Before we get into this, I think we can all agree that the yet-to-be-identified candidate in the Gallup poll below has been consistently popular at basically the exact same rate since America found out who they were. I bet that a lot of Kamala Harris partisans are looking at this and thinking of her:
Nope. It’s Bernie, but given how radioactive he is to some Democratic partisans, a false narrative—led by the Democratic elite—has taken root that Sanders is far too divisive to win, despite polls like the one above showing a remarkably robust and steady stream of support. Our digital partisan circles have a way of warping reality, and like Howard Schultz thinking that he has a chance in hell to be president as an Independent candidate, many of us have arrived at incorrect assumptions about the world around us.
There is absolutely, positively, nothing in the latest public opinion polling by Gallup that would even remotely suggest that Sanders is unpopular within the Democratic Party.
His favorable rating amongst Democrats?
Sanders is also at +19 favorable amongst establishment Democrats’ favorite voters: Independents
That entire fourteen percent who views Sanders unfavorably seems to be unanimously and extremely online, as well as in control of most programming at MSNBC. I bring up this reality because of a reality-shifting experience I had on Twitter yesterday with someone who clearly spends a lot of time inside this establishment bubble. A new Politico report revealed Wall Street’s favored sons and daughters in the 2020 Democratic Primary (emphasis mine):
After mentioning Bloomberg, Wall Street executives who want Trump out list a consistent roster of appealing nominees that includes former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Kamala Harris of California. Others meriting mention: former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, though few allies know his positions.
Bankers’ biggest fear: The nomination goes to an anti-Wall Street crusader like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sanders. “It can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders,” said the CEO of another giant bank. “It has to be someone centrist and someone who can win.”
Goodman Fellow David Dayen (who last year gave an excellent speech about how the Democratic Party should become the anti-monopoly party) remarked that Bernie and Warren should put that quote on a bumper sticker, and I quote-tweeted it, saying “Big banks love Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Terry McAuliffe, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney and Beto. The dividing line in this Democratic primary has officially been drawn by Wall St.”
The following tweet dunking on mine soon showed up in my mentions from Michael Halle (who does not follow me, nor did my tweet garner any attention whatsoever, which means it’s most likely that he found that tweet by searching for keywords in it). His Twitter bio says he is “@RichCordray CM | Proud alum of @hillaryclinton @barackobama @terrymcauliffe @anthonyfoxx,” and he is followed by not just big-time D.C. reporters like NYT’s Alex Burns, WaPo’s Philip Rucker and the AP’s Zeke Miller, but by high-level Democratic staffers like Jim Messina, Tommy Vietor and even Hillary Clinton’s personal account as well.
While my tweet was undoubtedly partisan progressive semi-snark fighting to shift the Overton Window on behalf of my preferred 2020 candidates, I was directly quoting a Politico report stating that “Wall Street executives who want Trump out list a consistent roster of appealing nominees” and those people that I listed—including Mr. Halle’s former boss who I’m sure he wasn’t name-searching in order to defend on Twitter—are named by the Democratic gargoyles of Wall Street as their besties for 2020, per one of the most well-connected reporters in the business.
If Halle has an issue with the “unfounded and false narrative” in my tweet, he should take it up with Politico’s chief economic correspondent, Ben White, who reported the news that I was quoting, not me. Calling it “bloviating BS” means that he’s either challenging or mischaracterizing the Politico report—or maybe he just doesn’t know what bloviating means (long-winded and lacking substance, which is how I would describe his tweet).
1. Twitter is designed to create conflict,
2. Leftist Twitter has weaponized irony,
3. The internet has irrevocably broken all of our brains to varying degrees, and
4. Tons of D.C. insiders on the left prefer to punch left rather than to admit any fault in the D.C. insider-led catastrophe that was 2016,
Partisans like Halle distort the narrative by claiming that us Bernie Bros are really the ones who are distorting the narrative.
P.S. “Bernie Bro” is a sexist phrase that erases facts like how Bernie beat Hillary among women in New Hampshire by seven points and garnered 82% of the vote among New Hampshire women under 45—I know that was a virtual home game for Bernie, and that’s about as good as his numbers among women are going to get, but still, you’re erasing women in New Hampshire and states across the country who did and do support him by mischaracterizing his support with that term.
Establishment Democrats treat the 43+% of the party who did not vote for the establishment’s hand-picked candidate in 2016 like outsiders, then turn around and wonder why the Republican Party wins more elections while lamenting how the GOP’s grassroots base gains more and more power each and every day.
*thinking face emoji*
Bernie Sanders is so popular within the Democratic Party that the Democratic Party’s 2020 platform is going to look a lot like Sanders’s 2016 platform, according to most of the Democratic frontrunners at this very early point in the race. This fact is backed up by the oldest polling outlet in America, and anyone who thinks that he is too divisive to win (or a digital figment of our imaginations courtesy of “Kremlin minions,” as suggested by MSNBC contributor and Wired contributing editor Virginia Heffernan), is parroting our president by calling Bernie’s unimpeachable popularity “fake news.”
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.