Name Recognition

The numbers from the South Carolina Dem primary are as follows:

Biden 37, Sanders 21, Harris 9, Booker 6, Warren 5.

It’s all about name recognition, folks. Nobody knows who Harris and Booker are. Lack of name recognition is what defeated Bernie in the last primary. I was constantly asked by life-long Democrats who saw my bumper stickers, “so who’s this Bernie guy? Is he any good?”

But this time around, Bernie is a lot more recognizable. He’s not as recognizable as Biden, as we see from the polls but he is in a great position right now.

I believe that both Biden and Sanders can stand up to Trump in the debates but Sanders is much more of an inspirational figure than Biden.

Yes, it’s too early to know anything right now but I believe that with these numbers we are not in a bad shape at all. Either of these candidates can win. Which is what matters. What’s the use of even the greatest candidate who can’t bring it home with a win?

28 thoughts on “Name Recognition”

    1. I had his bumper stickers on since the first week of his campaign (I donated 5 minutes after he declared both then and this time) until 2017 when I finally forced myself to take them off.

      I first donated to Hillary after the convention. But I never had her stickers. You know why? I never got them. I never got any promotional material I asked and asked for from her campaign. Even though I donated all the time. The campaign was very badly organized.

      Bernie’s campaign, on the other hand, sent promotional materials immediately. And was much better at reaching out and keeping supporters informed. I never thought he would win the primary but I was happy he ran because he pushed Hillary in the right direction and kept her on a better path she’d be on otherwise. I’d been an admirer of Bernie’s for about a decade before he ran. So my love for Bernie is not newly minted. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By the way, I saw one yard sign for Hillary around here until the election. One! It’s a college town, so I’m guessing it’s not because she had one supporter in town. It was impossible to get these yard signs. Her campaign just didn’t give a crap about our area, that’s why.


        1. “Her campaign just didn’t give a crap about our area”

          She wrote a whole book explaining her loss and you did it in one throwaway sentence…. well done!

          But Sanders is going to have trouble in the South (historically Blacks don’t much get behind Northern White Liberals). Does he have any plan for overcoming this major barrier to getting the nomination?

          I’m assuming Biden’s favorable numbers in S Carolina are a holdover from being Obama’s VP… but does Biden even want to run? I’m skeptical…


          1. I didn’t read the book but honestly, how ridiculous is it that somebody who regularly donates to the campaign and is clearly interested has to beg and beg for promotional materials and never gets any? Other candidates, even on the tiniest local level, are super eager to flood you with materials even if you just wink in their general direction. I’ve never seen the kind of indifference we got from Hillary’s campaign in my life.

            Even when I paid for that big Hillary badge I posted, it took me weeks to get it. A tiny mom and pop store in Northern Alabama that I bought from recently has a better fulfilment of online orders than Hillary’s campaign. This just reinforced the image of her as an out of touch rich lady who can’t solve problems that regular folks solve daily.

            As you can see, this still rankles.


  1. You can’t judge what people’s name recognition will be or what the results will be this early on; imagine where Obama was in the polls at this point in 2007. Of course, Harris is no Obama. I’d be perfectly fine with Bernie or Biden as the nominee.


  2. Biden and Sanders are hardly interchangeable candidates: They have radically different political ideologies, and the election of one versus the other would have vastly different consequences for America and the world.

    Saunders is a far left socialist with radical, way-out-of-mainstream views that would be a disaster if those views ever became U.S. policy. Fortunately, he has no chance of winning a general election.

    Biden is a left-centrist neoliberal with hawkish foreign policy views (in other words, a “mainstream Democrat”). He’d make an acceptable president, if a Democrat is fated to win in 2020. And he might be able to beat Trump in 2020, but it’s unlikely that the current activists in the Democratic Party base will make him their nominee.


    1. “hawkish foreign policy views ….He’d make an acceptable president”

      Don’t tell me you’re another fan of eternal unwinnable wars in the middle east…. Haven’t enough Iraqis died for neocon bloodlust yet?


      1. “Don’t tell me you’re another fan of eternal unwinnable wars in the middle east…”

        Those wars aren’t unwinnable. The U.S. has the military might to end them quickly and victoriously — but unfortunately, our recent administrations haven’t considered that course of action to be politically acceptable. (This would actually be the most humane course: Kill as many enemy forces en masse as required to bring the war to an end, and ultimately less people will die.)

        In the absence of the will to win the wars, the U.S. is left with two options: the neocon policy of keeping a small number of U.S. forces in place to contain the bad players, or retreat in a surrender and leave the region to the barbarians, which be both a disaster for the Middle East and ultimately for America’s strategic interests worldwide.


          1. “Yes, let’s nuke the bastards.”

            Who needs nukes?? Obviously, you haven’t kept up with the current capabilities of modern conventional weapons!


    2. Bernie can win, too, though. My students had no idea who he was in 2016 and zero interest in him. But these days, they are bringing him up and talking about him with enthusiasm. This is a very big deal for our area and our type of student.

      Obviously, these are all white students. The day I hear a black student mention Bernie, it will be a festive occasion. Although I’m not sure it will happen. He just doesn’t know (yet) how to speak to African American voters. I think he’s a little uncomfortable around black people. Not because he’s racist, of course, but because he hasn’t spent much time with black voters. He needs a black running mate. Maybe that lady who failed to get elected in Georgia.


      1. “the word is meaningless to most people.”

        No it isn’t. The majority of most Americans old enough to remember the Cold War have a distinctly negative view of the term “socialism,” even if they don’t know exactly what it means.

        A majority of Americans also have concerns about having a president over 75 years old — not good news for Bernie or Biden or Michael Bloomberg (who’s lurking in the wings to see if Biden runs and becomes the Dems’ “moderate” candidate).


          1. Assuming that Trump runs again, I will PROBABLY do the same thing I did in 2016, and leave the top line of my ballot blank. I MIGHT feel compelled to vote for him if the Democrats are crazy enough to run harpy Elizabeth Warren or crazy-as-a-loon Bernie.


        1. Maybe people will learn to distinguish between socialism and social democracy. I saw earlier today that Gioconda Belli the formerly Sandinista writer has come out against leftism as too authoritarian, and is now for social democracy. I found this interesting. It’s what Sanders is actually for, he’s not talking about establishing a socialist state. I know the standard line is that social democrats are the enemies of socialism but I actually think the dialogue is productive, and I found this piece which is of some interest.


          1. They lost me once they mentioned Red Emma’s in Baltimore as a positive example. The author probably never frequented the place. :-))) God forbid we have a whole country run this way.


      2. “he thinks he can wipe him out with the word “socialism.””

        To paraphrase from a source I usually don’t agree with: With income inequality reaching historic highs with no signs of slowing down and tech giants appointing themselves as censors of good thought and monitoring their serf employees’ social media and micro-chipping them so they can monitor their bathroom breaks…. it’s gonna be hard to scare people with ‘Socialism bad!’.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Problem is, Bernie is firmly on the side of tech giants who censor people for bad thoughts. And he’s going to contribute to income inequality by making it completely impossible for people like me to shorten the distance between ourselves and the wealthy folks.


          1. I mean, what Cliff said. I don’t understand why it is that the Bernie policies make it harder for Clarissa and N to shorten the distance between themselves and the wealthy. With 2 incomes, 1 of which is apparently a good one, they are better off than I but still in the same class — liberal professionals with Central Time salaries. How anyone will get us meaningfully closer to the billionaire class I don’t know. So I guess the question is who are the wealthy, in the above comment, and how can we, specifically I, get wealthier except by making more money, investing better, and buying cheaper coffee?


            1. Because he’ll take away most of what we make in taxes, of course. The example of the Scandinavian countries is always given. The taxes we’d pay there are between 50 and 60%. My sister pays 51% and her husband 49% of income tax in Canada.

              Right now, on the other hand we pay 21%. That’s half as much as we’d pay in Quebec and 1/3 of what we’d pay in Sweden.


              1. Oh. If he really gets that far. Your distance from the actual wealthy is still pretty far. I would say very far. If you really want that shortened it is they who will have to be mega-taxed.


              2. Oh, I’m well aware:-) I came to the US in 2005 with nothing but debt. I’m not getting rich pretty much ever. But if Bernie wins, I stand to lose what I do have. I’m very happy with what I have because we created it from a literal scratch. I don’t want more. But neither do I necessarily want a lot less.


              3. Well, I need more money not less. Want it, too. But I always vote for public services and so on. I’m for reducing spending on the prison-military-industrial complex, that would be a game changer.


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