By Arthur Z. Schwartz
For six months I have been writing for the WestView News that “presumed” Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, was anything but a shoo-in. I have kvetched about the media’s refusal to cover the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, except for a week after the New Hampshire Primary.
I dare say that the Sanders campaign has been as profound as that of Donald Trump. In fact the General Election poll averages are amazing. Hillary beats Trump by 11 percent; Bernie beats him by 17.5 percent. Hillary beats Cruz by 2.9 percent; Bernie beats Cruz by 8.4 percent. Hillary loses to Kasich by 6.5 percent, while CNN has Bernie beating Kasich by 6 percent. Unless you believe that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee, the Democratic Party is in trouble with a Hillary candidacy. The other telling poll? On average, 57 percent of the American people have an unfavorable view of Hillary; 65 percent have a favorable view of Bernie. So, just for practical reasons (unless you want a Republican in the White House), Democratic voters must give Bernie a serious look. Electability was once the reason for not considering Bernie; now, after nine months on the campaign trail, he is the most electable Democrat in this bizarre election year.
Then there is the politics. Bernie is about getting corporate money out of politics. He is about expanding our health care system, and our safety nets, like Social Security. He is about making higher education a right, just like K – 12. And he believes in a non-interventionist foreign policy. Hillary’s interventionist policy is responsible for major problems in the world. Bernie is about opening up the political system. He calls it a “political revolution”, something our corrupt system badly needs.
Can Bernie win the nomination? He can certainly win a majority of the elected delegates. On Saturday, he won Washington State’s caucus with 72 percent of the vote. He won Hawaii’s with 70 percent of the vote. And he won Alaska’s with a whopping 82 percent of the vote. This follows victories in Idaho and Utah, where Sanders beat Hillary Clinton with 60-point margins. At the end of the weekend Hillary had 229 more elected delegates than Bernie, out of about 2240 elected to-date. With just less than 2,000 pledged delegates left in the contest, Sanders needs 55 percent of the remaining delegates to win a majority of the pledged delegates. And, as a Party leader, I do not believe that if Bernie went into the Convention with a majority of the elected delegates, the “super delegates” wouldn’t dramatically shift in order to avoid a political disaster, which would be felt for a generation.
To get a majority of the elected delegates Bernie has to win in Wisconsin, Oregon, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California, and New York, and he has massive campaign operations in each of these states. Given his recent success, his fundraising, and the sheer enthusiasm for his campaign, it’s easy to look at the past week and believe that Sanders is on the cusp of a new dawn—that soon he’ll turn a corner toward victory. “Don’t let anybody tell you we can’t win the nomination or win the general election,” he told supporters last Saturday. “We’re going to do both of those things.”
New York matters a lot. And the 10th Congressional District, where we live, matters a heck of a lot. So if you want change, and you want to see a win over the horror show which any Republican is sure to present, get out to vote on April 19, and vote for Bernie.
Arthur Z. Schwartz is NY Counsel for
BernieSanders2016, and is a candidate, himself, for the NY State Assembly.