An astounding number: nearly half of New Hampshire voters told Edison Media Research exit pollsters that they made their voting decisions only days before the primary. This number is extremely important going forward and casts the entire complexion of this race along a much different axis than the media tea-leaf-readers think.
New Hampshire was Bernie Sanders’ to lose: He won every county in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. This time, Sanders split the state with Pete Buttigieg, who benefitted greatly from his Iowa bounce. The “surprise” was the surge of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, whose debate performance seemed to put her on NH voters’ radar. The two other, establishment, known quantities: Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden, were left eating dust.
The mainstream media is friendly with the Democratic establishment. In many cases, the mainstream media is the establishment–there’s a porous membrane through which these people pass with ease, many times in both directions, depending on which party is in the White House.
The mainstream media is not particularly friendly to Bernie Sanders, who clearly has never been establishment. Technically, Sanders isn’t even a Democrat. He, like AOC, is a Democratic Socialist. This makes him a burr in the backside of the Democratic Party mandarins. They’d like to squash him, but unlike 2016, they don’t have all the levers at their command.
The media will continue to urge Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race to the end, no matter if they have a path to victory or not. Biden, I think, has legs to make it to the end, despite not having gained a single delegate. Warren might need to get out. We’ll see.
It’s going to be up to Mike Bloomberg to “get it done” for the party–to knock Sanders down to the point where Biden can persevere, or that Bloomberg can mount an effective campaign to gain delegates. But Bloomberg is problematic, in that he is the media. He’s exactly what the guerrilla Sanders campaign has been training to fight.
There’s likely a rich vein of this kind of rhetoric from Bloomberg’s time as (once Republican) mayor of New York City, and I’m sure we’ll continue to see it drop. The media could report it as a “bombshell” but they are being very circumspect.
CNN went after the source of the video and the motive of the poster. It’s hard to imagine them doing this if it was, say, Rudy Giuliani or Donald Trump, in the video.
The race is shaping up as the Establishment vs. the Populist Socialist. Fronting for these fighters is the Media vs. the People. The People, so far, are rejecting the Establishment because they see only failure ahead. Biden’s age, confusion, anachronisms, and the president’s attacks on him make him vulnerable in voters’ eyes. Warren is just a clown show at this point–she spent her relevancy months ago. Buttigieg is an unknown, who has so far gained little minority support. So the People lurched toward Kobuchar.
It’s telling that MSNBC and CNN both featured Kobuchar’s New Hampshire speech live, before the race was called, Tuesday night. Sanders was the central figure, but the media clearly is not in his corner. In fact, many think he’s got more in common with Trump in his cadre of online trolls than he does with the other Democrats running.
fled left the state and in lieu of a morose “we lost” speech, hosted a “kick off” in South Carolina. Smart move for him to lay low and let his media praetorians engage his enemies. Of course, one of these enemies is Mike Bloomberg, who owns Bloomberg media, as if that’s not an enormous conflict of interest in the first place.
Bloomberg News said they’re not going to investigate any Democrats, in order to be fair to the owner, who they’re not going to investigate at all. I wonder how long this embargo will continue if Mike gets some traction. The coverage of Bloomberg by Bloomberg is already pretty tortured. It’s hard to imagine they’ll remain completely fair against Biden.
Bloomberg (the candidate) is dropping insane amounts of cash to plaster his name everywhere. So far, it’s not working in South Carolina, where he’s failed to make a dimple in the polls. Nationally, Bloomberg is currently polling third, just above Warren. With Steyer out of the race, however, things can change in South Carolina.
Steyer was polling second, behind Biden in South Carolina. Will his votes go to Sanders, or to Bloomberg, or to Buttigieg, who is way down the list, or to Klobuchar? This is where go back to the astounding number from New Hampshire: about half the voters probably now have no idea who they’re going to vote for. Nevada’s voters are next, with the same conundrum.
Sanders is the front-runner, but he’s a front-runner without consensus, and it’s going to be him versus the media: the Populist vs. the Establishment. If Sanders becomes the avatar for the Populists, he’s going to trounce everyone. Remember, Trump never trailed after New Hampshire. He lost a few states, but never lost momentum. The more the media slammed him, the more he steamrolled through.
The more the media shills for Biden, and the more Bloomberg’s position as a media giant becomes apparent, that might cement support for Sanders and it will be over. Or, possibly, Klobuchar or Buttigieg might get real traction. I think that’s unlikely, given that they lack enough organization and funding to take advantage, but it’s possible.
What is emerging, is that the mainstream media and the Democratic Party establishment have convinced themselves that they can engineer the outcome of this race, and stop Sanders. They need to remind themselves that the People have the final word. If they keep pushing their own agenda, they’re going to find the People have chosen their own Trump to take on Trump.