Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Trump and Sanders

Everyone is trying to explain to the rest of us who the Trump voters are and what motivates them.  Fine. I believe some of them. Yet I see lots of assumptions, but very little actual data, about who the Bernie Sanders voters are. Apparently the narrative is satisfactory enough that actual facts aren't necessary, as in: Sanders voters are farther-left, OWS voters who really, really dislike the system, plus those who distrust Hillary.

Well, sez who?

I no longer trust polls because of the cultural changes in telephone use. However, I trust airy generalisations by people who "follow the news a lot and are locked in to the vox populi" even less. I have a little theory about who the Sanders voters are, in three camps.  The last three times I had such a theory (2004, and 2008x2) I was spot on once, ridiculously wrong once, and I still go back-and-forth on the third one.

Anyway, I'm going to try.  It is in NH that Sanders has leapt forward and leads Hillary in the polls. And as irritating as it is to remind you of this, our votes, which count for little, at least count ten times as much as yours.  Concord NH, where I work, is Arts&Humanities, government-loving liberal central for NH.  I know lots of Sanders supporters - even when they don't say it in the building I see their bumper stickers in the parking lot and I know whose Prius is whose. (Partly from which dog breed they also have on their decals, which they talk about constantly.) Yet I also have a quiet underside of Sanders supporters that I know, who are not the social workers, psychologists, and occupational therapists you would expect.  A Silent Majority of liberals, perhaps, though they would be horrified at the reference, if they were old enough to know what it referred to.

I think there is a third camp, beyond the a) socialist lite and b) don't trust Hillary camps, who are driving the Sanders Surge. I'm going to manipulate the conversations at work over the next week and report back.


Christopher B said...

more assumptions .. based on my anecdotal social media observations .. take with salt as necessary.

Bernie is the candidate for the SWPL crowd that has spent the last 8 years smiling and saying everything is just fine through gritted teeth lest they commit the sin of 'racism' by criticizing, even implicitly, Barak Obama. Notice how he is talking about the 'real level of unemployment' (where have I heard that before?) and drawing the ire of the #BLM crew.

Both Bernie and Trump appeal to die-hards in their respective parties that believe our problems would be solved if X party would just support candidates who are real X'ers and not elect those SOBs who are X-INO's and become part of the Washington Establishment, who speak too nicely of the other X party, compromise with them too much, and never get any of the X party's programs implemented.

jaed said...

Possible data point: a lot of Bernie memes (in the form of photos with his quotes) are showing up for me on Facebook. I don't see that for Hillary (or for any Republican candidate). But I saw a lot of these things for a while featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson pictures and quotes. Maybe a similar appeal in some way?

Sam L. said...

Question, somewhat off topic: Would NH voters who favor Bernie or Hillary vote to take "LIVE FREE OR DIE" off your license plates? I get the feeling they would, if the question were posed. Why haven't they already?

Texan99 said...

I'm fairly sure that most of the people I went to school with, and a lot of my relatives, are more or less in the bag for Bernie. They'd probably agree that it's time to get serious about income redistribution, and about eliminating the profit motive from the American economy, and they would be faintly surprised to learn that there are people with any serious disagreement about that--at least, anyone with an education who's actually thought about it.