Rauner Is Going Down

Some close to Sanders feel like Warren was trying to muscle him out of the race, and laugh at the idea that she will be able to compete with him for his supporters. Some close to Warren feel like Sanders has an outsized sense of his power over the nomination and his chances to actually win it or beat Donald Trump.

I think they are both clueless. Bernie is even older than he was before the last election and with zero appeal in the Midwest or among the non-wealthy. And Warren just killed her chances of her own free will:

“Her comments around the rollout of the Native American stuff were not helpful to her cause,” said Jonathan Westin, the executive director of New York Communities for Change. “As a person of color who works with people of color, it felt like it was an almost diminishing the role of race in our politics. It really went against the grain with a lot of people. It trivialized race as a factor in so many ways.”

We all know how easy it will be for Trump to wipe the floor with her after this.

I don’t want to be all negative on a Sunday morning, so here’s some good news: Rauner is going down for sure. Illinois Republicans aren’t even trying to offer anything but Reaganite economics. They are completely mum on any other issue. It is as if the opioid epidemic or the globalization didn’t exist. Trump’s triumph 2 years ago demonstrated very clearly that Republican voters are tired of “slash taxes for the rich and do absolutely nothing else whatsoever” approach. They will swallow the tax cuts if you offer something else. But here in Illinois, they aren’t even trying to figure out what that something else might be.

In short: both parties need to wake up, realize that it’s not 1978 anymore and spend some time with actual voters. Bernie needs to learn to talk to folks with incomes of under 80K. Warren has figured that out but she needs to learn to speak to the non-white folks. Republicans will never learn to do that, so this would be a huge advantage.

11 thoughts on “Rauner Is Going Down”

  1. The biggest problem I see in 2020 is how can somebody good win the primary? Primary voters have bad taste, a disproportionate number of them are loonies. Regular people are less likely to vote in primaries (although I’ll encourage them to.)


    1. Absolutely. I’m trying to explain to folks that, for instance, Bernie’s success in the primary is not indicative of much. Regular folks were not responding to him. I saw it with my own eyes. Even on campus. He was successful with professors but a flop with students.


      1. I’ve been really shocked now that I’m back in college to see what college students think of him. He definitely has a following, mostly with people who were already into politics. But the outlook from people in my major seems to be “he’s literally a socialist” or “there will never be free college, dumbass.” These are people who hate Trump; they either voted for Hillary or didn’t vote.


      2. I think the whole youth enthusiasm for Bernie was a media wish-projection or perhaps a wish projection of his campaign. There was HUGE enthusiasm for Obama on campus when he was running in the primaries in 2008. I frequently had to insist students stop talking about politics so that we could start class. Enthusiasm for Bernie was nowhere near as strong; I saw some Bernie t-shirts and buttons around campus, but no one was talking about it before class and none of them were as enthusiastic as the Obama supporters in 2008.

        Re: Rauner – I feel like the Democrats in my state are campaigning pretty well this year. They are sticking to very concrete stuff like improved funding for K-12, better pay for teachers, restoring services for the disabled that the Republicans slashed, and no more gigantic tax deals for big businesses that support very few jobs. It’s all stuff that ordinary people understand and they are presenting it in a pretty straightforward way. I don’t know if they will pull out a huge win with it, but it’s so much better than they’ve done in the past. The guy who ran for governor in 2014 ran such a bad campaign that it seemed like he wanted to lose.


        1. Bernie did overwhelmingly win the youth vote in the primary. That ignores that most young people don’t vote in primaries though.

          Personally I actually did see young people who liked him, and it wasn’t just politically active progressives. The idea that young people all loved him is an overgeneralization though.


          1. I didn’t say that Bernie lost the youth vote. I’m fairly sure he won it by a huge margian among students on my campus, because there were hardly any students wearing Hillary shirts or buttons during that campaign. Bernie was definitely more inspiring for young people than Hillary. But there has been this narrative out there that Bernie has an exceptional ability to fire up the youth and I don’t believe that’s true based on the students I talked to and observed in my classes and on my campus. He is better than Hillary with young people, but enthusiasm for him was totally lacking compared to the enthusiasm for Obama on our campus in 2008.


            1. I can’t imagine somebody like Bernie connecting with my students. Obama, yes, absolutely. Hillary was relevant to African American students. But Bernie is not their type of inspirational figure.

              Both Bernie and Warren are very clumsy with non-white folks. Clue-less.


            2. Bernie actually won more youth votes in the primary (in raw totals, not just percentage) than Obama did. But I don’t think it was so much more that it really distinguishes him from Obama. And Obama inspired more enthusiasm in the long term because most people don’t care that much about the primary. And Obama is definitely still more popular even today.


  2. Has Warren learned to do that? As far as I can tell she’s not any more popular with middle and working class people than Bernie is. If anything, I know more working class people who like Bernie (I think mostly because he’s more well known by people who only follow politics once every four years.) She does have broader appeal than he does, but it’s broader appeal among Democrats, which isn’t that much help in a general election. I do think her proposals will have more appeal; she mentions trade school, not just free college, for example. People don’t necessarily read up on policy in that much detail though.

    Sanders would be wise to take a page out of Sherrod Brown’s playbook and spend less time talking about “income inequality” and more time talking about “fighting for the working class.”


    1. She doesn’t use the word “socialism,” she says that she supports capitalism, she’s into the narrative of personal striving. She speaks in a way that leaves space for working people to preserve some dignity.

      But I don’t think she’ll be very attractive to African American voters once they discover that this blonde, blue-eyed Harvard lady likes to pretend she’s not white when it’s convenient.


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