February 15, 2020

Will Bernie get 0 of 219 delegates in Florida? And a more general collapse in Eastern states?

If you don't treat politics as a form of therapy-tainment, ignore most of the "analysis" coming out of the pro-Bernie media (including social media). It's not just clueless and delusional, but triumphalist at a stage where Bernie is basically tied with Buttigieg (and slightly behind in the delegate count, the only thing that matters for winning the nomination).

As usual, Aimee Terese and Benjamin Studebaker at What's Left? are among the few with any audience whatsoever who are looking at things objectively. Here's their episode on Iowa, which extends into the broader issues that are limiting Bernie's appeal this time around vs. 2016:

With two of the early states already done, intense focus is now shifting to the remaining early ones, Nevada and South Carolina. But rather than jump on this media circus, let's zoom out and look at one of Bernie's biggest obstacles coming up -- Florida. It's the 3rd biggest state by population, and will deliver almost as many delegates as Texas (219 and 228).

Last time he got killed there with only 34% of the vote, lost every Congressional district, and won only a handful of unpopulated counties. But this time he may do so poorly that he winds up getting nothing at all out of the gigantic delegate pool at stake.

Among the Florida polls at RCP, two are recent with a large sample size (in the thousands), polling "likely" rather than merely "registered" voters. Bernie is polling just 10% statewide, which would prevent him from winning any state-level delegates (he'd need 15%). And given his loss in every Congressional district and poor county performance last time, it's hard to believe that there will be at least one district where he'll outperform and get 15% at the district level. It may sound like 5 points isn't much, but that would be a 50% increase over his statewide average. Nor are there any hippie college towns where he cleaned up last time.

The only two candidates who look eligible for delegates are the two Establishment favorites -- Biden and Bloomberg, each with just over a quarter of the vote. The others are, like Bernie, around 10% or less. Buttigieg is at 11%, and could enjoy some last minute support from undecideds in order to clear 15% in at least one district and perhaps statewide. Whereas you're mostly already for Bernie or not. In one of the states most hostile to populism, it's hard to believe there will be a last-minute surge in favor of the increasingly woke socialist.

Whether Bernie gets literally 0, or lucks out and wins a handful of delegates, is not the point. It's a sign of his broader cratering from his 2016 peak -- and unlike in New Hampshire, this time attached to a far larger magnitude. He's lost not only some support to Warren, but presumably to either Biden or Bloomberg.

If Bernie got about 35% in 2016, lucks out and gets 15% this time, that leaves 20 points worth of defectors, or anti-Bernie newcomers. Lyin' Liz, the usual source of poaching his support, is only at 5-10% in Florida. That would still leave 15-20 points who switched from Bernie, or are newcomers, to a more centrist / moderate / Establishment candidate.

From polling so far, it looks like the only place where his campaign's gambit to go all-in on wokeness and diversity will pay off is among heavily Hispanic areas in the Southwest, which does include large states like Texas and California that he lost last time. It's not a Hispanic gain in general, or else he wouldn't be getting wiped out in Florida.

It remains to be seen whether his gains in California and Texas can balance out the coming destruction in Florida. And for those who don't remember 2016, he lost the primary by 12 points -- to win the nom this time, he has to vastly improve over last time. To vastly improve among the large states, he'd practically have to win the whole enchilada in California and Texas, since he's coming up empty-handed in Florida.

And though it's early, I'm sensing a major weakness in the Eastern states. In the rural Midwest (Iowa), Bernie repeated his 2016 performance (narrowly losing what amounts to a tie), with no real change in turnout. And if anything, he seems to be improving over 2016, or at least staying the same, in the West Coast and Plains states.

But in New Hampshire, there was a gigantic surge of new primary voters who were not populists motivated by Bernie, but MSNBC-addled status quo defenders. Not to mention his losses to Lyin' Liz. Beyond the sheer drop in support from 60% to 25%, he did not remain decisively above 2nd place, winding up only 1.3 points above Buttigieg. A decisive win, given his 25% share, would have been for 2nd place to have 15% or less, not right behind him.

His utter collapse of support in Florida fits into that Eastern pattern, but does not conform to a Southern, Hispanic, or Sun Belt pattern (contradicted by CA and TX).

Aside from South Carolina, where the campaign has been investing heavily solely for early state narrative value, Bernie doesn't look too good in the other Southeastern states, polling 10-20% in states where he lost last time but at least picked up 30-some percent of the vote. That, too, points to an Eastern pattern, since he is improving in the Southwest (including Texas).

If you look at the Congressional districts that flipped in 2018 to narrowly give Dems the House, they were all yuppie districts, but they were concentrated along the Eastern states, both Northeastern and Southeastern. This was not a populist surge, but a status quo clampdown akin to the Know-Nothing movement of the 1850s, only this time blaming Russia rather than the Pope for foreign interference.

The result in New Hampshire is ominous, portending an echo of the 2018 mid-terms, at least in the parts of the country where it was originally resonant -- the Establishment center back East, whether in its Northern or Southern form (the 13 original colonies, and thereabouts). Sadly for Bernie, that includes one of the biggest states -- New York -- as well as other large ones like Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He lost those all last time, but may lose even worse this time, due to the MSNBCIA outpouring.

Farther away from the power center of the nation, these hysterics don't resonant as strongly. Despite having 25 Congressional targets in Texas, including many yuppie ones, the Dems only managed to flip 1 from the GOP in 2018. Russiagate, Muellergate, Impeachmentgate, etc., must not play very well down there. They're too far away from the center of power to feel like it seriously matters which faction of the DC Deep State is being elevated or demoted at any given moment.

That seems to extend all the way out to California, although there are pockets of Resistards there too -- and yet, far less of a presence than in their bi-coastal counterparts along the East Coast. And evidently not so much in the Pacific Northwest or Hawaii (good ol' Tulsi).

Something to keep your eye on. It's extremely dangerous for his campaign to see an MSNBCIA revolt even in New Hampshire, where they are relatively less reflexively pro-Establishment. By transitivity, the other states along the Bos-Wash power corridor will show even greater declines from 2016 for Bernie as concerned citizens yuppie cable news junkies pour out in order to save our democracy from the dark pall of fascism. Apparently this pattern will extend all the way down to Florida.


  1. The industrial Midwest for Bernie looks worse than the West, but better than the East Coast, regarding the MSNBCIA hordes.

    There were a few districts flipped to D in each of the Great Lakes states, though not near the East Coast levels.

    And two central members of The Squad -- stylistic radicals who are doubling down on the status quo, to legitimate it from the left -- are from the Great Lakes (Tlaib and Omar). Still, not quite as polarizing and fanatically "status quo from the left" as AOC, who represents the heart of the Bos-Wash Establishment in New York City.

    Add in Klobuchar's home-state advantage in Minnesota, and Warren's non-machine appeal outside of the East Coast where people know her best (and therefore hate her most).

    Bernie will still pick up delegates there, but will do worse than in 2016 -- just not as catastrophic as the decline will be further East. But I don't see the industrial Midwest staying in place like the rural Midwest has so far, let alone improving like the further West states look to be doing.

    Bernie won or narrowly lost the industrial Midwest states in 2016, so that's another sign of his cratering support this time.

    And for those who can't do math and don't know anything about the historical relationship between the Industrial Revolution and population size -- there are a shitload of people in the industrial Midwest. Declining there in relative terms means a big loss in absolute terms.

  2. As a sign of the utter cluelessness of the pro-Bernie left on these issues, Matt Christman of Chapo Trap House recently dismissed Indiana as "in the bottom quartile" of states by population. That was part of his dismissal of Iowa (I believe this was a riff during the New Hampshire live show).

    In reality, Indiana is currently #17 by population (and #15 by the 2010 Census figures that still determine Congressional apportionment and Electoral College votes). It has 11 E.C. votes -- more than Chistman's home state of Wisconsin, or Minnesota, far more than Iowa, and more than Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and all those dinky little blue states along the East Coast.

    It's heavily urbanized, not only the Chicago satellite of Gary, but multiple large cities -- just not with one gigantic one towering over the rest, as with Detroit or Chicago or Milwaukee or the Twin Cities. More similar to Ohio in that regard.

    Now that the left has been broadly dismissing all of flyover chud country, in the wake of their radical re-brand of "orange man bad," they are letting go of a heavily populated region that was fairly open to Bernie's message last time, before swinging to Trump in the general.

    Since the ultimate sin is being associated with Trump, the leftoids will write off the Great Lakes states in the primary, and wonder why they've lost so pathetically when the Convention comes around.

  3. Door-knocking is an empty plea for clemency as you're seated in the electric chair, having committed a wave of flagrant crimes against the general public for years.

    You can't shit all over flyover country for 4 years, all but threatening them with gulags and genocide if you take power, and then go begging forgiveness at the last minute through a door-knocking or phonebanking campaign.

    In their eyes, you've already confessed, been convicted and sentenced, and now it's just a formality to inflict your punishment. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.

    The visible / audible left is both a source of this garbage, as well as a symptom of its underlying causes (it's a feedback loop).

    As Shialabeefsteak would say, "There is no left / Abolish the left".

  4. " If you look at the Congressional districts that flipped in 2018 to narrowly give Dems the House, they were all yuppie districts, but they were concentrated along the Eastern states, both Northeastern and Southeastern. This was not a populist surge, but a status quo clampdown akin to the Know-Nothing movement of the 1850s, only this time blaming Russia rather than the Pope for foreign interference."

    More evidence that what we're dealing with parallels the 1850's-1890's, not the Progressive or New Deal era. Confusion, finger pointing, elites in denial, and utter dissolution (socially and politically, though not necessarily economically; in any event, social and political harmony make it possible to tackle economic issues such as they may be e.g. F.D. Roosevelt enjoying broad support from the middle to lower classes in a culmination of Progressive era trends, don't listen to the Reaganite goofballs who think the New Deal was the original sin of America's descent).

    And the woke warnings that Trumpian legions will revive the cultural conservatism of the 1930's-1960's are particularly laughable with a "married" homo winning Dem primaries and a sizable layer of the upper middle class allergic to wholesome policies and cultural stability. But going back to the Reagan era the boutique/nihilist Left has always told us atheism will be outlawed, birth control forbidden, and women will be yanked from the workforce if we keep voting Republican. As a matter of fact, modern Republicans are for more liberal on most social issues and ID politics than New Deal Democrats ever could've been.

    BTW, how are we supposed to convey to the anti-Left that The Squad represents, largely, the tenets of Reaganism (which was mildly re-purposed for Bushism, Clintonism, Obamaism, and Trumpism) w/ a gloss of wokeness applied? If you point out to them that the New Deal liberal vision created economic and cultural stability (prior to the unrest created by the intrusion of Boomers), and that's exactly the sort of thing that 90% of the modern GOP and Dem leadership wants nothing to do with, you'll usually get a response suggesting that you are insane for saying that there's anything "conservative" about woke politicians. But maybe we could remind them that Reaganism was never conservative outside of the war on drugs and token band aids to certain problems. So in that sense, anybody in the Neo-liberal era who expects "conservatism" in the sense of cultural stability is a fool regardless of which party they vote for. These partisan dupes though hate to admit that they've been getting played for 40 years (one Boomer on Isteve said that NAFTA was not a Reaganite idea but a slimy scheme concocted by Bush the globalist, then I shot him links explaining the late 70's neo-liberal awakening of which Reaganism was an integral part, ya know, seeing as how off-shoring and open borders diminish first world worker wages and benefits as pork for upper management which is part and parcel of neo-liberalism).

    No matter what they intended to vote for (and not all Boomers wanted all this shit to happen), voters for each party in the neo-lib era are acting like battered wives, getting abused repeatedly and still coming back for more.

  5. The most Reaganite thing about the radlibs is Modern Monetary Theory, i.e. print all the funny-money you want, spend it all you want, there will never be inflation, debt default, credit score collapse, or other bad consequences.

    That's their answer to "how do you pay for it?" It's the exact same as the Reaganite GOP -- print money or go into insane levels of debt (which will eventually trigger money-printing to pay it off).

    Opposite of the New Deal Democrats -- raise revenues before spending them ("tax and spend").

    But you can't tax what isn't there -- like an industrialized economy. Can't tax the industrial-scale manufacturing at the corporate level, or its well-paid workers and professionals / managers at the income level.

    Nothing else is both massive in scale and high in profit margin to fund a modern welfare state. So it's some combination of dismantling the welfare state and skyrocketing debt / money printing.

    We've moved back to a pre-industrial economy, AKA "service economy," AKA feudalism.

    Radlibs are entirely ignorant of basic political economy, because they're part of the ill-gotten-gains elite class and will be comfy no matter what. They couldn't tell you what kind of economy we have, how that makes a welfare state impossible, and why we would therefore have to re-industrialize the economy to get back social democracy.

    It's totally lost on them that every Communist revolution made its goal to industrialize the economy away from an agriculture and service mode of production. Must've been just a coincidence.

  6. Tying in to Bernie 2020, you won't motivate Rust Belters to save you flailing campaign if you don't "center" de-industrialization and re-industrialization.

    STFU about intersectionality and diversity, focus on the material base of society that provides the highest standard-of-living for the greatest share of society -- industrial-scale manufacturing.

    Bernie barely talks about the material base of society anymore, and even when he discussed it more back in 2016, he only said let's stop further "trade" deals that will de-industrialize the economy.

    He did not say, let's tear up the ones that already exist, or let's slam massive tariffs and other penalties on American corporations that off-shore production to a cheap labor colony.

    The leftoids don't remember because they weren't paying attention, but Trump 2016 was far more radical on re-industrialization than Bernie. That's why it was so easy for Rust Belt Bernie supporters to take a chance on Trump.

    He said not only "No TPP," but we're going to tear up NAFTA. We're going to slam a 35% tariff on every car, truck, and auto part that Ford tries to send into the US market from its off-shored factory in Mexico. Then they either won't bother off-shoring in the first place, because the cost savings will be counteracted by the tariff, or they will off-shore but we'll collect a shitload of money in tariffs from them (tacit policy: we'll funnel that to the communities who got wiped out when Ford bulldozed their factory in Michigan).

    Of course, Trump has barely delivered on any of those promises -- the mostly phony trade war with China, the re-branding of NAFTA rather than tearing it up, widening trade deficits, further collapse of manufacturing, and so on and so forth.

    But he could campaign on, "At least I'm trying -- there are so many hostile forces in the DC Swamp, and I can't deliver 100% right away." Again, mostly a deflecting excuse, since he doesn't bother fighting or using leverage -- riling up his rabid fans in the Rust Belt to vote out their leaders, to go on strike, or otherwise raise hell for the elites.

    But, it's more than the Democrats can say -- most of whom signed onto the NAFTA re-brand, other than Bernie and a few others. Not Warren, though -- she's a neoliberal to her bones, and gladly signed the renewing of vows for the NAFTA elites.

    That's one of the few things she emphasizes to the public that distinguishes her from Bernie -- and the dumbass left can't even call her out for it! Of course not: they're not materialists, not pro-working class, just culturalist polarizers who are only too happy to see flyover country get gutted of their productive material base.

    If that's how they want to play, it'll soon be about who can gut the other side's base more. All some pseudo-populist has to promise is to de-fund the cities (no more QE bux going to tech and finance, no student loans for college towns, 90% tax on Patreon income), and tax the shit out of their companies so they can't afford to hire or pay as highly.

    Follow up with a propaganda campaign about downwardly mobile professionals having to move back to whatever hick town they actually come from, maybe moving in with mom & dad, and crying over their loss of cultural cache after being forced out of Brooklyn.

    It would be the most popular thing in the world, within the current constraints of the system.

  7. WRT out of touch gentry class, you have to wonder how many of these kids of the Boomers (e.g., people born in the mid-70's-early 90's, the rise of the neo-lib era) grew up in isolation from the industrial working class of the Midwest. Either physical isolation (common to the Northeastern cosmopolitans) or emotional/cultural isolation in the case of the wokesters who grew up totally or partially in the hinterlands. I heard an early X-er (born in '68, grew up in Indiana), during a discussion of Jaws, say that he remembered almost everybody in the 70's being well, normal. Easy to be around and deal with. We do know that there was a turning point in the 70's, but did this hit the status conscious groups first? And was it's initial stage so gradual that maybe people in the heartland didn't notice*? At this point the division between different classes/subcultures/ethnic groups has be become so pronounced, there hardly is a "normal" anymore, and nobody even agrees on what that means anymore anyway.

    I grew up in non-elite areas of the Twin Cities suburbs (one of which could've been characterized as the beginning of the Northern exurbs in the early 90's when I lived there) and quite distinctly remember the furor over NAFTA, Walmart getting mocked for stocking lots of Chinese crap, and Ross Perot trying to thwart globalism (hell, even the Roseanne episode where they couldn't afford a Super Nintendo). Minnesota had more people in 1900 than California did; the Great Lakes and Mississippi river states have been sizable population and economic centers for quite some time at this point, yet we know that the Yankee/Jew/Southern aristocrat class stabbed us in the back by the '76 Bi-centennial. They wanted the "info" economy; they wanted a "global marketplace". And they were evidently ok with a gradual slide toward feudalism, in which a relatively narrow class of (often well connected) big winners dominate immiserated serfs. New Amsterdam we learned a few years back now has "poor doors" for the peons in some of their buildings (a Wiki search reveals that reporting on the practice dates back to the mid 2010's, with London, Toronto, Vancouver, and D.C. also getting in on the trend). Back in the New Deal era, by the late 70's NYC was crumbling. In the neo-lib era, bubbles and mercenary status striving is so back "in" that NYC heavily gentrified and pushed out some (but not all) of the worst NAMs.

    *The ostensible "leaders" of the New Left (eventually, by 1976, the New Right) certainly were trailblazers of increased status seeking; I wish I remembered the guy's name, but I read a recent article of his where he said in his experience as a 'Nam era activist that the Boomer activist movement was riven by conflict over what to do with the white working class, who were thought by some activists to be unreachable on some issues, particularly as they related to race. Certainly the middle class paradise inherited by the Boomers made them cavalier to the cause of protecting hard won protections for less skilled (and less connected) workers. He concludes that youthful far Left goals never really pan out, if for no other reason than the alienation they provoke among proles. What he doesn't acknowledge is that far Right social Darwinism is what the the 60's counter culture eventually transmogrified into, in the late 70's and early 80's. New Left ID politics and cultural dissolution is now openly acknowledged as part of the package deal w/ New Right economics. Which is kinda nice, seeing as how Boomers in the 80's and 90's desperately postured as "conservative" (perhaps true of the down scale Boomers, but certainly not the mid to upper level of Boomers.) I know David Kaiser has admitted his horror regarding the descent into social Darwinism that his own generation's "rebellion" eventually created.

  8. Aimee is great but constantly constantly constantly misses the point of what Benjamin is saying goes off on some ADD tangent...


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