What the April 15 Emerson Democratic Primary Poll Says About Emerson and Sanders

By Thomas Neuburger Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

On April 15, just prior to Joe Biden’s entry into the race, Emerson College Polling released their Democratic primary contest report. Two things to note before we go further.

First, the poll of the Democratic primary shows four clear tiers of candidates (see graphic above):

Tier 1 — Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, far above the rest
Tier 2 — Buttigieg, O’Rourke, Harris and Warren, two-thirds below the leaders
Tier 3 — Castro and Yang, polling at 3%
Tier 4 — Everyone else

Tier 4, everyone else, is polling at or below the choice named “Someone Else.”

Second, the Emerson site write-up of this poll highlights everything but the striking 12-point surge by Sanders, who rose from 17% in February to 29% in April. Mayor Pete’s rise over the same period — from 3% to 9% — is their first touted takeaway. According to Spencer Kimball, the organization’s director, “[I]t looks like Mayor Pete is the candidate capturing voters’ imagination”.

The site’s second takeaway highlights Biden’s 3-point drop over that same period. Kimball again: “Biden has seen his support drop. In February, he led Sanders 27% to 17%, and in March the two were tied at 26%. Now, Sanders has a 5 point lead, 29% to 24%.”

Kimball is wrong twice. Mayor Pete is not the “candidate capturing voter’s imagination.” His rise from 3% in February to 9% in April is half the increase of Bernie Sanders in the same period.

Also, Biden’s decline below Sanders isn’t because “Biden has seen his support drop.” That drop was just three points. Sanders is surging; his 12-point surge is four times Biden’s fall. Sanders simply leapfrogged him.

What We Learned & What We Know

From all this we learned several things:

Sanders is indeed surging.

The polling organization, via the quotes the site chose to feature, is trying to hide the Sanders surge. That tells you something about the organization, if not the poll itself. The polling itself is may be sound, but the organization has an Establishment dog in the race.

Much of the Biden vote is also a Sanders vote, at least so far.

From the underlying polling data itself, 31% of Biden voters have Sanders as their second choice, while O’Rourke and Buttigieg together would capture another 30% of the Biden vote if Biden were out. That seems a good rough proxy for a nascent 50-50 split among Biden supporters for Radical Change vs. Return to Obama Status Quo, “nascent” because I don’t think anyone who could support Sanders would begin to tolerate Biden after she learns what Biden actually stands for. Stay tuned for Biden to shed that support.

Further, from the crosstabs Sanders and Biden are as good as tied among millennials (ages 18-29). I’d be shocked if almost all of this group didn’t turn against Biden by the time the primary is over.

It’s early yet, but if we give Sanders a conservative half of Biden’s support across the whole primary, Sanders would lead the field with over 40% popular support — a clear plurality, but not a majority. Of course, as the issues become sharpened, that could change further.

The delegate count is the vote that matters, not the popular vote.

I’ll expand on this point later, but just as the popular vote in the general election is not the vote that matters, the popular vote in the primary is also not the vote that matters. The “pledged delegate” count will control what happens at the convention in the first round of voting. After the first round, superdelegates enter the battle, mostly on the side of re-establishing an Obama status quo.

This means that if Joe Biden, say, picks up 25% of pledged delegates in the very early California primary, then fades to almost nothing but doesn’t drop out, his California delegates will still vote for him at the convention in round one, denying those votes to anyone else. It will go like that state by state.

So if you’re a Sanders supporter, the data to watch is not his popular support, which could surge even greater by April 28, when the last of the big states votes, but his cumulative delegate count. Watch especially the delegate counts in the early races, when the sheer mass of candidates will tend to dilute any candidate’s share of the total available.

• A brief expansion of the last point: Delegate counts for Tier 4 candidates can be ignored (Klobuchar, for example, will not pull many Minnesota delegates from the other candidates), and of Tier 3 candidates only Castro, who will vie with O’Rourke for “favorite son” delegates in Texas, is likely to affect the final delegate count.

This leaves Biden, Buttigieg, O’Rourke and Harris as the chief delegate vote-splitters, since most Warren delegates are likely Sanders delegates if Warren releases them. Can Biden, Bueetgieg, O’Rourke and Harris together capture more than 50% of the pledged delegate total entering the convention? On that point the entire drama of the convention — and with it, the nomination — will turn.

After all, Sanders can “win” with a plurality on the first round and still be denied the nomination.

Even so, watch these polls with great interest.

The sooner Sanders captures and keeps first place in popular support in a world with Biden as a candidate, the stronger his argument to voters in the early primaries that he should get the most delegates.

Also, the sooner Sanders captures and keeps majority support (50% or more) in these polls, the stronger his argument at the convention will be that superdelegates should support him on the second round or risk a rebellion among his supporters independent of what Sanders himself recommends. Such a revolt against the Democratic Party could put Trump in charge of the nation for another four years regardless of the goodness of the Democratic Party’s “compromise” or “unity” candidate.

Put simply, superdelegates need to be put on the hottest hot seat Sanders supporters can create if his candidacy is to survive a second round of voting.

The Rebellion Has Already Started

From the Department of Just Saying, here’s an expansion of that last point. The nation is already in revolt, just as it was in the 1850s before the first shot was fired at Fort Sumter. We’re sitting on a powder keg, just not a lit one.

So far the rebellion is mainly electoral. People surged for Obama in 2008 thanks to the (false, as it turns out) “Times They Are A-Changin’” paint job his campaign received from Will.I.Am and “Yes We Can.”

They surged for Sanders in 2016, then shockingly to many (but not to all) surged again for Trump, who lying through his teeth, ran on a “Sanders platform” and marched to a 304–227 Electoral College win over the quintessential status quo candidate Hillary Clinton.

In some congressional districts they surged again in 2018, supporting true-progressive candidates like Marie Newman, who narrowly lost to corrupt status-quo Democrat Dan Lipinski, and successful rebel-progressives like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

The rebellion is surging again this year, once more electorally. Unless the odd or unexpected happens, unless he stumbles or is brought down, expect Sanders’ support to reach near or above 50% among potential primary voters — and expect his 2020 polling against Donald Trump to equal his dominant 2016 polling. During that primary, Sanders beat Trump in almost every head-to-head poll by a far greater margin than Clinton did.

But if the grinding machine that is the bipartisan, militarizedEstablishment denies again the people’s choice for president, look for the rebellion against it to seek electoral revenge once more only — by not voting or voting for Donald Trump.

After that, the rebellion will not be so restricted.

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  1. PlutoniumKun

    The dishonesty of so many political writers really is astonishing – that a professional pollster can just ignore Sanders surge as Emerson did would be funny if it didn’t tell us so much about what the establishment is thinking. I had a look at five-thirty-eight for the first time in a long time last night, and it was playing the exact same game. By any objective measure Sanders is the true front runner – Biden has a history of starting strong and fading as soon as people take a closer look, Sanders the exact opposite. The only question pollsters and political writers should be asking is whether or not Sanders can get enough delegates to make it impossible for the Convention to be rigged against him. For that of course he needs momentum, so the more time the media spend boosting empty suits like Biden and Buttigieg, the better for him I think.

    Looking at some polling, the one thing that strikes me is that Sanders has one weakness – the perception (wrong I think, but its still a very strong perception among Dem voters), is that he’s not the strongest candidate to beat Trump. The strong feeling among Dem voters that they have to find someone, anyone, to beat Trump is I think the reason why so many non-white male candidates are finding it so hard to get traction so far. I think the number one priority of Sanders campaign should be to focus on this – emphasise just how strong Sanders can be at getting out working class voters in key States and how much Trump would relish getting his teeth into Biden or Buttigieg (just wait ’till he starts tweeting about Butt-boy).

    1. divadab

      PK:“The dishonesty of so many political writers really is astonishing”

      Yes the ruling classes and their flunkies lie as a matter of habit now, apparently. I compare and contrast JFK who was genuinely uncomfortable having to lie about Vietnam at a press conference and compare him, an honorable man and a war hero, to the current crop of easy-lying salesmen (Obama) and showmen (Trump).

      Truly the empire has fallen into utter moral degeneracy. I mean, it’s in the flipping Ten Commandments – “Thou shalt not bear false witness” – the whole show now seems to be run by evil scum who would maybe not sell their own mother but they buy and sell your mother ten times a day.

      If the Dems sabotage Sanders again they will lose and lose badly. ANyway we know what they are and that won;t change but we may be able to force them to do something good. Against their preference to screw the citizenry on behalf of the scum who bribe them.

    2. Alex Cox

      Sanders is a great candidate, domestically. His biggest weakness is his complete subordination to the MIC, and the likelihood that he – like Trump or Biden – will be pushed into a war with Russia.

      It’ll be great to aim for single payer and write off student debt, but if Sanders remains as weak on foreign policy as he is at present, we may not be around long enough to enjoy either .

    3. JohnnyGL

      “The strong feeling among Dem voters that they have to find someone, anyone, to beat Trump is I think the reason why so many non-white male candidates are finding it so hard to get traction so far.”

      That’s certainly possible, but I don’t think it’s the primary driver from what I’ve seen. I also think you’re letting them off the hook for their own mistakes. It doesn’t explain why several of the more DNC-preferred candidates have had decent starts, but fallen (white, non-white alike).

      Harris is probably the most eloquent and talented, but she’s got a shaky track record as AG, and a history of blowing with the political winds when convenient. She’s faded in the polls. She’s also got some very clinton-ite instincts with clinton-ite advisors which have her making clinton-ite cynical moves. It’s hurting her.

      Booker has likewise faded, but with a smaller share of the vote to start with. Again, shaky track record and seems to shift with the political winds.

      O’Rourke seems to be an almost cartoonish version of himself with the dumb things he says and a very centrist voting record, lots of TX oil money and father-in-law’s money.

      Now, you could say, “well Warren’s faded in the polls, too, without any of those short-comings”.

      I don’t have an iron-clad conclusion, since it’s early. But I think you’re right that dems mostly want to pick a winner above all else — this means they’re mostly open to virtually all candidates (yes, including Sanders).

      I think you’re tenuously incorrect so far that this means voters are pushing white-males due to electibility questions. This undersells their mixed track records and campaigning mistakes and O’Rourke’s fading just like the rest of them. Don’t be surprised if Buttigieg peaks soon. I expect Biden’s going to start fading after he gets his initial boost.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I wouldn’t disagree with your last few paragraphs at all – I made that comment in the light of my puzzlement at how Biden seems to be so strong compared to so many of the other ‘favoured’ Dem mainstream candidates. Much of it of course is simply name recognition, but I suspect (and some of the polling seems to back this up), that he is perceived by a lot of middle-of-the-road Dem voters as ‘the guy who can win’, probably based on no more than this is what people are picking up from media reporting. There may well be a subtext of fear that Trump against a non-white or female candidate election could just be too traumatic for the country.

        But your point is well made that so far the supposed strong candidates so far seem to have almost entirely botched their campaign launches. Buttigieg and Beto so far seem to have done reasonably ok in conventional terms, but the real test will be when people start looking at them closely. I doubt either will do well in the long term, but Buttigieg seems a little smarter and to have a strategy at least.

        It is still early days though. But so far I’ve been very impressed by Sanders focus and organisation, and quite happy to see the mess the mainstreamers have made of their campaigns so far. I’m a little disappointed though that Warren and Gabbard haven’t made more of an impression, although I think Warren may be able to build up momentum as time goes on.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I’ve always felt voters take pride in name recognition. With Biden, there is no need to say, “he’s the guy who did X” because we know he was the Vice President. Even Sanders as the second choice of Biden supporters is for that reason. It was part of HRC’s appeal, even Obama’s because he was both black and had a good rah rah moment at the right time.


          I can’t imagine anyone of these Lieberman supporters like Joe Lieberman even at the time. He was a disgrace. Its just most people didn’t know, but he is a name that didn’t require much explanation. Kerry had been around for a while by that time. Gephardt is at 15% at this time in the 2004 cycle. Dick Gephardt. Yikes! But he was the leader of the House Dems. He was on tv a lot and wouldn’t require explanation of who he was beyond, “he’s the leader.”

          When they were done, Kerry and Edwards more than doubled up their polling at that date in actual votes. People obviously dropped out. I think Kerry tripled up.

          Among those who are paying close attention to the campaign (saying they follow the news about the candidates very or somewhat closely), Kerry edges out Lieberman by a small margin, 22% to 19%. This could be a signal of the hidden strength John Kerry has within the active ranks of the Democratic Party — people who can be relied on to turn out in primaries.

          Lieberman sat out the Iowa caucuses and came in with 8.5% of the New Hampshire primary vote. Feel the Joementum. Nothing about Lieberman changed to cause such a plunge except that he went from “former VP nominee” to crazy war hawk who wanted to ban black people from selling cds to kids in the suburbs.

          1. JohnnyGL

            2004 was the ultimate idiocy of ‘electability’ being the prime driver of voter preference.

            John Kerry was barely noticed for months….probably because he was a crappy candidate and a crappy campaigner. But, then, frustrated with Howard Dean, voters saw:

            “John Kerry, decorated war hero and protested Vietnam War, too”

            and thought….”say no more!!! SOLD!!!!”

            Karl Rove then got to work and feasted on him.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Primary Kerry and General Election Kerry were different animals. Kerry had the Iraq War obviously, but otherwise we’ve done worse on issues. He was way better than Dean on virtually everything but Iraq. One problem is Kerry welcomed the Clintonistas into his campaign which really embraced that “reportin’ for duty” garbage and random photo ops which made little if any sense.

              Ugh, when he explained his elmer fudd hunting trip as a way to relieve stress by killing small animals. This is how you lose to a ticket with Dick Cheney.

    4. Carolyn Caffrey

      Bernie, per an article I read today, is already taking it to Trump (and the Dem establishment) directly with a series of rallies and conversations in the Rust Bowl states that Clinton and the Party pretty much abandoned last election. He is actually starting in WI and then will include MI, IN, OH and (I think) WV and maybe KY?to talk about problems and potential solutions to major problems–jobs, health care including the opioid crisis, unions probably, trade, etc. He already had a respectful conversation with coal miners awhile back. I will see if I can grab the link and post it here.

  2. TheCatSaid

    Something else I’ve noticed going back ever since her declaration, is that Tulsi Gabbard’s name was often (~80% of the time) completely omitted from charts or mentions in articles which explicitly claimed to show all candidates. Other articles that didn’t say they were “complete” similarly would include some candidates from the Tier 4–but never Gabbard.

    The consistent pattern reminded me of how the media treated the Sanders campaign by pretending it didn’t exist for as long as possible.

    It reveals whose voice TPTB do not want to be heard.

    1. Mary Lou Isaacson

      I appreciate your mention of Gabbard. I think the establishment has decided to wipe her out because she left the DNC last election (due to the unfair and dishonest treatment of Sanders by the DNC) and joined Bernie Sanders’ campaign. Now the DNC establishment wants to punish her. They found a “reason” using her work with her parents in an anti LGBT movement back in her youth.
      Interesting isn’t it. Will Biden’s plagiarism or racist policies hold him back?

      1. rod

        Gabbard is a Veteran -both as E then O–and speaks openly of curtailing the influence of the MIC that we– most all Veterans– recognize as corrupt and self serving. As well as potentially lethal for those in the uniform.
        We trained her to operate and survive in a hostile environment. And she continues to operate in that environment in the US Congress and the Army Reserves. I Salute, and pay attention to her back– in respect for that.
        She knows what she is doing and knows what to expect from doing that( and she knows it won’t be winning the nomination–imo)

      2. John k

        I think it’s more that she is against foreign wars, this riles up elites of both parties more than anything.
        Odd she gets a lot of coverage on Fox, maybe their ratings depend on showing a lot of female pretty faces.
        But she might be helpful in bringing in reps, especially if already tempted by Bernie’s m4a.

    2. RevDr

      Tulsi gets more air play on Fox news than from anyone close to the dem establishment – perhaps a sign of how feared she is and hopelessly lost dnc is!

      It’s a predictable outcome from a party “leadership” who would prefer to spend 2 years and billions of tv air time hiring ex defense intel guys to propagandize people with Russiagate hysteria than accept or admit their failures to subvert the 2016 primaries.

      Hey, it almost worked before, it was just (dws) fault of shoddy execution. Give the Potemkin dnc city walls a better coat of paint, that’s all !

      We know Podesta Mook crowd are camped out at Belfer Center. Who knew Emerson could be bought out too? After oligarchy admissions corruption scandal, there is no shame anymore.

  3. Ignacio

    This is an excellent analysis for foreigners like me. I don’t know if this is relevant but this is the second time Sanders will go to the convention being the most popular candidate according to current polls. The DNC Establishment must be more than aware of the risks of denying the people’s choice candidacy after the 2016 experience so they migth be seeking for a candidate they can claim with highest chances to defeat Trump of which Buttitieg looks like the most probable and he seems to be Kimball’s choice.

    My question is if could O’Rourke and Harris candidacies debilitate Buttitieg’s enough as not to pass to a second round in the convention? How important is the timing, for instance, if Biden was to decide he doesn’t go to primaries to favor some other candidate?

    This system is rather complicated to me.

    1. divadab

      Complicated by design. The peoples’ choice is supposed to be managed between two acceptable candidates – acceptable to the money men – and Sanders is utterly unacceptable to them. But sometimes democracy breaks out despite the best efforts of the political class to throttle and crush it.

    2. Jack

      The DNC establishment is aware. There has been a spate of recent articles about Dem party insiders “secret meetings” and their concerns about Sanders surging in the polls. They were views expressed about the dangers of even seeming to be treating Sanders unfairly and the results that would bring from his supporters. I for one support Sanders. I did so in 2016 and refused to vote for Clinton (I despise her). Sanders played the loyal trooper after he lost the primary in 2016 but I get the feeling that he would not make a repeat of that support in 2020 if he felt he was again conspired against. It is still early, but barring some juicy scandal I don’t see how Sanders can NOT get a sizable chunk of delegates in the primaries. He isn’t the perfect politician, but the more people that are exposed to him the bigger his support. Look at what happened on the Fox news town hall where Sanders won over the audience. While I don’t agree with everything he supports, he has one defining characteristic that overwhelms all other concerns; I trust him. He has been saying the same thing and voting the same way for 50 years. All of these other Dem candidates to me are just gaslighting the voters. Even Warren. She used to be a Repub and still thinks the system as is can work.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Harris, Booker, O’Rourke, Gillenbrand and even Klobuchar are real candidates. Harris is the only one with a path to victory by virtue of scheduling, but these “others” just live in a different political world than the one they came up in. Booker was Buttigieg before Buttigieg. Obama before Obama. O’Rourke might have hit his ceiling, but he was banking on a Southern appreciation primary. Gillenbrand is going to try her blue dog credentials, and Klobuchar wants everyone to know she is a woman who can find Wisconsin on a map. These are people who largely came up in safe seats and only ever had to be in the right place at the right time (except O’Rourke, he actually challenged an incumbent and won), but these people are largely just more put together Bidens. They think their campaign in a safe seat years ago can carry the day. Different courtiers and power centers want to be on stage with the candidate.

        Warren is playing a what if game. Her support was limited to upper class white women who watch cable news and people who obsess over politics. She could have been the anti-Clinton candidate, but she sat out when Sanders asked her to run and sat out in Massachusetts when she might have mattered.

        About Buttigieg supporters, I wonder why they aren’t more keen on Booker’s Rhodes Scholar status.

    3. jsn

      So I’m a marginal 10%er (NY income but assets stripped in GFC), my clients are all 1%ers but my friends are mostly red state Democrat 10%ers or red state Independents (not 10%ers, in my experience red state independent 10%ers are just embarrassed Republicans). My family is full bore red state Deplorable (all good people, just don’t share my trust in human nature and certainly not man made systems, and increasingly I can’t say I blame them).

      Buttitieg will certainly get the 10%er Dem vote in and out of blue states if nominated, but I can’t imagine any Deplorables or many Independents voting for him: a Buttitieg ticket looks to me like four more years of what we’ve got.

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Voters aren’t fungible commodities in U.S. politics. Its driven by attachment to personalities. Obama has failed to deliver for other Democrats for example. Biden helping a candidate can be considered, but the perception of Biden as a “generic Democrat” and recognized name matters more than anything Biden might say. If Sanders is the second choice of these voters, my guess is the voters flip to Sanders if Biden doesn’t campaign or stay Biden because voters are proud they recognize a name.

      Biden’s name should be on all the ballots. If a former VP can’t get on all the ballots, he’s done. I know a couple of his people, so its entirely possible they will fail to do this through sheer incompetence. Although, the primary system might seem conducive to candidate’s playing delegate games, voters have little experience with primaries. Biden as a recognized name can win support, voters will be more skeptical of the names of the “others” because they don’t like Biden because he’s a raging ahole. They like Biden because they know his name, and as a VP with little chance of succeeding Obama, Biden was largely ignored.

      1. Ignacio

        Although replying you, thanks for all answers, divadab, Jack, jsn and NTG. I had fun with the “My family is full bore red state Deplorable” although it was not funny when Clinton coined the phrase. I think I more or less get a feeling on how delegates would vote in different rounds and how primaries work. If Sanders becomes DNC candidate for general elections it would be one of the most important political developments in the world and I hopefully expect it.

        1. shinola

          OMG! OMG! A foreigner is already “meddling” in the US election!

          Now days, apparently, anyone from outside the USA opining on US elections on the interwebs is meddling.

          So, you better watch it Ignacio…;)

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          American voters despite claims are a close second to the UK when the comes to partisanship. Vote splitting when it happened was limited to Southern Democrats and GOP Presidents.

          To me the flip to Sanders in regards to Biden voters is a big deal. Based on my past experience, Biden is simply a placeholder name for generic Democrat, and he wasn’t hammered in 2008. I’m not talking about random voters. I’m referring to local party committee people, field organizers, and state legislators. Because Biden isn’t NOT a white man, he’s not what people are searching for, so he gets ignored especially with no responsibilities the last 10 years.

          Hillary pushed the narrative that she’s just like Sanders except she gets things done. Neither is true, but her supporters aren’t all willing to vote for McCain to punish the black guy who prevented the coronation. Many actually believe she’s good and supports good positions. Biden is a much weaker HRC. Why go from Biden to Sanders? One, they are both white men (Sanders is Jewish; Jeb Bush is Catholic, take that wasps), or the other is Biden is a stand in for the narrative Obama really tried to be a good generic Democrat.

          Also, the American msm is atrocious. The dominant narratives of a narrow class are what reach the masses, so in a sense, it’s a case of why would NBC a network that knowingly employed predators such as Matt Lauer see anything newsworthy about Anita Hill’s treatment. Even though, the plebes might be outraged, they don’t have access to this knowledge.

        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          and how primaries work.

          This warrants attention. Voters don’t know how primaries work, so they tend to vote for the person they perceive as winning or want to win, not a strategic choice. Buttigeig voters aren’t going to vote for Klobuchar to help with delegate math. Caucuses are interesting because its basically standing in corners, but an anecdotal experience is older people will often abandon a candidate if they look to their corner and see only other old people. Sanders and Obama both benefited from this. In a primary, you don’t get this behavior.

          There are two major courses:

          -Sanders wins big in Iowa and NH, and its a campaign to force a VP slot. He probably wins Nevada and even South Carolina with better operations and name recognition. “The Others” aren’t HRC. They won’t have the campaign machinery to win which is dependent on field organizers and volunteers, not ad buys.

          -Sanders wins Iowa and NH, but not by large margins.Harris is a surprise second or strong third, builds momentum and banks on a strong showing in California and the South. Harris pulls off a win or does well enough the super delegates back her. She does well enough in Nevada and South Carolina to stay in the game. And she’s going to need to get lucky with delegate math as that point it would be the two of them. I don’t think anyone else would stay in at that point.

          Biden is HRC without the selling points. I suspect the first option is most likely. Major players are backing Buttigieg who once 27% of the state wide vote in Indiana. This is a desperation move after O’Rourke was clearly too stupid and Harris isn’t ready for a series of elections having little experience with competitive races.

          Booker was done with his vote on behalf of Big Pharma even if he hasn’t figured out yet. Klobuchar and Gillenbrand don’t seem to know what planet they are on. I just don’t see the others. They seem unready, Obamas without the anti-Clinton and anti-war sentiment to help them.

        4. jsn

          My big brother makes “artisinal bullets” and home brews his own gun powder, about as full bore as it gets!

  4. Adam Eran

    For Californians: Democrats have open primaries for every race but the presidential one. That means to vote in the Democratic presidential primary, you must be registered as a Democrat. Greens, “no party preference” and others need not apply.

    You must register 15 days before the election, too.

    In California, you can check the status of your registration online at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/

    Just FYI…

    1. lb

      I… don’t think this (that Californians registered without Democratic party affiliation may not cast a ballot for the Democratic presidential candidate in the primary) is accurate, but the confusion strongly favors the Democratic party loyalists. There’s some attempt in the state legislature to make this less confusing but it surely does not go far enough.

      I do, however, strongly support independent/unaffiliated voters who want to affect the Democratic primary re-registering as a Democrat just to preempt any chicanery by the party and poll workers. In 2016 I saw this first-hand, when the polling places in various locales would not give ballots with Democratic presidential primary candidates to unaffiliated voters unless they made a very exact request — by default they were simply given ballots without the presidential race. The polling people variably did not volunteer the incantation, which seemed like a systemic disenfranchisement of these independent voters. My polling place in the bay area featured poll workers who were pretty freaked out when I asked related questions.

      I’m definitely not a Democratic party loyalist but I held my nose and re-registered a couple of weeks ago as a Democrat just to pre-empt all of this nonsense. I’ll re-unaffiliate after the primary. Registering permanent absentee allows for paper ballots mailed way before the election, as well, to be sure everything is in order.

    2. Thomas Neuburger

      Thanks, Adam. Would someone verify this? This is not my understanding of the CA process, but I don’t have links for support.


      1. MichaelSF


        Voting in Presidential Primary Elections
        Voters who registered to vote without stating a political party preference are known as No Party Preference (NPP) voters. NPP voters were formerly known as “decline-to-state” or “DTS” voters.

        For presidential primary elections: NPP voters will receive a “non-partisan” ballot that does not include presidential candidates. A nonpartisan ballot contains only the names of candidates for voter-nominated offices and local nonpartisan offices and measures. However, NPP voters may vote in a political party’s partisan election if the political party, by party rule duly noticed to the Secretary of State, authorizes NPP voters to vote in the next presidential primary election. An NPP voter may request the ballot of one of the political parties, if any, that authorizes NPP voters to vote in the presidential primary election.

        I’ve not had any problems getting a Dem ballot in the primaries in San Francisco, even though I’m NPP.

  5. Joe Well

    Millenials are not 18-29. There are no government regulations or academic agreements on this, but the term “millenial” is commonly used for an arbitrary birth cohort between 1981 and 1995 or 1996 according to the Pew Research Center.

    P.S. as a former Sociology major, I hate this Boomer/Gen X/Millenial/Gen Y business. You can create cohorts wherever you want, and this seems like a particularly arbitrary one. The start of the Baby Boom had limited historical anchoring in a real event (the end of WWII), the others do not.

    1. JEHR

      Yes, it is just as easy to say young people, middle-aged people, elderly, and old for the categories. That is just as defining I think.

      My generation came just before the baby boom and we received all the goodies that were prepared for the boomers: more schools, university enrollment with low tuition and lots of bursaries, more housing, more healthcare, lots of jobs after graduation, etc.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Title IX implementation. It might not make the post 2000 births matter as much, but internal changes in schools will shape attitudes. Hillary simply didn’t matter to young women. My little sister, an alum of a public ivy that recently had a sportsball accomplishment, was offended by the idea HRC was the standard bearer of women because it’s attached to her husband. Other younger women may not have articulated the idea in quite the same way, but Title IX, civil rights, etc show up in ways we don’t imagine until the kids grow up.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      About your point of Sanders rise appearing to be at the expense of O’Rourke and Harris. This makes sense. A younger Sanders would be preferable. The problem is there isn’t one due to long term Democratic candidate recruitment and development problems. Harris’ truancy stuff is just awful and almost cartoony evil. O’Rourke is an idiot. At first, the idea was to classify them as reformers not guardians of the status quo. They simply can’t keep up the charade.

  6. Mike

    From the article:

    “…the sooner Sanders captures and keeps majority support (50% or more) in these polls, the stronger his argument at the convention will be that superdelegates should support him on the second round or risk a rebellion among his supporters independent of what Sanders himself recommends. Such a revolt against the Democratic Party could put Trump in charge of the nation for another four years regardless of the goodness of the Democratic Party’s “compromise” or “unity” candidate.”

    ? – Losing to Trump would excuse any drift to the right by the DNC, and would allow them to blame Sanders for the split, making him AND his supporters ultra-incorrigible.

    A formula for bipartisan authoritarian take-over, no? Thus, a winner to establishment Democrats glad to follow Joe Biden and “prostitute” themselves for the “unity of the homeland”– as long as that unity sits upon our faces.

  7. skk

    re: Emerson bias as seemingly illustrated by this:

    Kimball is wrong twice. Mayor Pete is not the “candidate capturing voter’s imagination.” His rise from 3% in February to 9% in April is half the increase of Bernie Sanders in the same period.

    Also, Biden’s decline below Sanders isn’t because “Biden has seen his support drop.” That drop was just three points. Sanders is surging; his 12-point surge is four times Biden’s fall. Sanders simply leapfrogged him.

    Actually, the report says – “….Mayor Pete is the candidate capturing voters’ imagination; the numbers had him at 0% in mid-February, 3% in March and now at 9% in April.”

    Not 3% in Feb, but 0%. Now, from zero to 9 may not be as captivating as zero to hero but zero is not 3.

    As regards the second point, KImball makes two points. Biden’s drop ( 26 to 24 ) and Sanders rise from 26 to 29. They say Kimball also noted that “Biden has seen his support drop. In February, he led Sanders 27% to 17%, and in March the two were tied at 26%. Now, Sanders has a 5 point lead, 29% to 24%.”

    That’s all a bit sad, stating bias and supporting it by mistating Kimball. It gets me sceptical about the rest of the analysis in that blog.

    Still, that blog post did link to the original article AND, mercy of mercies, to the underlying tabulations – all 3 tabs – frequencies, detailed tables and the χ2 tests. You hardly ever see that in the MSM – even when its their OWN poll ! I have scanned them. The p-values ( and of course be sceptical of the worth of that ) in a lot of cases aren’t significant. But it gives me lots of homework – should I choose to do it.

    And of course thanks to NC for picking up the post. I’d never see all this stuff otherwise.

  8. Hepativore

    By the way, in the event that Sanders does actually win the primary by winning the most delegates, I thought that the Democratic Party reserves the right to deny a candidate the winning of the primary regardless of how many delegates they won or did not win. While it would cause an outcry if they did this, I thought they can technically “crown” whomever they want as the primary winner and do not necessarily have to recognize the outcome of the primary campaign.

    Is this true?

    1. MichaelSF

      I think that was the gist of their attorney’s statements in the lawsuit against them. The Dem “party” is a private party, votes in a primary are advisory only, and they can do whatever they feel like doing in “their” elections.

      I don’t recall my US Civics class in jr. high back in the 1960s saying anything at all about political parties being private entities able to do whatever they feel like with election results, but that does seem to be the case.

  9. Heraclitus

    I think the Democratic primary will be over after the California primary, and that Bernie is going to win California handily. Since they moved California up to March, there will still be a lot of people fighting over the votes in the Center, Biden and Harris in particular, while Bernie will have the left vote to himself. (Tulsi Gabbard is left, of course, but she’ll get single digits). Bernie will win because he is brand Left. Even if there are slightly fewer Lefties than Centrists in California, he should still get the majority of the votes.

    Can he beat Trump? I doubt it. The economy is still cranking. Manufacturing jobs are returning to the US. It is going to be hard to argue for radical economic change.

    Also, Bernie has never run against a someone willing to employ serious opposition research. Hillary didn’t go negative on him because she wanted his voters. Trump will have no such compunction. Also, while Bernie has managed to rename a few post offices, other than that he hasn’t accomplished much in his years in Washington.

  10. Tom Bradford

    the popular vote in the general election is not the vote that matters

    This, so casually stated and unchallenged from the Home of Democracy and Land of the Free.

    Do any in the US have any idea how other democracies have moved on from and out of the 18th Century when it comes to trying to reflect the popular will in Government?

    1. John k

      The ec was a compromise that persuaded then small pop states like Fl to join the union, educing their fear of being dominated by then high pop states like Va.
      The idea was to get pols to remember and be concerned of those living in backwater regions… like the current Midwest, where we allowed high wage jobs and factories to be shipped to Mexico and China.
      Maybe next time candidates won’t fly over the flyovers…
      Anyway, get used to it. It will never be changed, there will always be 13 small states that won’t agree.

  11. John k

    I’m worried about Biden’s surge just now, hope he fades on the trail, granted there’s lots of time to examine his many warts.
    I agree with a comment that the non Bernie candidates will split the so called centrist votes…
    I assume warren will drop out fairly early… by now she must not see any benefits from helping the centrists… certainly only Bernie would consider her for either treasury or veep. So this maybe gets Bernie to a third…
    still need Biden to falter for Bernie to reach 50%

    However, I’m not so sure all the supers would go to biden on a second ballot… Bernie is more pop with other pols than he was. Granted it would not be good if polls continue to show Biden doing better against trump.

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