Momentum is Not a Rationale for Governing

Editorial, The Week in Review – Analysis, Commentary, Opinion

04.09.2016

 

Momentum is Not a Rationale for Governing

 

I have been hearing this argument since January, but over the last couple of weeks it has gotten increasingly more passionate. The argument has two prongs, and it is this:

 

Bernie Sanders has the momentum

Bernie Sanders leads the republicans by wider margins than Hillary Clinton in the survey polls

Bernie Sanders can win

Vote for Bernie Sanders

 

This is not a policy discussion. This is not a debate about substantive issues, this is BS.

 

Momentum:

 

BS has legitimate energy and enthusiasm behind his political campaign, there is no denying that. So does HRC. Over the course of the campaign they have each had moments where they were surging and winning contests by large percentages.

 

If you were to look at a single segment of the race, and focus only on a single upswing for a given candidate you could make that argument with equal validity for either one.

 

If you were to look at the arc of momentum over the whole race (up until now, this could change over future contests), you have would have to conclude that the inertia belongs to HRC. The enthusiasm of the voters for her candidacy has yielded more statewide victories, the support of more pledged delegates, and 2.5 million more votes.

 

The momentum in the campaign belongs to HRC (at the moment), regardless of the fact that her numbers appear to be in a trough at this time. She will likely peak again very soon. The inertia is hers, and the BS campaign appears to less and less of a movement that stands on its own and more of thing that simply drags at HRC campaign’s numbers.

 

Demographic Polls:

 

For several weeks I have heard BS on the stump touting the fact that he leads all of the republican candidates in the demographic polls. Based on this he says that you should nominate him.

 

HRC beats the republican candidates as well, also by wide margins (though they are smaller).

 

While this kind of data is important, and it is important for campaigns to track; at this moment in the race it is not in the slightest way an argument for electability. This is a bait and switch. The polls will change, all reputable pollsters agree. The margins of both candidates over their republican opponents will shrink, at times it may disappear completely, or hover around the margin of error. That is normal in a campaign cycle.

 

These arguments are never arguments for electability, they can only be arguments for or against the probability of victory; probabilities which are always in flux.

 

Furthermore, this is the exact same argument as Donald Trump makes in his speeches, and it is unworthy of a serious politician. BS should stop.

 

This is the case:

 

Both Senator Sanders, and Secretary Clinton can win. They both have great momentum. Bernie has fantastic rallies, Hillary has earned more votes than any candidate in the race (from either party). The enthusiasm of their supporters looks different from one to the other, but it is real. In the end, whoever wins will need the support of the other

 

I hope that whoever is nominated by the democratic party will get your vote. Either of them would be better than any of the republicans, just as the Democratic Party agenda is better for the America people than the Republican Party agenda.

 

Let us quit talk about momentum, and wave frequency. Let us start talking public policy and get down to meaning full discussion of how we are going to pull this off.

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