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Michigan Berned

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I’ve been looking at the primaries in the context of what the results mean for the general election. My concern has been what every democratic voter’s concern should be: Which democratic candidate has the best chances to beat Trump in the primary?

If you need a recap, I laid most of it out here. I laid out my thoughts on the relevance of Michigan here (you’re going to want to read those for context to understand this post). Well, the massive upset that Bernie pulled off in Michigan has seriously amped up my anxiety level over the thought of Hillary becoming the nominee.

Hillary’s general election prospects are not looking awesome. That’s just a fact. When I posted my March 1st blog, with the mountain of evidence to support my thoughts, one Facebook commenter (a Hillary supporter) actually told me to “have faith”. Why? Why the hell would I rely on faith when I have freaking numbers? Should I have faith that the climate isn’t changing too?

I don’t want to ever have to utter the words “President Trump”. That is my primary objective here. Supporting my candidate at all cost is not. I earnestly don’t understand people who don’t share that objective. I’m completely flummoxed by this thinking, and I sincerely need someone to help me out by explaining this to me.

My concerns aren’t based on subjective flaws of Hillary. My concerns aren’t even based on bullshit fortune telling like, “she could be indicted by the FBI any minute now”, or “Ted Cruz’s wife is definitely in the position to leak Hillary’s speeches to Goldman Sachs when the time comes” (she actually is, and I would be a fool not to think they’re coming when it’s the right time). I haven’t done any of that.

My concerns are based on the data that is available to me today. There isn’t a single poll that shows Hillary beating Trump by a higher margin than Bernie does. Not one. The aggregate of all the polls puts Hillary at a 2.8 point margin of victory, while Bernie’s is a 6 point margin. Wanna know what another Hillary supporter said in response to this? He posted a poll that has Hillary beating Trump by 8 points. One poll against my aggregate of polls. Wanna know what that same poll, in that same article he posted said? That Bernie beats Trump by a twelve point margin. Wow, that was some clear headed thinking on that commenter’s part. I do not understand emotional voting. Emotional voting results in people turning stupid and doing what that commenter did: made an ass of himself.

In that earlier post, I placed a lot of importance in Michigan because it’s a swing state. Hillary isn’t winning swing states. She’s winning southern states that she can’t win in the general. When I was positive that Hillary was going to win Michigan, I said that winning it by 20 points would allay some of my fears about her chances against Trump in the general. Well not only did she not win by 20 points, but the polls were turned on their heads when Bernie took it by nearly 2 points.

This is a disastrous sign for Hillary’s viability against Trump in the general. My concerns are compounded by the fact that Michigan had the highest voter turnout in a primary election since 1972. People were turning out in huge numbers to vote in both the republican and the democratic elections. Trump is getting people out to vote in swing states. That should put the fear of God into anyone who also vomits at the thought of a President Trump scenario. Since Michigan is an open primary and they had record turnout and Bernie won instead of losing by the 20 points he was supposed to lose by, we can reasonably conclude that he’s also bringing voters out.

Remember, 42% of voters self identify as independents. 26% self identify as democrats, and 23% self identify as republicans. Bernie will always do better in open primaries. 77% of independents voted for Bernie. Wanna know who can vote in the general with no restrictions? Independents.

If Trump is bringing out right wing independents and first time voters, democrats better be damned well sure to select the candidate who is doing really well with independents. That’s clearly not Hillary.

I’m sorry Hillary supporters, but it’s time to care about who controls the white house next year and to leave your emotional attachment to your candidate behind. The numbers here aren’t ambiguous about the general. And so far, every primary that has already happened should have you as concerned as I am.

The next two states to keep an eye on are Florida and Ohio – both swing states. Hillary is currently leading by a large margin in both states. Florida has a closed primary, meaning that registered independents can’t vote in the democratic primary. Ohio has an open primary. I’m going to say this to Hillary supporters: winning Florida and losing Ohio would completely support my assertion that Hillary isn’t our best chance in the general.

I know that no other media outlet is going to lay this out for you the way I have, so it’s easy to dismiss what I have to say but look at past posts for accuracy before dismissing my analysis. I left the door wide open for myself make the case that Hillary is viable by spelling out exactly what would have made her viable in Michigan. She didn’t make the threshold that would have had me writing a very different post today. Let me be very clear on this: if Hillary loses Ohio, you would be a fool to vote for her in any primary moving forward.

Yes, Florida matters. Yes, Florida is a swing state. But Florida won’t help you make any sort of reasonable calculation about the general since Bernie’s strongest voting block is independents who can’t vote in the Florida primary. Let me repeat: those independents will be voting in November. Ohio and its open primary is where you should be looking to decide if a Hillary nomination could lead to a President Trump.

Hillary needs to win Ohio to demonstrate her viability in the general. Once again Hillary supporters, I am laying out the parameters upon which her general election viability looks better. I’m not making a “Bernie is awesome sauce in all scenarios” argument. I’m telling you how you and I can tell if voting for her is a good idea in the long term. I’m also telling you that if she loses Ohio, any Florida victory she may (or may not) have means significantly less.

Independents are the key in this election cycle. It’s not millenials, it’s not all about the older black vote, it’s about the independents because that’s who Trump is bringing into this election. Hillary can’t win the general if independents are so apathetic that they can’t be fucked to go out and vote in November.

Six more days. That’s when the next test of whether I’m an idiot or not will happen. And believe me, my hands are yuuuuuge….oh wait…….I got confused…. I meant to say believe me, I will not be back peddling on anything I’ve said here today if Hillary wins both Ohio and Florida. If that happens, I will be doing what any critical thinker should be doing: reassessing.

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