Bernie Sanders is not unlike any other candidate who runs for president. He must maintain his own constituency and win over her rival’s, Hillary Clinton. Now that NBC News has released the new data from their own national polls, in a joint effort with the Wall Street Journal, the tide seems to be swaying against Clinton and into Sanders’ direction.
Suffice it to say that Clinton has been the hands-down establishment candidate from the very get go. The party and its supporters have seemingly catapulted the former Secretary of State to the frontrunner status, which also seems to eclipse the GOP field of candidates at the current time.
Bernie Sanders walked into the race last year with one thing on his mind, and that was to bring America up to par with the rest of the industrialized world in terms of healthcare, higher education, prison reform, and drug reform.
I’ve been criticized for saying this so let me say it again: health care should be a right, not a privilege. pic.twitter.com/egsnV19Is5
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 15, 2016
With a platform like that to run on, Sanders has been an easy target for his potential GOP rivals. Republican Donald Trump has made scathing claims about Sanders’ own views, calling him a communist and telling his own scores of supporters that Bernie intends to give everything away, insinuating that these programs will not be paid for.
It is indeed a tough quest for Bernie Sanders should he take the Democratic nomination then sweep the GOP field in the November general election. He will then have a GOP-controlled Congress to contend with and passing legislation in the post-Obama era after constant GOP obstructionism could be quite a heavy task for a Democratic (former Independent) president.
But voters should not put the cart before the horse. Bernie Sanders is still a long way from making it on the November ballot. He still trails Clinton in national polls, but he has made tremendous progress cutting away at her lead.
In January 2016, Clinton had a 59 percent rating among early polls with Sanders at 34 percent. That was a 25 percent deficit at the time. But now, Sanders has made tremendous gains on Clinton and now has 42 percent of the poll vote against her 53 percent.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 18, 2016
So in just the span of one month, Bernie Sanders has been able to tighten the gap between himself and Clinton from 25 points to 11 points. And now that the Vermont senator is closing in on the Democratic heavyweight, it seems like a repeat of 2008 all over again when Clinton took on current President Barack Obama, with her being heavily favored at the time.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 16, 2016
Now to shift gears to the other side of the issue. What Hillary Clinton has, and what Bernie Sanders needs, is a majority share of the superdelegate vote. For those who are not familiar with this, the Washington Post summed it up nicely.
The basic premise behind the controversial superdelegate issue is that the party assigns them to whomever they choose. When they get a vote, they do not have to represent any of the voters in their state. They can vote for whoever they want.
As it currently stands, Clinton has a major lion’s share of the superdelegates. The current stats are in favor of Clinton, with 481 delegates, compared to Bernie Sanders’ 55 delegates. Now to put into perspective, Sanders nearly tied Clinton in the Iowa primary, and then went to New Hampshire and won that primary by 22 percentage points.
By official standards without the help of superdelegates, Bernie Sanders has a 36 – 32 lead over Clinton. But when you factor in the superdelegates, the scorecard is 481 to 55, in favor of Clinton. Most of her votes do not represent the votes of the people, but rather the party leadership itself.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 18, 2016
So even though the cards may be stacked against Bernie Sanders for taking the Democratic nomination, the people of the primary states could make a huge difference and vote him into the November ballot. All they need to do is overcome the considerable reach of a major American political party.
[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]