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Biden vs Sanders: Is it a good idea to compromise with Republicans?

April 28, 2019

An interesting poll nugget from last year, below, shows a novel effect of the Trump presidency on Democratic voters. [Pew data, via Bloomberg]


Next, the same phenomenon, further broken down by education [same source]. Note that the less educated in both parties are less interested in compromise.


This is perhaps relevant, because Trump took key states by persuading a 5-10% block of the white-non-college-educated demographic, which had actually voted for Obama in 2012.

Which brings us to Biden vs Sanders. Biden built his career around making deep compromises with Republicans on many issues (he was Strom Thurmond’s long time legislative partner). I’m not the only one who thinks this would make Biden a poor general election candidate [The Intercept] , since being a compromiser won’t win the respect of either party. Though conservative Democrats in the primary may see things otherwise, just as they did in 2016 – to everyone’s detriment.

I’m biased of course, but Sanders polls equally well against Trump [FiveThirtyEight] to Biden in PA, the state that matters the most. In addition, Sanders is far more likely than Biden to stay true to the principles he lays down on the campaign trail, and for Sanders, the working class and independent demographic has been a core strength throughout!

That’s electability for you. Not that letting what you think others will do override your own beliefs is a smart way to make decisions – but we’re going to hear more appeals to that logic than we should, so I hope such arguments can be debunked ahead of time.


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