Lower Income Towns in New Hampshire Voted Heavily for Sanders; Richer Towns Did the Opposite

Jerri-Lynn here: This post is short and to the point and reports a key fact about the Sanders vote in New Hampshire: lower income towns in the state voted heavily for Sanders, while richer towns did the opposite.

By Thomas Ferguson, Director of Research, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Boston; Paul Jorgensen, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Texas-Pan American, and Jie Chen, University Statistician, University of Massachusetts. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Figure 1: Lower Income Towns in New Hampshire Voted Heavily for Sanders; Richer Towns Did the Opposite Sources: NBC News for voting data; a few town had still to report. Median town incomes from American Community Survey via Wikipedia, 2013-17 5 Year Survey

The German philosopher Hegel once famously compared a theory put forward by one of his colleagues to a night in which all cows were black. One shudders to think what the German sage might have thought of American election commentary: The jumble of media claims and counterclaims about who won or lost in Iowa and New Hampshire or has somehow magically acquired “momentum” is bewildering. It strikes us as unusually disassociated from reality.

But this is not a case we want to push here; our effort is entirely in a clinical spirit.

One graph summarizes a fact from the New Hampshire primary that we think will prove critical in the rest of the race for the party nomination: The relation between town income and the Sanders vote. Put simply the higher the town’s income, the fewer votes cast for the Vermont Senator.

For the record, we offer all the usual cautions about interpreting aggregate election results for geographic areas: It does not follow that all poor people voted for Sanders or all rich people voted against him. Nor is town income the only driver of the vote: if we had data about industrial structure and the exact ethnic mix of each town, the picture could certainly be sharpened, especially if we had data about individual voters.

But the relative ethnic homogeneity of New Hampshire does help to simplify things. This first approximation is further dramatic evidence of a point we have made before: that the Democratic Party is now sharply divided by social class. https://www.ineteconomics.org/perspectives/blog/the-2020-election-in-three-graphs

We can’t help it if most of what you read or see about the election hurries past this point. It is still true.

The views expressed here are the authors’ own and not those of any institution with which they are affiliated.

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75 comments

  1. cripes

    People voting their interests?
    Despite all claims to the contrary?

    So Bernie’s get-out-the-vote strategery is correct?

    Reply
  2. upstater

    An interesting analysis would be the Trump 2016 percentage on the x axis and Sanders 2020 primary percentage on the y axis. Probably would be a very similar pattern.

    Reply
  3. cripes

    And, can someone explain for me why Bernie Sanders is leading Utah, Utah? polls by 13%–higher than any other primary or caucus?

    Whats the secret sauce and where can I buy some?

    Reply
      1. inode_buddha

        Utah is a high trust society.

        Its also completely infested with scam artists.

        Given Utah’s inherent conservatism it makes their social problems all the more interesting. Sociologists would have a field day out there. I know, I’ve got family there, and have lived there decades ago.

        Reply
        1. divadab

          Yes – this is also true in all faith communities. Sheep attract predators. But see how long a predator lasts once people figure out his scam.

          Reply
    1. marcel proust

      He’s leading Utah among Democrats only, I imagine. Aren’t (almost) all Mormons Republicans (Harry Reid and various Udall’s being prominent exceptions)?

      Reply
      1. divadab

        Not really. Majority are – but this has not always been true. Utah used to be reliably Democrat, just as VT used to be reliably Republican.

        Reply
    2. jrs

      Because there are VERY FEW Democrats in Utah. It’s a conservative state. So maybe the tiny amount of people that are Democrats (non-Mormon, more recent arrivals in Utah – it is getting some, maybe more ethnically diverse etc.) perfer Sanders but so what? Well it means he might win the primary there I guess. But it doesn’t mean the state has gone liberal, it’s just the tiny number of Dems in that state and their preferences.

      Reply
  4. vlade

    The interesting bit here though is that the spread of Sanders vote is also highest in the low-income towns. Which sounds like he’s not hitting all of his target voters.

    It’d be interesting to see how those correlate with Trump voters in 2016.

    Reply
    1. jackbrown

      Exactly what I noticed and was trying to parse. Too bad the graph is not live/hoverable to try to see what’s going on in those 4 or 5 low income towns where Sanders didn’t get out of the tens or teens, as well as the four where he got almost half the vote.

      I think they are simply irrelevant statistical artifacts of the graph’s methodology. It’s quite likely that the graph includes every town in the state, including such places as “Hart’s Location” (population 41) where according to the NYT, 12 voters participated in the primary, and only 2 voted for Sanders.

      2/12 yields 16 percent. The Wiki says that Hart’s Location has a median income of $41k per household. Those two numbers suggest Hart’s Location is the second dot up from the bottom left of the graph, one of the statistical outliers. Twelve voters, as any statistician will tell you, is not enough to tell you anything statistically interesting, and therefore that dot can be ignored. I bet the other 7 or 8 outlier dots are like Hart’s Location, small and not individually relevant.

      Reply
      1. vlade

        Maybe – but that’s the problem, we don’t know. At a guess, there’s a couple of hundreds points there. NH has about 186 towns > 1k population, 235 total.

        So they can easily be outliers as you say (and likely are), but could be also something else.

        For example, Manchester which is close to 10% of NH population has median household income around 50k according to what I can find, suggesting that Bernie’s vote there was at least high 20s. The rich places might be pretty small too, in which case they are sort of irrelevant.

        Interestingly enough, Hart’s location has median income for household quite low, but per-family it has 70k.. weird.

        So IMO, the graph is not really that useful in saying anything new – unless the outliers have non-trivial weights in total votes.

        Reply
    2. Adam1

      The other interesting piece is that even if you take out the highest and lowest outliers it looks as if relationship is non-linear too. As town income declines below about $70 the % Sanders voters looks to accelerate.

      Reply
      1. vlade

        Yes, although I’d not say “decelerate”. What it looks like to me is that 100k you’d get even flatter 20% regression.

        Almost a a good step function where the 100k (or therabouts) is a cutoff.

        Reply
    3. Shiloh1

      Thank you! Those 4 – 7 dots jumped out at me as well.

      Age of voter? Living on old money savings, not “income” per se. Household with some in college or not?
      Who did those towns go with? Amy? Tulsi? Uncle Joe?
      How would a similar plot with Warren look?

      Reply
  5. Sound of the Suburbs

    Why do those at the top in America want to maintain the status quo?
    US wealth distribution:
    http://static5.businessinsider.com/image/557ef766ecad04fe50a257cd-960/screen shot 2015-06-15 at 11.28.56 am.png
    The economy is working incredibly well for the top 1% of the population.
    The economy is working well for the top 10% of the population.
    The economy isn’t really delivering for 80% of the population.

    How does this democracy thing work anyway?
    You need to get the support of the majority.
    The centrists are in trouble.
    Bernie, Bernie, Bernie ………..

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “The economy isn’t really delivering for 80% of the population.”

      this, right here, is why so much effort…in a thoroughly bipartisan manner…is put into the Mindf&ck, mud-in-the-water confusion generation we’ve labored under for 50 years.
      it’s also the reason why…even when they had the run of the government…the Demparty didn’t lift a finger to fix the numerous anti-democratic machinations ramrodded by the GOP.
      I’ll also posit that it’s the reason for IdPol…and the engineering of hyperbusy-ness and exhaustion in the populace…and for the exponential growth of esoterica in economics(“tranches”?,”credit default swaps”?,lol. try explaining the Bond Market in the feedstore)….and the destruction of the Humanities, and the narrowing of religion(“prosperity gospel”…”xtianity= eat the poors”)…

      because “we are many, they are few”…and the Boss Class cannot win in an actual democracy with an informed electorate.

      Jeez! are we really gonna have this argument again?:https://prospect.org/politics/austerity-pete-buttigieg-deficit-economic-policy/

      Reply
      1. Sound of the Suburbs

        Buttigieg does seem to be the establishment favourite, and he’s obviously clinging onto all those bad old policies, like austerity.

        It is crazy in so many ways, but it is amazing how Republicans increase the deficit with tax cuts for the wealthy and military spending.
        As soon as the Democrats come in, it’s all about balancing the budget, so they can’t afford any social programs.
        Things just seem to get crazier and crazier, though this is the only way to maintain the failed neoliberal ideology.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i think that phenomenon…where when gop has power, “deficits don’t matter”…and when dems do, it’s paygo and deficit hawishness…was a hard fought clause in the contract, whereby clinton, et alia, sold the dem party to the gop, circa early 90’s.
          it’s a dance they agreed to do, to maintain the illusion of two separate parties at each others’ throats.
          when poor, or near-poor, people make this argument about the big bad deficit, in all sincerity, it’s rather demoralising.
          I think, however, that that nonsense is loosing it’s utility just about everywhere.
          this article…i think from WC yesterday…brightened my evening:
          https://www.jacobinmag.com/2020/02/third-party-bernie-sanders-donald-trump-democratic-race-2020

          Reply
          1. Samuel Conner

            This is an intriguing analysis.

            Re this observation:

            “On the other hand, it has left only one feasible option to those who wish to challenge the two-party status quo: internal colonization or, a variant, destroy the party from within to create political space for a new party.”

            One could argue that BHO helped to “destroy the party from within” by his disinterest in “party-building” during his 8 years, during which ~1000 state and national level offices switched from D to R. I suspect that this decline in D incumbency created political space for progressives to step into the political void developing in the lower reaches of the D party.

            “thanks, Obama!”

            It seems highly unlikely that BHO will accept any attribution of credit for a Sanders presidency, should that eventuate, but I think he will deserve some. That would be a rich irony.

            Reply
          2. Dan

            …it’s a dance they agreed to do, to maintain the illusion of two separate parties at each others’ throats.

            I’m reminded of Clinton’s mentor Carroll Quigley:

            “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies… is a foolish idea. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy. Then it should be possible to replace it, every four years if necessary, by the other party which will be none of these things but will still pursue, with new vigor, approximately the same basic policies.”

            Quigley was big on the idea of a secretive international “Anglophile” network. Not sure how many “Anglophiles” are running the show these days.

            Reply
              1. Titus

                I call it worthless and my time and life is a out there getting something going that works. Maybe only county wide, but that includes quite a bit of interaction with connecting counties so we’re doing well so far. A couple of new railroads and repurposing an existing one. Turning the local airport into a wind farm with water pumped backup. Restricting cars everywhere. A living wage. $31 a hour. Healthcare is the devil but we’re gonna create hell.

                Reply
          3. Sound of the Suburbs

            Not wishing to be seen as a pedlar of conspiracy theories.
            That conspiracy theory does have a lot of merit.
            It’s been going on too long and the Democrats can’t be that stupid.

            Reply
      2. inode_buddha

        “because “we are many, they are few”…and the Boss Class cannot win in an actual democracy with an informed electorate.”

        They know they cannot win on a level playing field, that is why so much is spent on tilting it. Look for the double standards and the things left unsaid, and you will find the places where they are tilting it… look for the tax abatements and the think tanks….

        IMHO the working and lower classes need to completely kick the table over. Remember what JFK said: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”

        Reply
        1. Titus

          Ya, but explain then, the Revolutionary War, the Mexican War, the War against the Spanish, and the Native Americans. All could be said be land grabs. Thing is after the Revolutionary War, our constitution had no provisions for acquiring land. None. Nadda. Jefferson pulled of some sleight of hand by not going to War agaisnt France and thru a peace treaty got land rights. The rest we just declared war and took the land as spoils. Which brings us to the Civil war, the 3/5 rule made that war certain. Nah, JFK was an excellent writer (I’ve read his college papers – he had the gift), who liked a nice turn of phrase. It sounds good but it isn’t true – at least in history.

          Reply
          1. inode_buddha

            Those are not orthogonal. King George made peaceful revolution impossible. Americans themselves then made peaceful revolution impossible. Land grabs are a convenient coincidence, just like oil in Iraq.

            Reply
  6. urblintz

    US enters brutal ideological civil war as four-party system begins to take form – Zizek
    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/480606-us-ideological-civil-war/

    “What was taking place in the ongoing debates about Trump’s impeachment was a case of the dissolution of the shared common ethical substance which makes argumentative polemical dialogue possible: the US is entering into an ideological civil war in which there is no shared ground to which both parties to the conflict can appeal – the more each side elaborates its position, the more it becomes clear that no dialogue, even a polemical one, is possible.

    “while Trump’s populism easily asserted its hegemony over the Republican establishment (a clear proof, if one was ever needed, that, in spite of all Bannon’s ranting against the “system,” Trump’s reference to ordinary workers is a lie), the split within the Democratic party is getting stronger and stronger – no wonder, since the struggle between the Democratic establishment and the Sanders wing is the only true political struggle going on.”

    Reply
    1. Titus

      No the struggle is with ‘them who has’ and ‘them that don’t.’ As in what they need to be decent and whole. If people decided they actually cared about each other, problems could be solved. If people expressed they hated each problems would be solved. The billionaire class feels picked on. The billionaire class has stated the current setup is wrong. What to do? Clear action is required on all sides. ‘Them that don’t’ need to be real clear, real exact, that whatever the name of the setup that got us here, ya it is wrong and over. Over. Finished. Starting now. The glorification of wealth must stop. The idea the Merit per se has primacy must stop. As the unhinged climate proceeds unabated, let’s use doing something about as an organizing principle to deal with these other issues. Look I ain’t talking any talk, I’m doing. Everything is local. Everything is now. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

      Reply
  7. KLG

    A colleague and fellow member of the PMC recently allowed as how he couldn’t support Bernie because a Bernie win would tank his retirement account. I responded that our 403b has always been a scam and a gamble that would require cyclical luck to work, but that if he wanted a future for his children and grandchildren he should reconsider his attitude. I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. The latter didn’t kill me and the former has been fleeting…the only solution is one that includes all of us. All.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      KLG, were we separated at birth? Because your at-work commentary sounds a lot like the stuff I used to drop on my colleagues.

      Reply
  8. Carolinian

    It sounds like events are as usual in the saddle and unless the economy takes a downturn Trump is going to be re-elected. For the past year Sanders has lagged in the polls behind the ridiculous Biden so it could be that his late poll surge was an illusion and we will only get a left champion if a greater portion of the electorate feels threatened.

    Hope that’s wrong.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      Since I feel that a recession is inevitable in the next couple of years based on the standard biz cycle, I’ve been trying to game out the who and when for the next president. I also assume that combined with standard biz cycle that there is enough command/control at the fed to add the necessary straws to the camels back to induce a recession, so when would the PTB want the recession to happen in each case. Say bernie wins, a recession is bad because he will spend dollars into the economy so my opinion recession needs to happen before the election. If the BBBKW quintuplets win, a recession after the election works best because austerity. Where does this leave us with a trump win? Probably the can gets kicked for a while longer until it’s impossible to ignore and the black swan takes flight. That’s my simplistic overview, I’d like to know how other commentors would game out recession timing and it’s impact over the field of candidates

      Reply
      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        Yes, that is how I imagine the future as well. In FluffyFuture:

        If Sanders is inaugurated, expect capital strikes and similar aggressive, intentional actions geared towards pushing the economy into recession. I’d expect coordinated efforts to this effect on the part of FIRE elites. If Trump is re-elected, manic, chest-beating joy will prevail throughout the financial community. And they will eventually make our whole economy so fragile that it will crash over some unseen speed bump. At a totally random point in time.

        If a Klobuchar, Buttegieg, or Bloomberg is elected the economy will have a weak but long-lived sad……. out of general boredom and petty frustration. Also people have a better chance of noticing the impacts of climate change when a dullard is in the White House.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      Given how dependent US is on imports of finished product and components from China, I think it is not an unrealistic expectation that US will see negative near-term economic consequences from the epidemic in China.

      Import substitution will take time and raise prices; perhaps there will not be a big domestic employment boost in near term.

      Add in the possibility of disruptions of supplies of inputs to pharma industry and perhaps eventual shortages of vital medicines.

      I think we are going to see a lot of really really unhappy voters in November.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        An interesting side-note is that IIRC US producers of coking coal have done well in recent years. China, of course, imports a lot of that. It tends to be produced in “red” states. A wide-scale industrial slow-down in China will not be good for companies that export steel-making inputs.

        Job losses in red states would not augur well for DJT’s re-election chances, I would hope.

        ———–

        A silly thought, but perhaps domestic garlic producers will start to do better. I have seen “grown in China” garlic in the local grocery, which boggles the mind.

        Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          Most of the entire contents of the Save-A-Lot stores are grown or made in China. I’m sure this is true for other “value” oriented businesses. (Walmart) etc…

          Reply
          1. peon

            I remember when Walmart first came into my economic depressed Michigan town. They had to role out the USA flags and lots of “made/manufactured in USA signs to get buy in from the local rural manufacturing dependent populace. Trump plays on this sentiment with his “trade wars”. If left politicals can mine this sentiment they would get more support. The “deplorables” would turn away from their cheap Chinese crap if you could make a case for returning to solid, local produced goods that are well made and healthier for the planet.

            Reply
            1. inode_buddha

              The deplorables would turn away from cheap chinese crap if they could afford to, if their crapified jobs (what little is left of them) paid enough to do so.

              Reply
              1. Titus

                Sadly, even if they had the money, we don’t make much in the US. And the people who control the capital – hedges, M&A, private capital, don’t want it any other way. I assume if the laws change and the National Guard shows up, they’ll rethink the process. If we had a president who understood MMT and what the government buys, and what we need to do for climate change, why I do believe we’d be making stuff again. People gonna have to bear down and get tough on this. Time to demand things, but the right things.

                Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Neither Iowa nor New Hampshire offer results which can be reliably extended to apply to the rest of the country. Nevertheless I take heart from the from Iowa and New Hampshire election results which at least suggest the polls are not very reliable measures of ground truth. The polls were showing Biden ahead of Bernie. Biden didn’t fair well against Bernie in the elections. He also didn’t fair so well against other much lesser candidates like Stepford Pete.

      Reply
    4. neo-realist

      The Iranians might turn up the heat on U.S. troops and start picking them off in bunches (not rooting for this sort of thing), but the Soleimani hit still resonates with the political and military class in Iran, so we should expect further attacks, which if Americans do start getting killed instead of suffering head injuries, Trump may start to lose some support among those who aren’t dyed in the wool republicans. A lot of time before election day for black swans. The status quo can’t hold with the foreign policy storm clouds.

      Reply
  9. Woodchuck

    Would be interesting to see what the graph looks like for each candidate. Is the raw data for this easily available?

    Reply
  10. petal

    Thank you, Jerri-Lynn. Have been saying this since Tuesday night when the results started rolling in. Our local newspaper had a nice page where the totals would update as they came in for each town in our area and wards in the town if applicable.

    Reply
  11. ted

    In January, I and a small group of students drove up out of the LA basin, over the San Gabriel mountains and spent seven days visiting many of the small towns of the Central Valley, talking to folks we encountered along the way, but also taking in walking tours to get a sense of the these towns as points of comparison to the endless drab post-modern suburbs of LA region. The theme of the course was political geography, with an aim of understanding the spatial and geographical dimensions of political difference. The differences between this vast region of California and the LA basin could not be more pronounced. Places where the economy and social histories of the region were proudly celebrated in every town center. A place where patriotism meant celebrating and honoring veterans, rather than republican talking points only ai ed at the xenophobia of the
    American suburb. Town murals celebrated working class diversity, hard work, and a multi-cultural history. People belief in preserving tradition and respecting the achievements of those who came before, including native peoples, was present everywhere we went. This was not a “back row America” where economic despair fueled all sort of social pathologies, but another America. One that represents the most productive agricultural region in the world. Nevertheless, it was a place where people felt ignored and left behind by urban politicians, where basic services were not the same as urbanites enjoy, and where political decisions from Sacramento to Washington DC, all too often were made at the expense of these communities. These are places where Sanders has an inroad. And where I suspect he will do very well next month, unlike the tony suburban enclaves on the coasts, where Butigieg or Bloomberg will have greater appeal, except of course in the teeming wells of crushing poverty in Central and EastLA. America’s Delhi, where voters will likely stay home.

    Reply
    1. divadab

      I hope you are right. The Central Valley is pretty Republican, however. They are in opposition to the Feinstein Dems who control the State.

      Reply
  12. sd

    I’d like to see the underlying data for location, age, and length of time as a New Hampshire resident.

    Location – In the southern part of the state, there are pockets of wealthy residents who have fled from Massachusetts. In NH, they pay less in property tax than they would in income tax in MA so it’s big savings. They tend to be high income high tech “commuters”

    Age – older residents are more likely to still remember the mills that provided decent jobs in rural communities. Though it may not look it, NH is a bit of a rust belt.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      Though it may not look it, NH is a bit of a rust belt.

      Indeed. There are large swaths of the NY state Albany-Rensellear-Troy corridor extending into southern VT to the Bennington area (which includes northwestern MA), then up to Rutland, then skip over to Brattleboro VT and across the bridge into NH. There’s a lot of beautiful open space between these areas, and there are the typical quaint towns and villages. But the aforementioned cities and towns have been devastated by industrial decline.

      The same can be seen in much of southwestern NJ. Camden is the classic example, but the entire area along the Delaware River, south of Camden to the Delaware Memorial Bridge, and east to Bridgeton, Vineland…all of these areas have been hammered by deindustrialization. So too have much of the areas north and south of Philadelphia. It’s not just western PA, or Scranton.

      I only bring this up because I lived in the Rutland area for a few years and I’m quite familiar with NJ, being born and raised and currently living here. The “rust belt” phenomenon is found all across the country, right under our noses.

      Reply
      1. Titus

        And most of those jobs migrated to the Southern States. In the North States passed all kinds of laws for the benefit of industrial workers. So the capital moved to places with thinking more to their liking. The Lowells and Cabots and most of the residents of Beacon Hill, hateful people to person. Didn’t care and wouldn’t. 100 years of misery they brought to all those places. Now climate change makes it almost impossible to find a way to make a living.

        Reply
  13. Eric

    This is important information but
    I suspect there is more to it and the devil is the details.

    “Unaffiliated” voters can vote either Democrat or Republican in the New Hampshire primary.

    How many unaffiliated voters are there and can they be identified as such in the results?

    2020 results I’ve seen show about 250,000 votes cast on the Democrat side and 150,000 on the Republican side.

    2016 results (per Wikipedia) show
    about 250,000 votes cast on the Democrat side and 250,000 on the Republican side.

    So, there were 100,000 votes less on the Republican side in 2020 which can be explained by there being no contest on the Republican side. Or not.

    Having driven through Central New Hampshire on the way to Maine in October, 2016, I certainly got the impression New Hampshire is much more Republican than the above turn out numbers suggest.

    The results can be gamed by
    unaffiliated voters who are really Republicans voting in the Democratic primary. Or by D’s and R’s who switch affiliation. This is a great way to hold someone back or “retire” someone like Eric Cantor.

    There is no doubt in my mind that
    the “establishment” and Trump
    would rather the opponent be “anybody but Sanders” in the general election.

    There are many ways this could happen and I wish political scientists would offer up more real world explanations than just a rural or income divide.

    Reply
    1. Samuel Conner

      One smiles at the dilemma facing DJT — face Sanders or Bloomberg. Can’t imagine that he’s enthusiastic about either.

      Probably going to be some sleepless nights.

      Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          The way to defeat a guy like that is to not sell. Their money is worth nothing if nobody wants it. If my vote was for sale, that price would be exactly equal to Bloomberg’s net worth. But it isn’t for sale, so Bloomberg’s net worth is zero.

          Reply
        2. Samuel Conner

          The thought occurs that Bloomberg might be able to “vertically integrate” and acquire the entire political/media ecosystem that runs on political money. That way he could buy the outcome while paying himself.

          Reply
    2. flora

      I’m glad NH still has open primaries. My state had open primaries and always elected a fairly Main Street oriented moderate gov. Then one party decided primaries should be closed. not good.

      Closed primaries have lead to extremism in both parties, and to privileging the demands of the money-power over the voters’ ballot-power. Both parties privileging the same money-power aligns both parties against the interests of Main Street and against the economic interests of the average citizen. On that point, both parties currently are in complete agreement.

      Reply
      1. Dan

        + 1

        We have closed primaries here in NJ and state politics, and the status of the average citizen, are exactly how you describe flora (though NJ does have a somewhat decent safety net of its own, at least as compared to most other states, which obviously isn’t saying much).

        I’ll have to change my “unaffiliated” status to “Democrat” in order to vote for Bernie. I’ll waste no time changing it back to “unaffiliated.”

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          I am a temporary Democrat here in Arizona. Solely for the purpose of voting for Bernie. After our March 17 primary is over, I’m going back to being an indie.

          Reply
          1. petal

            Slim, I had to momentarily switch to being a D to vote in the primary on Tuesday, and there was a real, physical feeling of disgust when I had to say “Dem”. I couldn’t get out the whole word “Democrat”. It surprised me. I was so glad to switch back to unaffiliated minutes later.

            Reply
            1. petal

              You have good company, inode. It was revulsion. I said “Dem” quietly to the nice lady and then made sure to find the woman doing the switch-backs after, and made darn sure I did it correctly. Anyway. I guess it’s good to be aware of these things and from where/why they spring.

              Reply
  14. flora

    What Thomas Frank wrote in 2013, in a critique of the movie “Lincoln: A Team of Rivals” , about the US reform movement then is still true today, imo.

    “I myself think it’s healthy that public fury over this stuff [money corrupting democratic politics] has simmered on into the present; there’s still plenty to be furious about. The lobbyists may be Democrats or Republicans, but they are pulling the wires for the same interests as always. Many of the people who engineered the deregulation of Wall Street (or their protégés ) are still hanging around the halls of power. ….

    Maybe complaining about all this is yet another hangup of the contemporary Thaddeus Stevens set,…. But maybe — just maybe — reform is itself the great progressive cause. Maybe fixing the system must come first…and everything else will follow from that.” (original emphasis)

    Sanders’ campaign is the reform campaign. It a grassroots funded campaign that has already won 2 victories against billionaire funded, political-machine run campaigns. The reform spirit in the country gets stronger every year the money-power increases its control of government. Even if the machines manage to stop stop campaign this year, the reform spirit will keep growing until the system is reformed away from oligarchy, imo.

    Reply
    1. Dan

      + 1

      They can only kill off so many of our children with their legal and illegal drugs and other dehumanizing measures that cause so much mental distress. But the kids ain’t going anywhere. Give them a sane world to live in. Or don’t. And just wait and see what happens…

      Reply
  15. lordkoos

    This data is not surprising to me. Just yesterday some comfortably middle class friends of mine (liberal 70 year-old boomers) announced that they were switching their support from Bernie Sanders to Michael Bloomfield. I was floored. Their rationale was that in the Iowa and New Hampshire results, votes from Sanders’ opponents (Buttigieg and Klobucher) added together showed that votes cast by “moderates” outnumbered Sanders votes, so they think that Sanders doesn’t have a chance. They seem to think that a “strong leader” type like Bloomberg with business experience is needed to stand up to Trump, they like Bloomie’s attacks on Trump. They probably watched one of his expensive TV ads, as well as buying into the corporate media’s spin on the early caucus results. These people are not stupid, in particular the wife is pretty sharp.

    I’m sure the real reason is their unspoken fear Sanders’ policies will somehow affect their bottom line, but of course they would not admit this to anyone. This reinforces the perception that the middle and upper middle classes fear and distrust the working class. The fractures seem as if they are becoming deeper, I find it extremely disheartening.

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    1. jrs

      Yea I think a few are trending this way but maybe not enough to matter, I know one locally who had donated to Sanders going Bloomberg maybe because “Sanders can’t win”. They then proceeded this with a rant on how we need M4A. But still going to vote Bloomberg? So real reasons, who the heck knows.

      The thing is when Sanders talks about it, and he does, Sanders attacks on Trump are sharp too, he straight up calls him the r (prejudiced) word. He’s not soft on Trump and won’t be if he gets the nom. He also talks policy.

      The thing about using Trump as an instrument of terror as he is being used by the Republicans of course but also including by all those who threaten to vote for Trump if they don’t get their way in the primaries (sheesh just stay home or vote Green party or something, although frankly only a few swing states really matter) is that he is GENUINELY scaring people. If people prefer Buttigieg or Klobi for whatever reason and vote for them that’s one thing, but people who prefer Sanders or others policies etc. are also being scared into voting for whoever they think “might beat Trump”. And the fear is not irrational, Trump is that bad, they have been following the news, but the effect he’s having on the electorate that disapproves of him is to terrorize them.

      Trump is literally in practical ways terrorizing the Overton window right at this point, despite attempts of Sanders etc. to push it left (which is also happening among some but ..). This is what electing Trump actually amounts to.

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          1. jrs

            People actually have to make political choices for that to be the case though, blacks have not yet voted for Bloomberg in the primaries (heck they haven’t much yet voted period afterall, nor have other minorities). It proves that some can be bought, and corrupt politicians and business leaders included, and that is not even news.

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      1. Amfortas the hippie

        day after the election, i told the wife…who was sitting there in shock…that trump was another 9-11.
        this has proved out, i think.
        an opportunity for the Machine to turn the screws some more and lock down everything more tightly.
        but trump has also been the apokalypse…the rending of the veil hiding the secrets of the temple…bringing us ever more into an era of what clif high(!) called “secrets revealed”.
        from abu graib/WMD to GFC to ed snowdon to cosby and weinstein and epstein to the shenanigans with elections, ever more shameless….
        illegitimacy abounds and the credibility of the ruling class is in tatters.
        i expect the next year or so to be fascinating.

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  16. Tim

    Event if it isn’t direct causation, correlation is good enough for me. Isn’t that the central message of Sanders? Economics is a common thread on the impact it has on people’s lives and their perception of how things are.

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  17. Glen

    What astounds me is how people that make less than $1M or so a year don’t think that they too are just cannon fodder for the real rich that run this country .

    Because that 10% of the country is just ignoring the data. They are just next in line to get squeezed down to nothing in a system predicated on stealing all wealth for the elites.

    Reply

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