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Bernie Sanders and the New York Primary

On April 19th, New York had its primary contests for both the Democratic and Republican parties. Donald Trump, unsurprisingly, won the Republican primary by a large margin.

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However, the results of the Democratic primary were far more upsetting to anyone hoping for a change of pace from typical establishment politics. Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders 57.9% to 42.1%- a double digit lead.

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Yet, in the weeks leading up to the contest, it appeared that Bernie was gaining ground, rather than losing it. Just look at the thousands of people who came to his rallies in Brooklyn and Washington Square Park:

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Bernie had the widespread support among the younger demographic. He wasn't polling that far behind Hillary Clinton in the preliminary estimates; certainly not as far behind as he ended up in the primary results. At the democratic debate held five days before the primary, there was what seemed to essentially be a tie, with some websites saying Hillary Clinton had won (http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/15/opinions/democratic-debate-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-zelizer/) and other polls , like this one from Fortune.com, saying that Bernie Sanders had won:

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So what happened? How did Bernie Sanders lose New York to Hillary Clinton, and by such a wide margin?

Hillary Clinton has the strong support of the Democratic establishment behind her, as well as Wall Street and Super PACS, whereas Bernie Sanders has taken no donations from Super PACS. Hillary Clinton is loved by Wall Street, and supporters of Wall Street. Huffington Post revealed that Clinton won a lot of votes from NY democrats who think that Wall Street is a boon to the economy. Additionally, Clinton has made $11 million from speaking, delivering 51 speeches in 2014 and the first three months of 2015, according to The Washington Post. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-new-york-wall-street_us_571767ebe4b0018f9cbba920). Clearly, Bernie Sanders could not have gotten support from this demographic, as he has been vocal about his disapproval of big, unregulated banks.

Many voters believe that Hillary Clinton is more experienced than Bernie, but this simply isn't true. She certainly has experience, being a two-term senator and serving as the secretary of state for 4 years. Yet, her decisions as secretary of state didn't show experience; In fact, one website stated that

"Clinton’s failures as Secretary of State helped bring war to Europe, an arms race to Asia, and inferno to the Middle-East.  The U.S. and its international standing are weaker for Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State." (http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/08/hillary_clintons_foreign_policy_failures.html)

Clinton's term as Secretary of State was filled with specific failures, including the decision to overthrow President Gaddafi in Libya, granting Afghanistan major non-NATO U.S. ally status, and the East Asia pivot, to name a few. (http://mic.com/articles/24646/5-foreign-policy-failures-during-hillary-clinton-s-time-as-secretary-of-state#.O6wYbmsqq). Clinton deserves critiques for the decisions that occured during her term, many of which led to international instability and deterimental conditions in the Middle East. Furthermore, her term as a senator was filled with votes that demonstrated her poor-decision making skills, such as her support of the Patriot Act and its subsequent reauthorization (http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/29052-five-reasons-no-progressive-should-support-hillary-clinton), and her support of the Iraq War.
 
Compare this to Bernie Sanders, who in his 16 years as an American senator has demonstrated a consistent voting record on key progressive issues. His 16 year term in the Senate makes him the the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Prior to his term in the Senate, he served as Vermont's sole representative in the House for 16 years. Bernie Sanders has 32 years of experience in poltiics, far beyond Hillary Clinton's 10 years. Clearly, he is the far more experienced (and supported) candidate.
 
While both the above factors played a role in Hillary Clinton's win, the truth of the matter is that the New York primary contests (as well as many other states, some who are holding their primary contests in the coming weeks) are rigged. These states are ones that hold "closed elections", meaning only citizens who are registered as Democratic or Republican can vote; people who have registered as Independents are barred from partiicpating. For a candidate like Bernie Sanders, who could have expected strong support from Independents, this loss of 3 million potential voters was a major factor in his loss. Bernie Sanders himself said, "Today, 3 million people in the state of New York who are independents have lost their right to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. That’s wrong." (http://www.vox.com/2016/4/19/11464938/bernie-sanders-closed-primaries) Although it is difficult to say with complete certainty, it is safe to hazard a guess that Bernie Sanders would have done a lot better had Independents been allowed to vote. The disenfranchisement of 3 million voters is just yet another sign of the corruption of our poltiical system, and it prevented people from seeing the real amount of support Bernie Sanders had in this state.

Although it may seem that Sander's New York loss is foreshadowing a loss at the Democratic Convention, this is simply not the case. That is, of course, what the mainstram media would like you to believe, but the facts speak for themselves. Sanders has won the primary contests in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklamhoma, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming- 17 out of the 36 states who have held contests so far. And in many of these places, he won by a double-digit lead. (http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president). Bernie Sanders may not have won New York, but he has a significant shot at earning the Democratic nomination. He is easily the best candidate to lead our country out of the corrupt mess that we have found ourselves in, and instigate a political revolution. 

One Comment

  1. Carol Van Auken June 10, 2016

    Amber,

    Keep in mind that your sources cited are all biased.  This is an important basic research skill, to be able to differentiate between websites that are completely biased and ones that state verifiable, researched facts.

    Ms. V

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