Mainstream News Media Can’t Block Reality Of Bernie Sanders’ Success

Reno Berkeley - Author

Nov. 7 2016, Updated 7:32 p.m. ET

Mainstream media just can’t block the reality of a Bernie Sanders success. Despite drawing tens of thousands of people to rallies on a consistent basis, winning 19 contests, and showing higher approval ratings, Sanders continues to be persona non grata with highly paid pundits. What the the media is doing is the equivalent of sticking its fingers in its ears and yelling, “La la la!” in an attempt to aggressively ignore the Sanders phenomenon.

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This is dangerous for the Democratic Party. With Trump a surefire win for the GOP nomination, the Democratic Party leadership, through news media outlets that appear to favor Clinton, are pushing the nomination of the weakest, most reviled candidate they possibly could. With all appearances of neutrality out the window, even the Philadelphia convention chairman warned Sanders supporters to behave themselves after Clinton wins the nomination.

This, despite the fact that neither Democratic candidate has enough pledged delegates to secure a win outright. And it’s why just about every mainstream media outlet tacks on the superdelegate count to increase her numbers. The fact remains, however, that superdelegates are not pledged until they actually vote at the convention, which means they could realistically switch over to Bernie Sanders if they believe he is the strong candidate to beat Trump in November.

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West Virginia’s exit polls are interesting, but not surprising. According to an ABC News poll, those who voted in the Democratic primary are primarily worried about the direction of the nation’s economy. A majority believed trade with other countries diminishes job opportunities in the U.S., and nearly a third of households that voted have a coal miner in the family. Fifty-five percent of those with coal miners in the family voted for Sanders.

But that’s not the most interesting part of the exit polls. Forty percent of the state’s Democratic primary voters said they wanted less liberal policies than Obama, yet 62 percent of those same voters cast a ballot for Bernie Sanders. This is perhaps due to two significant factors: Clinton’s flip-flopping on the coal industry and voters’ desire for a candidate that expresses empathy or honesty. Empathy and honesty are especially important for West Virginians, as many residents have been hard hit by the downturn in the coal mining industry.

ABC‘s exit poll also showed that Sanders would outperform Clinton in a general election in the state, taking 52 percent of the vote over Trump, versus Clinton’s 45 percent.

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Over the last several days, Sanders has drawn crowds at his rallies in New Jersey, California, and Oregon. His Sacramento rally attracted more than 20,000 people. Some estimate the attendance — including overflow crowd — to be as high as 27,000.

His poll numbers are rising as well. A recent Quinnipiac Poll puts Sanders comfortably ahead of Trump during a general election with likely voters from Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. An NBC News/Survey Monkey Poll has Sanders 13 points ahead of Trump, with Clinton ahead only five points. In poll after poll, Sanders performs better than Clinton against Trump by several points, but the mainstream news media continues to tout her as the better, stronger candidate.

Still, the national news media outlets continue to act as though Sanders’ rival is the presumptive nominee and should now begin to focus her campaign on attacking Trump.

After a search on CNN‘s website, no story about any of his California rallies were found. MSNBC did a live stream of his Stockton rally, but had no follow-up story. Its YouTube channel is also conspicuously lacking in any evidence that Sanders has been on the West Coast campaigning.

The only news reporting Bernie Sanders rallies are local news channels. KCRA3 News in Sacramento reported that thousands turned out to Cal Expo Monday to attend the rally. Interestingly, the local news outlets have been more neutral in their coverage of the Democratic primary than their national counterparts.


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