Sunday, February 23, 2020

Is Sanders the new McGovern?


I should define something though. What is "McGovern".

Is "McGovern" George Stanley McGovern, born 1922, who won the 1972 Democratic nomination for President? Is McGovern the guy who grew up in South Dakota, and went on to represent that state as a Senator for nearly 20 years? Is McGovern the guy who was the target of the activities outlined in the Watergate scandal? Is McGovern the left-wing progressive who is famous for being so left wing?


McGovern is the guy who couldn't gain traction in the election of 1972.

Being a Senator, being from South Dakota, being a left-wing progressive, none of that, is related to why he couldn't gain traction.

What is?

Is it when he said he was 1000% behind Eagleton? Is it when he Fired Eagleton?

No. It's when he did both.

You can do one. Or the other. And be fine. You can not do both. Why? Simple:

You appear weak.

Lets go on a tangent and look at presidential polling. Comparing where they start, in the summer, and where they end, in November.

Lets look at 1964. In June, Johnson lead Goldwater 77 to 18. By the time of the election, Johnson only won 61 to 38.

In 1980, Carter lead Reagan 39-32 in June, but lost 51-41 in November. Pre-summer polling had Carter way up at 62%.

1988 had Dukakis lead the summer 47-41, but he would lose 53-45. Dukakis would lead right up to the infamous "Tank Photo" after which he dropped and stayed low.

In 1992, Ross Perot actually lead in June, 39 compared to 31 for Bush and 25 for Clinton. Perot would lose badly, in part, because he dropped out.

Polls can move, quite a bit, during an election. In fact, McGovern was behind 53-37 in June, which is something that could be made up during the election. It was not. Why? Simple:

He looked weak.

Look at what happened to Corbyn over Brexit. He ended up not being able to take a single solid position and looked weak as a result. His personal likability plummeted after that decision. Why? Was it because people disagreed with the policy? Quite the opposite, the policy was actually somewhat popular. So why did he stall in the polls and lose the election?

He looked weak.

This is something that the incumbent US President used during the 2016 Republican nomination. Jeb went from the front runner, to "low energy". Why?

He looked weak.

Is Sanders the new McGovern?


Sanders does not look weak.

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