What catches my eye about the Nevada caucuses results

Nevada

There are a couple points I’d like to highlight from Chris Cillizza’s analysis of “winners” and “losers” from the Nevada caucuses:

  1. First, among the winners,

    * Electability: Two thirds of Nevada caucus-goers said they would prefer a candidate who can beat President Donald Trump rather than someone who agrees with them on issues. That’s very similar to the number who opted for electability in Iowa and New Hampshire, and serves as yet another reminder of just how important beating the incumbent is for a broad swath of Democratic voters. Here’s the really interesting thing, though: Among those who said electability was most important, Sanders – yes, Sanders – was the leading candidate. [emphasis in original] [1]

    For me, this is a real surprise. And it’s absolutely crucial to overcoming the self-fulfilling prophesy in which Bernie Sanders loses because people think he can’t win. The question, of course, is whether Sanders can in fact win, and Cillizza counts Donald Trump as a winner in part because Trump supposedly thinks Sanders will be easiest to defeat.[2]

  2. Second, among the losers,

    * Culinary Union: The most powerful union in the state decided not to endorse a candidate. But a flier it sent to its members attacking Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan, which would eliminate private health insurance entirely, became a major issue in the race as supporters of the Vermont senator attacked the union leadership. Sanders’ smashing victory – and the overwhelming support for the elimination of private health insurance among Nevada voters – amount to a major rebuke for the Culinary Union.[3]

    It would indeed seem that the Culinary Union, which not only warned against Sanders’ plan for Medicare For All, but rebuked Sanders’ supporters for criticizing its stance,[4] isn’t very much in touch which its members, who, it seems, worry about relatives, friends, and other members of the community who aren’t in the union and don’t enjoy its healthcare benefits. These members like Sanders’ other ideas as well.[5] “[A] major rebuke for the Culinary Union”[6] indeed.

It’s all a very interesting turn of events. I am deeply cynical about the U.S. electoral system for multiple reasons.[7] But a result like this[8] can only lead me to wonder if, maybe, just maybe, there’s some hope after all. (The voice in my head, the voice that’s seen it all before, is adamant that such hopes will be ruthlessly crushed.)

Chris Cillizza, “Chris Cillizza’s winners and losers from the Nevada caucuses,” CNN, February 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/who-won-nevada-caucuses/index.html

Nidhi Prakash, “Members Of Nevada’s Largest Union Defied Their Leadership To Support Bernie Sanders,” Buzzfeed, February 22, 2020, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nidhiprakash/bernie-sanders-nevada-caucus-culinary-union


 

  1. [1]Chris Cillizza, “Chris Cillizza’s winners and losers from the Nevada caucuses,” CNN, February 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/who-won-nevada-caucuses/index.html
  2. [2]Chris Cillizza, “Chris Cillizza’s winners and losers from the Nevada caucuses,” CNN, February 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/who-won-nevada-caucuses/index.html
  3. [3]Chris Cillizza, “Chris Cillizza’s winners and losers from the Nevada caucuses,” CNN, February 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/who-won-nevada-caucuses/index.html
  4. [4]Megan Messerly, “In new flyer, Culinary Union warns members Sanders would ‘end’ their health care if elected president,” Nevada Independent, February 11, 2020, https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/in-new-flyer-culinary-union-warns-members-sanders-would-end-their-health-care-if-elected-president; Caitlin Oprysko, “Nevada culinary union lays into Sanders supporters after health care backlash,” Politico, February 12, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/12/bernie-sanders-nevada-culinary-union-114687
  5. [5]Nidhi Prakash, “Members Of Nevada’s Largest Union Defied Their Leadership To Support Bernie Sanders,” Buzzfeed, February 22, 2020, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/nidhiprakash/bernie-sanders-nevada-caucus-culinary-union
  6. [6]Chris Cillizza, “Chris Cillizza’s winners and losers from the Nevada caucuses,” CNN, February 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/who-won-nevada-caucuses/index.html
  7. [7]David Benfell, “Why I do not vote,” Not Housebroken, February 23, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/02/23/why-i-do-not-vote/
  8. [8]Russell Berman, “Bernie Sanders’s Biggest Win Yet,” Atlantic, February 22, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/02/bernie-wins-nevada/606937/; Chris Cillizza, “Chris Cillizza’s winners and losers from the Nevada caucuses,” CNN, February 22, 2020, https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/22/politics/who-won-nevada-caucuses/index.html; John McCormick, “Sen. Bernie Sanders Wins the Nevada Democratic Caucuses, AP Says,” Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/bernie-sanders-looks-to-build-momentum-in-nevada-caucuses-11582380000

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