Why Bernie Sanders' Surge Is Going to Fizzle

Analysis: There's only so many liberal white voters out there
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2015 6:37 PM CDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at the Alliance for Retired Americans National Legislative Conference in Washington.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley)

(Newser) – Bernie Sanders has been getting a lot of glowing press lately because of his strong showing so far as a challenger to Hillary Clinton. But the Vermont senator better enjoy it while it lasts, which might not be long, if two new analyses are correct:

  • Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight: Silver thinks Sanders might well win both Iowa and New Hampshire for a simple reason: "Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa and Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire are really liberal and really white, and that’s the core of Sanders’s support." After that, Sanders would have to appeal to more moderate and conservative Democrats, along with non-white Democrats, a group with which he is particularly weak. So far, at least, he hasn't been able to make a dent with any of those groups in the polls, meaning Iowa and New Hampshire will likely be his last hurrahs.

  • Nate Cohn, New York Times: "Clinton still holds a huge lead among moderate and conservative Democrats—white and nonwhite alike. Whether Mr. Sanders can close the gap among these voters will determine the seriousness of his candidacy and whether he can pick up more delegates in other primaries. There aren’t many reasons to expect he will break through, and he certainly isn’t doing it yet." If he can't, it's a blowout, because Sanders probably won't beat Clinton by much among even liberal Democrats.

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