CNN Hits a New Low With Misleading Election Coverage

Have you seen the new CNN poll results? I tuned in to watch Bernie Sanders’ interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on New Day this morning. This being the morning after a new CNN/ORC poll for the Democratic nomination was released.  What were the results? The poll showed that Sanders had gained 4% since CNN’s last poll in November, and Clinton had lost 8%. That totals up to a 12% swing in Sanders’ favor, with last night’s poll having Clinton up 16% total, her 50% to 34% for Bernie Sanders. Sanders has actually reduced Clinton’s lead to where it was before Joe Biden declared he would not enter the race.

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So, how did CNN report this poll on their website? The headline is misleading at best, and blatant propaganda at worst. It reads “CNN poll: Post-debate, voters move to Clinton“. You read that right… voters move to Clinton.  How does CNN justify this, you ask? If you watch the video on that article, CNN’s Dana Bash attempts to explain. She explains that when CNN interviewed likely voters before the last Democratic debate, Clinton’s lead was only 45% to 37%, but in Dana’s words increased to 60% to 27% “in interviews taken the night… uh the morning after the debate“. That’s right folks; when CNN got a poll result that showed Bernie Sanders had almost cut Clinton’s lead in half, they used data that wasn’t even reported in the poll to spin it as great news for Hillary Clinton.

There is one bright spot, however. Chris Cuomo’s coverage between segments of the Bernie Sanders interview was more generous than usual network coverage. He mentioned, however briefly, that Sanders usually does better than Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump. Bernie Sanders actually thanked Chris on covering him more than many other news anchors. A few times between the 3 interview segments they showed the actual poll numbers, thankfully.

It’s not all roses on CNN’s television network today, though. What if you didn’t catch the Sanders interview coverage? I’ve had CNN on since New Day started, and the news ticker on the bottom of the television has only showed the “interview results” along with laughably biased context, saying things like (paraphrasing) “Bernie Sanders confident, even after he loses ground to Clinton in race after Democratic debate.”

CNN is doing everything they can to convince people that the Democratic nomination will be a coronation. It could easily backfire if some Clinton supporters don’t bother to primary or caucus because they were convinced she had the nomination secured.

While it probably won’t fix anything, you can sign this petition to show support for CNN to change the article headline. Don’t forget to share it with your friends!

 

 

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Secular Voters Overwhelmingly Support Bernie Sanders

Last month, a SurveyMonkey poll of secular voters was released. The poll showed that about 73% of respondents planned to vote for Bernie Sanders, compared to 20% for Hillary Clinton and 1.7% for Donald Trump.

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The top three issues secular voters are concerned with are the economy, climate change, and health care in that order.

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Should we be surprised that Bernie Sanders is the most preferred candidate by a large margin among secular voters? I don’t think so. After all, Bernie’s answer to whether or not he believes in God raises a few eyebrows if you are religious. Sanders himself has also said that he is “not particularly religious“. However harmless, Sanders also seems to disregard the typical pandering to religious voters by not claiming to “pray” for victims of terror or other crimes.

So, does this make any difference? While secular voters might not make up a huge voting constituency at the moment, they will only become a larger and larger voting block in the future. A recent poll from Pew found that the United States is becoming less religious every year. The amount of Americans who claim to believe in God fell 3% since 2007, from 92% to 89%. The amount of Americans who claim to be religiously affiliated fell 6%, from 83% to 77%. The trend is even more pronounced among Millennials, with only 80% claiming belief in God, and only 38% claiming religion is “very important in their lives”. This could be a small factor in why Millennials overwhelmingly support Senator Sanders for president.

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Will politicians ever recognize secular voters as a constituency? Eventually, they might not have a choice. The Internet has been the main driving factor in the rise of secularism, and it’s not going anywhere. Public acceptance towards atheists seems to be growing, 54% of people said they would vote for an atheist in 2012, compared to 58% in 2015.

So, eventually, secular voters should be a powerful voting block. When, however, depends on whether the growth of secularism gets quicker, stays the same, or slows down. The trends look promising, but knowing the American electorate, we will probably have to wait until the older generations die off.

This Is Why Recent Polls Could Bode Well For Bernie Sanders

For those who get their news from the corporate media, it may seem like Clinton has all but secured this election’s Democratic presidential nomination. Media outlets such as CNN love to release monthly nomination polls, regardless of the representative sample sizes. And CNN’s polling constituency almost always under-samples younger voters, typically leaving the margin of error so high that results from voters ages 18-49 are not reported due to statistical irrelevancy. Various media outlets tout polls such as the one I just mentioned as proof of Clinton’s sure victory in the Democratic primaries. Another common theme from the corporate media in to use national polls as a metric of determining the probability of candidates winning the nominations, when national polls have been historically meaningless in primaries.

However, when you actually look into the data of the early primary states, you will find that the Democratic nomination is far from secured. New polls in the first three states to vote in the Democratic primary (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina respectively) bode well for Bernie Sanders’ chances in the early voting states. The newly released CBS/YouGov polls have Sanders’ up by 14 points in New Hampshire, down by only 5 points in Iowa, and while he is still down 36 points in South Carolina, Clinton’s lead has been cut by 11 points since the last CBS/YouGov poll.

Looking deeper into the data bodes even better for Sanders’ chances: In the NH poll, only 35% of those polled for the Democratic primary were under age 45. In the Iowa poll that number was only 30%, and only 14.7% of voters polled were ages 18-29. To find a historical precedent for what these numbers mean, we only have to look back to 2008. If this year’s age 18-29 voter turnout for the Iowa Democratic caucus at least matches the 2008 numbers  (22% of total), it would mean the recent YouGov polls under sampled younger voters, which are the backbone of Sanders’ campaign. According to the new Iowa poll, 71% of Democratic primary voters aged 18-29 support Bernie Sanders. This is even better than Obama’s 2008 numbers, where he received the support of 57% of Iowa Democratic caucus voters aged 18-29.

It appears that this cycle’s Democratic nomination will be decided by voter turnout among young voters and first time caucus goers. When you think about Bernie Sanders’ supporters, one of the first adjectives that comes to mind is disillusioned. Many of them had given up on the political process. These people are as likely to be first time voters as any group. Another interesting result from the recent polls is that 76% of Sanders’ voters say they are enthusiastic in their support for him, compared to 49% of Clinton backers who say that the same. Will this enthusiasm translate into victory for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary? That’s up for us to decide.

Did Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Just Have One of its Best Days?

Did you know the third Democratic debate is tonight? Before yesterday, it seemed almost nobody did.  The debate being on the Saturday night before Christmas explains why. However, things got a lot more interesting yesterday.

After the DNC suspended the Sanders campaign’s access to their crucial voter database early Friday morning, the Sanders campaign quickly went on the offensive. The manager of the Sanders campaign, Jeff Weaver, said that the DNC’s actions were a “heavy-handed attempt to undermine our campaign.” It didn’t take long for Sanders’ supporters to jump into action; a MoveOn petition to restore the Sanders campaign’s access the voter database was signed by over 250,000 people yesterday. Various organizations that have already thrown their support behind the Vermont Senator also came to his defense, along with other media figures: the National Nurses United union called the DNC’s actions “the latest blatant effort by the Democratic National Committee to rig the primary process“, Democracy For America’s executive director said “The Democratic National Committee’s decision to attack the campaign that figured out the problem, rather than go after the vendor that made the mistake, is profoundly damaging to the party’s Democratic process“, former Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb tweeted “Good for Bernie. The DNC is nothing more than an arm for the Clinton campaign.“, and earlier this morning Donald Trump tweeted “See, Sanders backed Hillary on E-mails at the debate, hurting himself, and then she threw him under the bus (but failed). Disloyal person!“.

Clinton’s campaign finally commented on the matter last night. Press Secretary for the Clinton campaign, Brain Fallon, tweeted “If you are so proud of your grassroots organization, you should not need to resort to stealing campaign data.” Will Hillary Clinton echo this sentiment in tonight’s debate? Or will she take the high road, similar to Sanders’ first debate comment addressing Clinton’s email media scandal, “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

Last night, Sanders’ campaign officially filed a lawsuit against the DNC to restore their access to the DNC’s voter database. This morning, it seems that the Sanders campaign reached a deal with the DNC, and access to the voter database file has been restored. After the apparent deal, Clinton’s Press Secretary said “We are pleased that the Sanders campaign has agreed to submit to an independent audit to determine the full extent of the intrusion its staff carried out earlier this week, and also to ensure that Sanders’ voter file no longer contains any of the proprietary data that was taken from us,” he added “We believe this audit should proceed immediately, and, pending its findings, we expect further disciplinary action to be taken as appropriate.” However, the Sanders campaign is still demanding an independent audit of the DNC’s record for the entire campaign season, so they are not necessarily dropping their suit against the DNC just yet.

One of the main complaints of Sanders’ supporters has been the lack of media coverage. A recent study from Tyndall Report found that Sanders has had only ten minutes of stand-alone campaign coverage from the beginning of this year to the end of November. Contrasting this with the 234 minutes that Trump has received in the same time frame, shows that Sanders’ supporters have a valid complaint. However, yesterday Bernie Sanders got more mainstream network coverage than he has in recent memory. While some of the coverage came with a somewhat negative slant, many visitors (such as Tulsi Gabbard) to television networks also sided with the Sanders’ campaign.

These recent events could end up being a blessing in disguise for Bernie Sanders. All of this happening just a day before the third Democratic debate is bound to attract at least a few extra viewers, which might make DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz upset. Another huge benefit for the Sanders campaign has been the overwhelming support and donations coming after yesterday’s events. While official donation numbers for the past couple days are yet to be released, the SandersForPresident  subreddit raised over $50,000 alone yesterday, which is about 10% of the total it’s users have raised currently according to their donation tracker.

What should we expect to hear at tonight’s debate? Surely the recent data breach and the following lawsuit will be brought up, but how much of the debate time will be about the recent events? Nobody knows for sure, but there is one thing that is for sure: you will need extra popcorn.

Why the DNC’s Actions Could Cost Democrats the Election

 

If you’ve been keeping updated on this year’s Democratic Primary race, you probably have noticed that the Democratic establishment is all in on Hillary Clinton. If you haven’t, you need not look farther than FiveThirtyEight’s Endorsement Primary. This endorsement tracker only accounts for endorsements from party officials. State Representatives give one point, Senators give five points, and Governors give ten points. Clinton is leading in party endorsements by an unprecedented margin. At the time this blog post was written, Clinton leads the “endorsement primary” with 455 points, compared to 2 points for Bernie Sanders and 1 point for Martin O’Malley. It’s not only endorsements, the DNC has seemingly done whatever it can to provide Clinton with the easiest possible path to the nomination, whether it be limiting debates, or restricting debate viewership by hosting debates on low-viewer nights such as this Saturday, the weekend before Christmas. Another example is a recent development; the DNC has temporarily suspended Sanders’ access to their voter database after a Sanders’ campaign staffer allegedly accessed Clinton’s voter data that was available due to a technical glitch by the data vendor. This is a big deal, because without access to the DNC voter database, the Sanders campaign has no way to know who to call or where to visit.

One could argue that these actions were done to deliberately damage the Sanders campaign. After all, the DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was one of Clinton’s national campaign co-chairs in 2008. I could talk about how the DNC is corrupt and ran by special interests just like the GOP. But, I won’t. Just keep in mind that Bernie Sanders is a threat to the status-quo of establishment politics. What I will do is try to explain how the actions of the DNC could end up backfiring on them, and gifting the presidential election to the GOP.

First of all, I believe establishment Democrats have made some serious miscalculations. They are banking on Clinton winning the General Election, but what makes them so confident? I’m sure they assume that the 1/3 of the Democratic Primary voter base that currently support Sanders will vote for Clinton in the GE. And this probably wasn’t a terrible assumption, until the DNC decided to alienate tons of Sanders’ supporters by using the cheap tactics that I mentioned earlier (along with many others). If that wasn’t enough, Hillary Clinton herself has upset many Bernie Sanders supporters by indirectly claiming that he is sexist. Keep in mind, Clinton does this while simultaneously holding Sanders to a very high standard when it comes to personal attacks. After all, she claimed Sanders’ questioning of her many donations from Wall Street corporations was “impugning her integrity“.

The difference between a Clinton and Sanders nomination is obvious: Clinton would likely bring most consistent/regular voters, along with high numbers among women and minorities. Sanders would likely get similar votes from regular Democratic General Election voters, and likely slightly less votes from women and minorities. However, Sanders is destroying Clinton when it comes to young voters. Now, you may be thinking “young voters, you mean all five of them?” While it is true that voter turnout among young voters has been historically low, one must consider why that is the case. Young people have become increasingly disillusioned with the federal government. After all, why bother voting when all the choices are bought and paid for? This is where Bernie Sanders comes in. Not only does he refuse to accept money from special interests, he has also voiced support for making college tuition and healthcare free for all by enforcing new taxes such as a “Wall Street speculation tax“. Imagine you are a deity and you could look at all possible outcomes and their probability for any situation. If you searched C:\Universe for “record breaking youth voter turnout”, I think Bernie Sanders would have just as much of a shot of being the focus of that hypothetical article as anybody.

It’s not hard to see the enthusiasm gap between the Clinton and Sanders campaigns. Sanders has had crowds as large as 28,000 people, while Clinton’s largest crowd was around 5,500 according to the same source. Sanders recently reached two million campaign contributions, faster than any candidate in history. This enthusiasm gap combined with disillusioned and apathetic voters could spell disaster for the Democrats in the event of a Clinton nomination. You might think “a shoelace could beat Donald Trump in the GE”. This is a popular sentiment, and going by General Election polls, seems true. However, polls also show that at least at the moment, Republican voters are much more engaged and eager to vote than Democratic voters. Also, General Election polls are historically inaccurate.

The DNC along with the mainstream media seem to be ignoring all this. It could be due to ignorance and lack of foresight, denial, or deliberate due to establishment fear of a Sanders presidency. Democrats will need all the enthusiasm they can find, and undermining Sanders’ campaign will definitely not help bring his enthusiastic base out to vote for Clinton in a GE, let alone for other Democrats down the ballot in local and state elections.

You probably hear a lot about how the GOP is imploding due to demographic shifts, which is true in a presidential election, at least. However, It’s possible that Bernie Sanders is the only one who can save the Democratic Party from a similar fate.