Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.
The big news of the week around Nevada is that Sen. Bernie Sanders totally crushed in the state’s Democratic Party caucus. He won 46.8 percent of the vote. Sanders supporters are elated, and I’ve heard—and seen on social media—grumblings from supporters of other candidates.
If you participated, drop a line and let us know what you thought of the caucus process. As I wrote last week, I loved the ranked-choice ballot used in early voting. Probably because I love making lists. I’ve whiled away more hours than I’d care to admit arguing among friends about the relative merits of “greatest ever” rock bands and movie directors and so forth, so it was fun to approach voting the same way.
And it’s been pretty amazing to read so much national coverage of Nevada. Sanders’ win here certainly seems like a definitive breakout moment for the candidate.
Still, a lot of the grumbling I’ve heard has focused on perceptions of how folks think Sanders will fare in a general election. The debate boils down to a simple question: Who will fare better against Donald Trump in a general election, a moderate or a progressive?
It’s a bit of an open secret that elections are really decided by one thing: voter turnout. If everyone who’s eligible to vote actually showed up and voted, Washington D.C. would be a much different city. Especially if those voters actually voted in their own best interests. There’s a reason why rich and powerful people try to suppress voter turnout with bullshit like supporting voter I.D. laws and propagating phony voter fraud conspiracies. They don’t want everyone to vote.
Let’s look at elections since 2000. Here’s a list of the Democratic presidential nominees who seemed primed to appeal to moderate voters: Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton.
And here’s a list of the nominees who excited progressives and the Democratic base: Barack Obama.
So, which approach seems more likely to net a winning candidate?