Maybe Bernie Fans Did Give Trump The Election

Since last November, liberals have been in search of a scapegoat to explain how Donald Trump won the White House.  Due to the power the Clintons still hold in the party, only political analysts and sane individuals in the party know she ran a horrible campaign.

But, others consider the campaign Bernie Sanders ran as damaging to the Clinton camp.  Turns out they have new data to back them up.  Fully 12 percent of Bernie Sanders primary voters supported Trump in the general election.  That is according to the data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study — a massive election survey of around 50,000 people.

This brings to mind why these voters were driven to Trump over Clinton.  The data indicates it was not over trade, though Bernie/Trump voters were more likely to disapprove of then President Obama than non-defecting Bernie supporters.

Perhaps the biggest driving force was cultural.  Almost half of Bernie voters supporting Trump disagreed with the notion “white people have advantages.”  This makes sense as many Trump and Bernie voters were older and more culturally conservative.  Researchers tend to classify this as racism and sexism which is probably a reason why these voters behaved the way they did in the general election.

The biggest question is did these voters swing the election to Trump?  The answer is yes and no.  Considering Trump’s razor think margins in MI, PA and WI, which combine for 46 electoral votes if he had lost them Clinton would have won the election with 278 electoral votes (see below).

Michigan 598,943 8% 47,915 10,704
Pennsylvania 731,881 16% 117,100 44,292
Wisconsin 570,192 9% 51,317 22,748

But, then again, this election featured more than just two candidates.  Jill Stein and Gary Johnson stole votes from both the left and the right.  Evan McMullin took 100,000 votes in Utah alone.  And while Trump might have benefited from his cultural appeal so did Clinton.  According to the data, few Clinton primary voters crossed over to support Trump whereas in past elections such a trend did not occur.

Then you have to consider all the variables that played into the contest.  For example, this contest featured the first major-party female Presidential candidate, the first major-party candidate with no military or elected office experience, occurred at a time of rising racial, economic and political insecurity and the very flawed natures of both candidates.  Surely these impacted the results as well.

For example, how can one explain away that Clinton barely garnered the same number of votes as Obama in urban and heavily black Philly, 50,000 additional votes in suburban Philly yet lost thousands of Obama voters in Western Pennsylvania?  Likewise, anemic turnout in Detroit and Milwaukee and the loss of thousands of rural Obama voters played a big role in the election.

Then, there are the events of the last month of the election.  The topsy turvy nature of the contest from early October to Election Day were significant.  The Access Hollywood tapes to the Comey Revelations all caused significant deviation in the polls.  Finally, there was the overarching nature of the final two weeks of the campaign where Trump actually stayed on message (the system is rigged and Hillary is part of the problem) while the Clinton camp continued to struggle to find a message other than, “Vote against Trump.”  Then there is the cataclysmic failure of data analytics.

In the coming weeks the finds above will likely make millions of Clinton supporters turn on their own.  Instead, it should make them reassess the state of their party and consider why formerly solid Democratic voters would turn away from their roots.  The answer is pretty simple but Democrats have yet to figure it out.






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