better with those who don’t like establishment politics - Hillary has the antidisestablishmentarian vote sewn shut (I’ve always wanted to use that word in a sentence). Its the racial divide which pushes Clinton over the top, but that isn’t the only divide in their voters.


A Jew who is more-pro-Palestinian that Hillary.

His problem in the south might have more to do with his outspoken stance on immigration than his genetic heritage. Blacks are not an open border crowd AFAICT.

He’s quite popular with all 3 of the black people in Vermont.

I think Dangerosa hit the nail on the head. Bernie is all about economics and very little about racial injustice.

Here is actually a fantastic article on the African-American vote in the South, written by a Daily Kos member who has been very involved in GOTV efforts:

There is a lot of good stuff there and it gets into some specifics, but the general takeaway is that Sanders has a horrible campaign strategy regarding Southern African-American voters (which is partially the appearance that he favors economic justice over all else)

I don’t know if that is “in his heart” true. I’m going to guess that he is more than a little about racial injustice - he’s a after all partly a product of 1960s liberalism. But that perception is certainly there - and he hasn’t had to spend a lot of time dealing with racial injustice since he represents a very white state.

I also believe he wasn’t at all serious about a Presidential run - he got in this to move the party left and bring up some really important issues - the Democrats are losing the white working class over these economic justice issues. Had he determined years ago to do this, and be President he could have worked to establish credibility and tune his message. But I think he thinks he’s too old and too left to be a serious candidate, and his popularity caught him by surprise.

I’ve never been able to understand why such a relatively poor and agrarian region as the South isn’t Communist – that is exactly the kind of environment that produced all the successful Communist revolutions of the 20th Century (in contradiction to Marx’ expectations that such would happen first in fully-industrialized countries like Britain and Germany) – but, there you are, culture is culture.

Sam Walton.

What about him?

One of the reasons the area isn’t communist. I think rather than overthrow the rich guys, people think hard work will make them wealthy.

I doubt that has much to do with it. Rather, it’s probably the notion that he’s rather socialist and left-wing, combined with the fact that he’s a northerner/yankee.

Combine that with the fact that Clinton is a southerner, relatively moderate, and enjoys great support in the southern black community, which is something like 20% of the total population of the region, so it’s not surprising that Bernie might not play so well in the South.

Agreed. I was talking about his campaign message, not about how someone should objective judge him based on his life experience and actions.

That’s funny. Did you mean she plays a southerner on TV (when she’s not playing something else)?

She is a transplant, having been born in Illinois. :slight_smile: