Why are some people so worried about Bernie not winning the primaries?

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I honestly think he has a really good chance of winning. In my opinion, there's no reason to freak out, Bernie's situation right now is better than it was in 2016. and Hillary was much more popular than Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden. I may be wrong, but I reckon the scenario in America right now is in our favor

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The Path to Victory

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I want to open up a discussion on what a path to a Sanders primary victory would entail. FiveThirtyEight published the article I linked below which discusses how various candidates can build a winning coalition, they're not not very optimistic when it comes to Bernie. 538 claims he'd essentially have to hang on to the millennial vote while it gets challenged by newcomers as well as garner support from either the party loyalists (lol), black voters and/or hispanic voters.

I think hanging on to millennials won't be too hard for him, especially if he gets an endorsement from AOC. But he'll never get the party loyalists (i.e. the establishment) to like him after 2016, and the racial minorities are probably going to be highly sought after and he doesn't stand out too much on issues that speak to that demographic.

What are your thoughts? In a perfect world I'd want someone with a coalition of hispanics, blacks and leftists to win, the total reformation coalition.


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Bernie 2020 And The 50 State System

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I have something really important to talk about regarding the primary. I quit my job for 9 months to volunteer with the campaign and STL4Bernie. I went up to Iowa with them 4 or 5 times including a week before the caucus and I maxed out donations to Bernie with ActBlue. However if I want to engage in the same level of activity this time, I need to see some stuff from the campaign. My financial and living situation are a little different so I can only move beyond just voting and some internet work if I can be confident the campaign is going to do better.

Without the big boost from the Anyone But Clinton voters the campaign needs to do much better than last time. There's a couple specific things they need to do.

The first thing appears to be done. Having Weaver step aside and not working with Tad Devine. Many Bernie voters were pissed when they heard what Tad's cut was from the donations given his poor strategic advice and not sufficient contribution. So that's a plus that him and Weaver are stepping down or back.

Bernie spent heavy and invested a lot of personal and campaign time in Iowa and New Hampshire. That made sense last time to demonstrate viability and gain name recognition. Especially because it wasn't supposed to be a truly competitive national campaign initially but they switched gears after it took off. This time Bernie is tied with Biden for most name recognition. Theoretically he will be announcing earlier with a much larger network of supporters and donations in place. Iowa and New Hampshire are already super-exposed to Bernie and favorable demographically. We also learned last time that momentum narratives are not super life changing. Bernie tied in Iowa, crushed in New Hampshire, was annihilated in South Carolina despite a lot of investment and he did pretty decent in Nevada. According to good analysis after the primary, which is much easier than guessing what will happen before hand, he performed well above expectations in demographically favorable states and did worse than expected in states that had political cultures and populations that weren't ideal for him.

What I and a lot of other people want to see is a much more nationally focused campaign. Go to Iowa a few times, send surrogates, have volunteers in the state canvass and phone bank. But treat it like an average state. Split the extra money and candidate and surrogate visits it gets 4 ways. Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and then Arkansas or Illinois. In New Hampshire Bernie basically did as good as could be imagined in a state that wasn't Vermont. Take those resources and put them to work in Maine, in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Bernie has way more resources over all this time. Spend those resources in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Spend some resources in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina. The campaign needs to take advantage of the almost non-existent contact that Midwest states get. If you are the only candidate with a huge investment in the Midwest, and you already have demographic favorability there, you can stack up huge delegate margins. Iowa was only worth 44 delegates last time. Missouri was 71. We get no attention here. We got our first office two weeks before the primary. We had minimal campaign staff or money or ads. The same for other states I mentioned. The 4 major early states will be hyper inundated with campaign stuff. They are already spoiled and used to a lot of attention. Every dollar you spend there is offset by dollars from other candidates and its worth less in general because they are used to it.

People aren't stupid. If you truly intend to work for them you invest in them. The same dollar you spend in Iowa and New Hampshire goes 4 times farther in a Midwest or Great Lakes state. The same for Appalachian states. Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia. In a divided primary where you have 10 other candidates fighting it out for months and months in Iowa and New Hampshire and maybe Nevada and South Carolina you can do so much if you run a smart, outside the box campaign with a lot of innovation and strategy.

Obviously another core aspect of transcending the mistakes of 2016 is to hire a ton of prominent black and hispanic staffers in leadership roles. Not just in outreach. Campaign manager and similar jobs. As a second prong you invest early in core black states. Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Florida for the Hispanic vote, Georgia, maybe Louisiana. Probably don't hit Mississippi and Alabama too hard since those were his worst states.

By ignoring early states to show that you are serious about states with lots of black voters and midwest states that followed Trump you can fight against attacks of racial issues and you can take advantage of the fact that there is no Republican primary. Bernie lost out on a lot of votes to Trump because people in places like Missouri felt Hillary was assured to win but the Republican race was more competitive and Trump might win and beat here in the general. There are a TON of voters who voted for Trump in the Republican primary who would vote for Sanders now. I know so many personally from canvassing.

Getting attention from a powerful candidate when you are typically ignored is huge for voters. Going up on the air months ahead of any competition so you can run 100% positive ads and build up good will is a big deal. You will have people on board that will only get more and more supportive of you as ignorant corporate Democrats who are starting to be afraid fill the air with negative attack ads. Research strong supports the idea that while attack ads work you can really defang them if you are already viewed very positively. Moreover Republicans and Democratic super pacs are already running nasty ads against Bernie in the early states. If you focus your campaign primarily in other states that don't see much of that kind of spending, those ads will basically have been all for nothing.

On top of the financial and staffing and ad arguments and the voter psychology you also have to consider volunteers. People who can't drive to an early state and who are forced to spend all their time phone banking strangers from other states do not make happy and involved volunteers. Being able to see the candidate or major surrogates, having an actual office to visit and/or work at, feeling like the campaign takes you and your state seriously and huge morale boosts. This is how you get more people up off the couch. They work harder, they got involved with like minded people, they are inspired and organized by staffers.

We need to organize people to lobby the campaign to get beyond outdated boring uninspiring campaign strategy. When a candidate comes to your flyover state, West Virginia say, and talks about your history in the nation, talks up contemporary anti-prison and pro-union activism, and that kind of stuff its a big deal. No ones going to be forced to think about going to your rally or the one down the street, or mad because you are the 5th campaign today that canvassed them and they are just tired out for the day. Undecided people will be primed to hop on the first campaign that shows them some attention and respect.

There are other important things to consider but as far as purely winning the primary, this is the only thing that really counts.

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