Sunday, February 21, 2016

Electability

First I don't just think that Democrats should think about which presidential candidate has a better chance of winning -- I think Democrats should think only about which presidential candidate has a better chance of winning. Clinton and Sanders are very different. A Clinton administration and a Sanders administration will be very similar to each other and to Obama post 2010. In contrast a Trump, Cruz or Rubio administration would be a catastrophe.

All we need is a president with five fingers who can veto bills.

This reasoning caused me to vote (by e-mail) for Clinton, but I am not confident that I made the right choice. I can make the argument that Sanders is more electable. I can also argue that a Sanders nomination would be better for down ticket Democrats.

I wouldn't base it on general election polls which show Sanders performing slightly better than Clinton. I think these polls tell us nothing about what a GOP negative campaign would do to Sanders. But I sometimes think that the one key variable is youth turnout -- when young people vote Democrats win, when young people don't vote Republicans win. Young Democrats prefer Sanders. I am confident that a larger fraction of young Democrats will actually vote if Sanders is the nominee. Youth turnout is more important that campaign cash for Democratic candidates for the house, senate and state legislatures.

I am not convinced by this argument, I voted for Clinton. But it makes some sense.

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