Sunday, November 6, 2016

Why Clinton supporters should be happy even if she loses

Q. Why should Clinton fans be happy even if she loses on Tuesday?

A. Because they'll get their second choice: a democratic socialist won't be president.

This would've been a boring election if the Democratic establishment hadn't been committed to nominating another neoliberal. In May, Sanders was polling with the general public at 10 points over Trump.

That wasn't a fluke. In the many polls of public opinion taken from July 2015 to May 2016, only six showed Trump having an advantage and only one showed them in a tie.

Compare that with Clinton. Currently, she has a 1.8% advantage in the aggregated polls at RealClearPolitics, so she's the safer bet but not a sure bet. Over the same period that Sanders stayed well ahead of Trump, Clinton was only a point or two ahead on average, with 29 polls showing her losing and 13 in a tie.

The Clinton camp knew they had to do two things if they hoped to win the Presidency. The first was to defeat Sanders, which they managed to do because their base didn't care that Sanders did better with independents and cut deeply into Trump's base with his economic policies. The second was to run against someone Clinton had a chance of beating, which they did by promoting Trump.

It'll be interesting to see how the Clinton camp's calculations pay off on Tuesday. If she loses, I won't feel bad for her supporters—they'll have their second choice. I'll only feel bad for the rest of us.

Minnesota is a blue state. I don't have to wonder if I should vote for Clinton. I'll flip a coin before I go into the booth, then vote for Jill Stein because her platform is closest to mine or for Dan Vacek because I liked him when I ran for governor on the Grassroots Party ticket.