Friday, May 3, 2019

Horse race stuff

David Brooks name-checks our BooMan ("The Revolt of the Democratic Elites")!
The Diploma Divide among Democrats this year isn’t as stark as the one between Republicans in 2016. Joe Biden is popular among all Democratic groups. For example, according to a recent CNN poll, he’s just as popular as Bernie Sanders among people who call themselves “very liberal.”
But, there may be a growing Democratic Diploma Divide. As Martin Longman points out in Washington Monthly, less-educated, older voters are more likely to support Biden. Bernie Sanders, with his more outsiderish, disruptive campaign, is more competitive with more educated, younger voters.
To demonstrate that the the party's elites are revolting against the inevitable Biden nomination. People under 45 are now defined as "the elites", apparently, or something, although that's kind of an upside-down version of what Martin points out

The top three in CNN‘s poll are Biden at 39 percent, Bernie Sanders at 15 percent, and Elizabeth Warren at 8 percent. Biden’s lead would not be so robust were he not breaking even with Sanders among the party’s most liberal voters. He’s actually leading Sanders among Democrats who have a college degree.
It’s accurate to say that Biden’s support weakens as we move up in educational attainment, and down in age (which are both correlated with shifting left on the ideological scale), but he is doing well enough in every demographic to dispel the notion that he has any major weaknesses within the party at all.
and in Brooks's version it's not sustainable at all, because there aren't enough Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters under 45 in CNN's sample (see cross-tabs) to draw any inferences at all about the younger ones, and the only significant-looking difference between college and non-college Democrats is in support for Buttigieg, who gets far more support from the wealthier and the more highly educated:

Note that there also aren't enough white non-college Democrats or Democrat leaners in the sample to draw any inferences, which is the reason Brooks's semi-secret but obvious concern troll agenda, to argue that we'd better nominate Biden if we know what's good for us because that's where we're going to get that Joe Sixpack vote, is a nonstarter. In fact, when you look at Biden's general approval numbers across parties, there's exactly one group of voters that dislikes Biden, pretty strongly, and it's white people without a college degree:

Which is not to say we shouldn't nominate Biden, but the best handicappers' reason for backing him, as Martin notes very clearly, is the support he gets from people of color:

Whites and minorities feel pretty much the same about Sanders and Warren, but the minority members are overwhelmingly more positive about Biden.

There's more than one possible reason for that, by the way. Biden's association with Obama has helped erase or at least mask some of the damage of Biden's earlier relations with African Americans, from his opposition to busing for school integration through his authorship of the 1994 crime bill that did so much to bring about the mass incarceration of black men for crimes white people rarely got punished for to the infamous description of candidate Obama as "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" but I'm not sure. It seems to me equally likely that, as Thornton says of Democratic women, black folk would rather put their preferences aside than give a Republican a way of winning

and forgive Biden any time if that's what it takes. And if that's where the soul of the party is, that's where the decision needs to be made.

While the picture may of course not last as the campaign develops and especially Warren and Harris get better known. But I think what the CNN poll shows about Sanders, if anything, is that he's not going beyond his 2016 base, and Brooks's "Revolt of the Elites" thesis is just idiotic garbage. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

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