Daily Beast columnist Jay Michaelson, who confesses he agrees with Bernie Sanders on most of the issues on which Sanders differs from Hillary Clinton, nonetheless makes a strong argument for Clinton based on electability.
As one who has said several times that — especially under current circumstances — Democrats should weigh electability heavily in deciding whom to nominate, I encourage Democrats to read his column.
Michaelson acknowledges that the most recent matchup polling between Clinton or Sanders versus the leading Republican contenders show Sanders doing better. Like many people, he dismisses the relevance of these polls based on the fact that Sanders’ life-story and policy positions have not yet been submitted to the Republican attack machine, whereas the Repub attacks on Clinton from years past are already baked into her poll numbers.
I’ve heard this repeatedly before, but Michaelson goes into greater detail to back up that argument, citing other poll results that suggest a large segment of the electorate says they would not vote for a socialist or an atheist. (Sanders doesn’t use that word, but his description of his spiritual life will strike many voters that way.) Sanders favors tax increases that would fall on almost everyone to pay for his programs. Of course, as he points out all the time, if you pay a tax that gets you single-payer health insurance, and therefore don’t have to pay private insurance premiums, many Americans will come out ahead on the deal. But that argument may not come across in Republican attack ads.
Michaelson acknowledges the Sanders argument that his candidacy will motivate a lot of young people to vote who otherwise might not, but he concludes that the loss of moderate swing voters for the reasons outlined above will be a much larger factor.
There’s more along these lines. Read the whole Michaelson column here. It’s headlined: “A vote for Bernie Sanders is a vote for Donald Trump.”