Who Wins When Poor People Vote? The Answer May Surprise Bernie Sanders.
As it is becoming increasingly clear that the Democratic party does not have him in mind for the top of our ticket in November, Bernie Sanders is becoming increasingly unhinged.
On a pretaped interview with NBC's Meet the Press, Sanders was asked why in the 16 out of 17 states with the highest income inequality that have voted - income inequality being Bernie Sanders' defining campaign issue - Hillary Clinton has beaten the self-styled savior of the poor. Seemingly out of excuses, Sanders invented a novel idea: "well, because poor people don't vote," he said, implying that if poor people did vote, he'd be winning so good.
The facts tell the exact opposite story. If exit polling data is any indication, the more poor people that vote, the more Bernie Sanders is actually likely to lose. I have decided to take all the states that have voted thus far in which exit polling data is available in the Democratic primary and chart them out. Here are the results (exit polling data from NBC News).
The blue line graphs the share of the Democratic primary electorate with a household income of under $30,000 per year, the red line maps Clinton's margin overall, and the orange line maps Hillary Clinton's margin among the under $30K voters.
Hillary Clinton in general tends to actually do better among under-$30K voters than with the general Democratic primary voters, and as you can see, as a general rule, the higher the portion of under-$30K voters in the primary, the more Bernie Sanders is likely to lose and the more Hillary Clinton is likely to win (not in every case, but general trend-wise). For example, in Mississippi, the state with the highest portion of under-$30K electorate so far, where those voters comprised 39% of the Democratic primary electorate, Clinton won the state by a 66-point margin, but she won the lowest income voters by 71 points. In Michigan, Clinton won the under-$30K vote by 6 points despite losing the state by 2 points to Sanders.
I guess I just don't understand. First, he was losing because black people were voting. Sorry, I mean "deep south" was voting. Now, he's losing because poor people aren't voting, according to him. Complicating matters even more, Bernie Sanders once said that black people and poor people were one and the same, as according to him, white people did not know what it was like to be poor.
Bernie Sanders appears intent on blaming anyone but himself for his campaign's sad state. I suppose this is natural at the end of any campaign that had thought a number of times that they could win, but the candidate is usually not the one doing the finger-pointing, and voters are usually not the ones being blamed.
But we always knew Bernie Sanders is no ordinary candidate.
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