The New Yorker Magazine has published an extensive and well-written article on Bernie Sanders. The article definitely appears to be objective, and thoroughly documented. Ring of Fire has no issue with the substance of the article, and actually highly recommends it. We simply disagree with the conclusion that Bernie can’t win the Democratic nomination.
The main reason Ring of Fire has consistently argued that mainstream media is wrong about Bernie’s chances of winning the nomination is because we believe they are underestimating the power of grassroots movements, and what it means in regard to people getting out to vote. As a candidate, you much rather have millions of people giving little money, than few people giving millions of dollars. We believe mainstream media is overestimating the power of needing hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase political marketing, as social media will now dominate the message to the voting base. The question is whether corporate media will carry the day or social media.
With the above said, below is The New Yorker Magazine reasoning:
Could Bernie Sanders win the Democratic nomination, let alone the Presidency? It is unlikely, for one of the reasons that he’s running for President: money dominates the electoral system. By October 1st, Clinton had raised more than a hundred million dollars, much of it from SuperPACs and big donors. Sanders, who refuses to take money from Super PACs, had raised forty-one million dollars, mostly in donations of less than two hundred dollars each. These totals leave him at a major disadvantage. Still, his haul is impressive, and in the most recent fund-raising cycle donations to his campaign were neck and neck with Clinton’s: between July and October, he raised twenty-six million dollars to her twenty-eight million.
It’s impressive, too, that in a recent YouGov/CBS News poll Sanders is leading Clinton by twenty-two percentage points in New Hampshire and ten in Iowa. But the picture in South Carolina is quite different: there Clinton is twenty-three points ahead. That comparison highlights a key distinction between white and nonwhite Democrats. The New Hampshire and Iowa Democratic samples included too few nonwhite voters to break out. But among black Democrats in South Carolina Clinton leads, at fifty-two per cent; Sanders is at four per cent. Nationally, the comparable figures are fifty-seven per cent to ten per cent. And though Sanders quickly modified his platform to accommodate Black Lives Matter activists, he still has a long way to go to win over African-American voters. Latino voters are similarly unfamiliar with him: a Gallup poll released in late August showed that only twenty-five per cent knew of him, and those who did were almost evenly divided between favorable and unfavorable impressions. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released in September shows that, if Biden were in the race, he would attract more nonwhite voters than Sanders (though substantially fewer than Clinton).
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Sanders has promised not to run for President as an Independent in the general election, saying that he doesn’t want to have any role in handing victory to a Republican. But, even if he fails to secure the Democratic nomination, he has exposed a deep indignation about the distribution of wealth which other candidates cannot ignore. Sanders often says that he is not that far outside the mainstream—that a majority of Americans agree with him on many of his tenets. According to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, sixty-six per cent of Americans feel that “money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed”; seventy-one per cent favor raising the minimum wage, at least slightly; and seventy-four per cent believe that corporations exert too much influence on American politics and life. Other recent surveys show that strong majorities oppose any cuts in Social Security and support workers’ rights to unionize. A Gallup poll in May concluded that nearly half of Americans are “strong redistributionists, in the sense that they believe the distribution of wealth and income is not fair, and endorse heavy taxes on the rich as a way of redistributing wealth.”
To read the entire New Yorker Magazine article, click The Populist Prophet: Bernie Sanders has spent decades attacking inequality. Now the country is listening.