Bernie Sanders has Hillary Clinton right where he wants her

March 29, 2016
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders holds a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington March 25, 2016. REUTERS/David Ryder

Senator Bernie Sanders at a rally at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, March 25, 2016. REUTERS/David Ryder

The patter of establishment calls for Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to end his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has built into a hailstorm.

Bye, bye, Bernie,” the Washington Post editorialized prematurely, echoing numerous talking heads. Politico reports Democratic pols are quietly urging him to pack it in. Even President Barack Obama suggested to deep-pocket donors that it’s time to fold in behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (They already have, Mr. President, they already have).

Some of this is sowed by the Clinton campaign. But most is simple foolishness. It would be inconceivable for Sanders to stop now.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (R ) greets supporters during a campaign rally at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo, Ohio, March 11, 2016.  REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

Senator Bernie Sanders (R ) greets supporters during a campaign rally at the SeaGate Convention Centre in Toledo, Ohio, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

After all, he still has a chance to win the nomination. Sanders just swept through the West, winning five of six contests by stunning margins. In addition, he isn’t just a candidate — he’s a cause. Sanders seeks to build a movement that can make the political revolution needed to transform the country, not simply win the White House. That means a political movement powerful enough to both get big money out of politics and pass Sanders’ agenda. His supporters want and expect him to drive that effort right through the Democratic National Convention and beyond.

Admittedly, the odds against Sanders winning the nomination are long, but they are far better than when the relatively unknown democratic socialist launched his insurgency. Nearly half of all voters have yet to cast a ballot. Sanders continues to introduce himself to more and more of them. He’s already won 15 primaries and caucuses, and lost four more by the barest whisker. And he keeps rising.

For the first time, the most recent Bloomberg poll shows him edging ahead of Clinton among registered Democratic voters. Other national polls consistently show her once forbidding lead continuing to narrow. Sanders draws large and mostly enthusiastic crowds and continues to rouse young people across the country. His supporters are eager to fuel his campaign. He outraised Clinton dramatically in February — $43 million to $30 million, as his 2 million small donors contributed more than her deep-pocket investors. In fact, more than 70 percent of Clinton’s donations have come from large donors, who are maxing out in increasing numbers.

The crowd cheers as U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Fort Collins, Colorado February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The skeptics groused that Sanders would have to swamp Clinton in caucuses and races out West to be competitive, not simply win by 55 percent to 45 percent. He won 70 percent of the vote or more in Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Utah. Sanders continues to whittle away at Clinton’s lead in pledged delegates.

Meanwhile, Clinton, the prohibitive favorite backed by virtually all the gatekeepers, big donors and skilled campaign operatives, isn’t exactly sealing the deal. More than half of all voters view her unfavorably; only Republican front-runner Donald Trump ranks worse. No one else in a presidential campaign has come close to those negatives since CBS polling began asking the question in 1984.

Americans have doubts about Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness. Her strength has been experience and electability, but polls show Sanders running consistently better than she does against every potential Republican candidate, largely because he fares far better among independents. Add to this the not insignificant likelihood of drama erupting in Clintonworld — whether from federal investigations, the endless well of stories about the Clinton Foundation, transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street fat cats, her Wal-Mart board meetings or whatever.

Sanders still has a shot. His support is growing, his opponent is increasingly unpopular and his supporters will finance his race. No regular candidate would leave the race in such a position. Ohio Governor John Kasich and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), the GOP candidates trying to best Trump, would give their left arms to be where Sanders is.

Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders cheer during a rally at Affton High School in St. Louis, Missouri March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders cheer during a rally at Affton High School, in St. Louis, Missouri, March 13, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Sanders has no illusions about how hard it is to build a “political revolution.” One presidential campaign, no matter how fervent its followers, can offer little more than a Paul Revere call to action. The actual struggles have only begun.

So, again, why in the world would Sanders shut down his insurgency? He’ll never have this kind of reach to a massive audience again. He’s gaining supporters, triggering organizing and activism, spreading his message and agenda.

That effort has already reaped benefits. He’s proved that presidential candidates do not have to be dependent on big donors. In every race from here on, there will be an insurgent slot waiting to be filled. He’s driven the debate in the campaign, forcing Clinton to adjust her positions and recycle some of his rhetoric. On trade, on Wall Street, on corporate tax dodges and CEO pay, on criminal justice, on the minimum wage and unions, money and politics — his campaign (plus movements like Black Lives Matter and Fight for $15) is opening new ground.

The longer Sanders stays in the race, the harder it will be for Clinton to abandon her new populist pledges.

Even if he doesn’t overtake Clinton’s lead, Sanders can go to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia with virtually as many pledged delegates as she has. He’ll battle over the party platform to push for breaking up the big banks, balanced trade, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, national healthcare, tuition-free public college and more.

Coming out of the convention, he and his supporters will be able to fight for bold reform, expose corruption and support insurgent movements and candidates. He’s unleashed new energy that won’t die with the election.

The keepers of the failed consensus are aghast, Democratic officialdom nervous. Wall Street donors aflutter. Get used to it. There isn’t a whit of reason for Sanders to shut his campaign down. As the old gospel song puts it, the road ahead is hard. But he’s come too far to turn back now. And he is in no ways tired.

55 comments

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Wow. An honest article about Bernie Sanders in the corporate media. Kudos to Reuters!

Posted by Alan8 | Report as abusive

And the more Clinton tries to copy Sanders’ style and platform, the phonier she sounds. No one believes she’ll keep any of her campaign promises, since even Obama didn’t.

Posted by cautious123 | Report as abusive

Sounds like the author was actually rooting for the candidate. If you did that for a Republican candidate you would be accused of being a racist.

I wonder how many people really think that 90% tax rates are fair and believe that making college free will improve the quality of higher education.

Posted by RichmondRob | Report as abusive

Thank you for writing a nice piece on Bernie. #Bernie2016

Posted by wiscobadgers | Report as abusive

This article is breath of fresh air. It’s about time other media outlets stopped ignoring what many have deemed “inconvenient truths” about democracy and the democratic primaries.

Posted by mtairy | Report as abusive

Great article!
Bernie Sanders’ supporters are excited to have a champion for health care without for-profit insurance companies, better wages and opportunities for higher education for ALL hardworking Americans. We, also, do not trust Hillary that she will fight for these causes if she is elected.
Go Bernie and go Bernie’s supporters!

Posted by JandD | Report as abusive

Honest…never though about how much Cruz and Kasich would love to have thousands of thousands send them money and come to their events…hummm…maybe because no one ever talks about BERNIE…Wonder why…seems like a really interesting story…why such MARGINAL coverage?

Posted by ElizabethP | Report as abusive

Senator Sanders projects a rational demeanor. He is capable of listening with the intent to hear exactly what is being said. He responds in an intelligent manner. Consistently. He would like to see government policy improve lives. I trust he would do that while President. My vote is for Senator Bernie Sanders.

Posted by dzastrus | Report as abusive

Finally!
Educated and informed journalist compare to New York Times and Washington Post paid puppets.
Just watching reporting in this 2016 elections should make us petrified how only protection of USA democracy (journalism and free media) is hijacked by lobbyists, one party (with two fraction) dictatorship, corporate dictatorship, and clowns like Trump.
And paid puppets are guilty for this.

Posted by RealClear2020 | Report as abusive

What a refreshing article to read. It amazes me that there are those within the Clinton claim who scream “sexism” at “bernie bros” as they write off many amazing female supporters, those who call his supporters “all white” when there is great diversity. The more they use such divisive tactics and the more they play the media against us the more we see just how amazingly inclusive, accessible and honest Bernie, his campaign and his supporters are.

Posted by JBri | Report as abusive

Thank you for a very thoughtful and objective article – what a breath of fresh air and badly needed. Again, *thank you*

Posted by iamriversong | Report as abusive

The Bloomberg poll cited was not a poll of registered democrats, but of voters who participated or will participate in Democratic primaries/caucuses, some of whom are independents. Bernie does better among independents, but Hillary has maintained a lead among Democrats. This is a poll of REGISTERED Democrats. There is a good trend here for Bernie. This poll was mostly taken before his huge victories at the caucuses on Saturday. The next poll should show a boost from that.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-ele ction/new-national-poll-numbers-show-clo sest-democratic-race-2016-n546966

Posted by RaceToTheBottom | Report as abusive

I like Bernie and some of his ideas, but you are very much in denial if you think he is able to win in the general election.

Posted by dinojay | Report as abusive

Lets push Bernie Sanders to the White House2016. He represents the people and that’s the most fundamental aspect of his campaign! 40 yrs of experience.

Posted by BirdieSanders | Report as abusive

One more question for readers. It’s a puzzler. Sanders was getting arrested & marching with MLK when Clinton was crusading as “Goldwater Girl.” Sanders was voting against the Clinton backed deregulation of Wall Street that resulted in the devastating loss of millions of homes owned by minorities. Sanders, who has known poverty and discrimination is the most strident candidate for reigning in police powers, and is the main force driving for livable wages and the shut down of the private prison industry that is bankrolling HRC and providing “housing” for inordinate percentages of minorities. There’s more…but how is this not enough to win the black vote for Sanders? This is very confusing and distressing.

Posted by gholden | Report as abusive

What kind of Commie Pinko wrote this?!

Posted by all4Peace | Report as abusive

Wow what a great article on Bernie Sanders well done author, finally seeing a legitimate opinion do more!!

Posted by Mattygriffin | Report as abusive

Bernie Sanders not only won 86.1% of the votes in the Democratic primary election here in Vermont, his home state. He won EVERY SINGLE MUNICIPALITY. All 255. If that’s not a ringing endorsement by his constituents of 30+ years, I don’t know what is…

Posted by RalphMeima | Report as abusive

Bravo – So correct. And what is in motion is the work at the local level to support primary challengers and build a constituency. Many of us learned with Obama that just to talk about a movement is not enough. We shall see.

Posted by mkoche | Report as abusive

Excellent article, beautifully written

Posted by PaulM63 | Report as abusive

THANK YOU Mr. Borosage for your JOURNALISM, a rare act in the mainstream greedia that is the bain of existence of American citizens. I am a Bernie Sanders supporter, and I appreciate your article for telling some truth. We are bombarded every day with pro-Clinton propaganda, and faux-Trump outrage which is pro-Trump support in disguise.
We the People are concerned with life and death issues. Bernie is giving the betrayed American people our voice. Thank you for being one of the few journalists who isn’t working for the Greed against the People.

Posted by HateGreed | Report as abusive

I’ll vote for Bernie in the primaries and the general. If he doesn’t quite get to the general election, I’ll write his name in. I’m not voting for Trump or Hillary.

Posted by MartinB77 | Report as abusive

Bravo!

Posted by MeloraHart | Report as abusive

Thank you for such a great and honest article about the first politician I have ever cared about. (and I’m 54, I’ve seen a lot of them) No, Sanders isn’t tired, and neither are we tired of funding his campaign. I give five or ten dollars at a time, I’ve never supported any political candidate before. Go Bernie!

Posted by nanci | Report as abusive

Someone pinch me! Is there a but in this article or a catch? A fair, factual, positive article about Bernie? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY! They probably will edit this later on. Oh well!

Posted by BirdieDanders | Report as abusive

Spot On! #FeelThBern

Posted by KhrisLoux | Report as abusive

Nicely written article. Go Bernie. Perhaps do an article looking into the election fiasco unfolding in Arizona, the powers there owe the voters a REVOTE imho.

Posted by 123LetsHelpThem | Report as abusive

To be honest, I think Sanders would rather have Clinton down by 230 rather than up by 230. That being said, this is the most objective reporting on the current Sanders campaign I’ve read. Compare this article with just about anything coming from the NYTimes, and you’d think the articles were comparing two different primary elections.

Posted by jlalbrecht | Report as abusive

Bernie or Bust…I’m voting for Bernie even if I have to write him in.

Posted by Numberz5 | Report as abusive

Applause. Applause. Standing ovation. In an even-handed, honest, insightful commentary, Robert L. Borosage effectively employs understatement for important emphasis, not the hyperbole so familiar in campaign rhetoric.

For example he states “Americans have doubts about Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness. Her strength has been experience and electability, but polls show Sanders running consistently better than she does against every potential Republican candidate, largely because he fares far better among independents. Add to this the not insignificant likelihood of drama erupting in Clintonworld — whether from federal investigations, the endless well of stories about the Clinton Foundation, transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street fat cats, her Wal-Mart board meetings or whatever.” That statement simply puts reality on the table.

No fan of Hillary and an “evolving” Sanders supporter, I would turn up the volume noting that an astonishing 67 percent of Americans don’t believe Hillary is honest or trustworthy, and that two polls have revealed the word most frequently associated with her is “liar.”

I would also emphasize that 43 percent of American voters are now independent, a record high according to Gallup, compared to 30 percent Democrats and 26 percent Republicans. Different as they are and for very different reasons, both Sanders and Trump are drawing support from voters who are just fed up with BIG money establishment politics, the DNC and the RNC, the Clintons and the Bushes. At least Trump has helped the nation say goodbye to the Bushes. I hope that Sanders can help us say “adios” to the Clintons as well, so this nation can finally, finally move forward.

As a progressive independent, I once was a Democrat and have always voted for Democratic candidates. The Clintons convinced me to leave the party, and Hillary has now convinced me to come back. I re-registered as a Democrat so I could vote for Sanders in my closed state primary, and with enormous satisfaction also vote AGAINST Hillary. I’ll be an independent again the day after voting.

Posted by duck48j2 | Report as abusive

What you fail to ask is whether Bernie’s continued campaign will aid or hurt the battle to retain a Democratic president and congress – or doesn’t that Matter? Are progressives willing to continue to press forward with an ugly unwinnable primary battle even if the ultimate outcome is a Trump victory? Didn’t they learn anything the last time they did this – don’t they Remember Nader, the guy who single handedly brought us George W Bush in 1990? Will his followers support HLC and the Democrats running for Senate after Bernie loses the primary, given the increasingly bitter tone his campaign is taking and the endless attacks on the party he seeks to lead? Will Bernie finally begin to take some interest in the campaigns of other Democrats – will he campaign for other Senate candidates, will he be sharing some of his successful fund raising with other candidates? Last quarter HRC contributed $18 million to the campaign funds for other Democratic candidates, Bernie contributed NOTHING. Will he use any part of last month’s haul of $43 million to assist the Democratic Party in regaining the Senate? If we do not regain the Senate President Sanders will be as hamstrung as President Obama is now. Without any financial boost or campaign support from the top of the ticket how will the party fund its Senate campaigns? This article fails to note the Math. Bernie’s campaign remains an extremely unlikely long shot – Hilary Clinton currently leads by 2.5 million votes in the popular vote – the States Bernie won last week were all won by small 10,000-12,000 votes margins. In order for Bernie to be successful he will need to take New York, PA and CA by Large numbers- and in all those states Hilary Clinton currently has a double digit lead. The chances of that evaporating to nothing this late are Slim.

Posted by jerij | Report as abusive

Holy smokes, Bob Borosage. I sincerely hope your Bernie Sanders button didn’t jab you while typing this pie-in-the-sky manifesto. I’m glad you didn’t let the reality of the delegate count — and the fact that he still needs to win 57 percent of them from here out — temper the ferocity of your pom-pom waving.

Posted by erikc67 | Report as abusive

“Evn if he doesn’t overtake Clinton’s lead, Sanders can go to the Democratic convention in Philadelphia with virtually as many pledged delegates as she has.” If Sanders leads in pledged delegates when we go to the convention, and Democratic Elite “Superdelegates” take this from the people, I’m afraid there is going to be Hell-to-Pay.

Posted by nha16 | Report as abusive

Great Article. Only more good things to come for the People’s Campaign. Go, Bernie, Go!

Posted by BernieBeliever | Report as abusive

Exactly.

Posted by Arulsothy.R | Report as abusive

Thank you for one of the more objective perspectives I’ve seen lately.

Posted by Operatenor | Report as abusive

…Except that he is losing in the delegate count. Just a paltry little detail from back here on planet Earth.

Posted by A.S.F. | Report as abusive

Pretty sure that those who are claiming that Bernie bail out are the same people who are fearful of Bernie’s strength and insight as to how US politics are controlled.

Posted by AMH4 | Report as abusive

Beautiful. Excellent.

Posted by rmetro1 | Report as abusive

I always thought that Sanders will fight till the day he dies. His aim is not the presidency. His goal is to get dirty money out of our political system.

We the voters must help him help us – vote only those do not take big money!

The establishment is powerful, but there are more of us 99.9% then they 0.1%. Do the math. Vote for your own interest. Is that too much r ask?

BTW, the eerie silence of Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks volume!

Posted by FarFarLeft | Report as abusive

Elected or note, Bernies’ supporters are well aware of constituents who support his platform and who doesn’t. Come election time, you’re going to see an overwhelming surge in voting for local government, Governor, and Senatorial races. The American giant has awaken and I think the hive mind of Sanders’ followers will be putting new faces in seats in high government.

Posted by CaptMorganX | Report as abusive

“He won 70 percent of the vote or more in Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Utah”

Yes, but those were all caucuses. Except for his local states of New Hampshire and Vermont, Sanders has only gotten more than 55% of the delegates in one primary. He needs to do that in every single one the rest of the way to have a chance.

Posted by StubbornFacts | Report as abusive

The only office Hillary ever held was secretary of state which she fumbled horribly, she’s only electable to the establishment. As far as experience, she hasn’t done anything good at all.

Posted by Razel03 | Report as abusive

Great job Reuters, finally allowing Sanders’ message to reach mainstream media.

Posted by Demonthenese | Report as abusive

Hillary and Bernie are both good candidates. Trump and Cruz are both bad candidates.

This is an easy election for Democrats. That’s why we’ll win. Again.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Until America gets rid of the party of no there is a snowball’s chance in hell anything Sander’s proposes will get done. Clinton more willing to compromise IMO would get more done in the oval office. Sanders will move Clinton left but she is nowhere as strong as him in the class war being won the past 3 decades by the rich.

Posted by JamesChirico | Report as abusive

As a 69 year old woman, I have voted in every Presidential election since I was able. Never have I been as proud to vote for a candidate as I am to vote for Bernie Sanders! He understands the issues facing America today, both nationally and internationally. He began this race as the clear underdog, both in the polls and in the amount of money he had is his war chest. Yet, here we are today with the “candidate we can believe in” running neck and neck with the candidate of big politics and Wall Street backing. Sanders has sparked a desire in ordinary people to make their voices heard. A desire for better government, a desire to bring issues to the forefront, a desire to make sure the voices of ordinary people are heard. GO BERNIE!

Posted by joloma | Report as abusive

I registered only to post this comment!

Wow, the mainstream and corporate media is FINALLY waking up??? What a breath of fresh air compared to the corrupted New York Time and Washington Post!

Bernie Sanders is the only valid choice deserving our vote to save what is left of our democracy! This is truly a political revolution!

#FeelTheBern #StillBernie

Posted by RamonZarat | Report as abusive

#BernieOrBust

Posted by RamonZarat | Report as abusive

This is the best news all year…Her back is against the wall, and all of her rich friends cannot buy the presidency for her now.

I will now send Bernie another $200.

Love that Bern

Posted by Ytram | Report as abusive

They had to drop the probe, or dirt against the FBI etc will show too. Same reason no one will ever take Bush to the court of criminal justice for 500,000 deaths in Iraq. Iraq had NOTHING To DO WITH Sept 11. Hillary and the Republicans voted for Iraq war because this creates instability in the Middle East, which fuels the trillion $$ US industrial military complex making $$ as they are who rule the USA. Iraq war cost us $8 TRILLION
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/ 2013/10/131015-iraq-war-deaths-survey-20 13/
BERNIE is our only hope

Posted by lifewatchgroup | Report as abusive

Bernie must run as an independent when he is robbed at the DNC nomination. The conclusion by Robert Borosage that Bernie’s agenda will be played out in full with a Clinton nomination by the Democrat is wishful and at worst naive in politics – Wall Street, Corporate politico sponsors will breathe too easy a huge relief!

Posted by rissey | Report as abusive

Clinton or Sanders doesn’t matter, keeping the repulsivecons out of the White House is the top priority. America can’t afford another right wing nut job as president.

Posted by Whipsplash | Report as abusive

Normally I am at odds with Reuters which seems to have written a fairly accurate objective article on the US elections rather than staking a partisan position I am greatly impressed in what will reflect well not just in some quarters but worldwide.

Good show.

Posted by USpolicestate | Report as abusive

It’s so inspiring to see Reuters cover this story, when others have been running in the other direction for so long. We’re glad to have you with us on the Bernie Sanders freedom train. Stay along for the ride – I think you’ll be glad to did!

Posted by moda | Report as abusive