A few new polls started making the rounds yesterday on Reddit and elsewhere and as I watched people freaking out, I remembered that is probably just the reaction some of the pollsters would like, to sway decisions and create doubt among supporters. Don’t fall for it. Also, look for more of them to come out soon. For the sake of sanity I’m not posting the link to all the polls that were talked about yesterday or for another one that came out today. Today’s poll put together by Public Policy Polling, showed Bernie Sanders in the exact position he was a month ago. 35 points behind Clinton. While some question the accuracy of that poll(including me) let’s pretend for a second that the numbers are correct and that Sanders does trail Clinton nationally by that wide of a margin.
The point I’d insert here is that much of Bernie Sanders’ support comes from the politically disenfranchised. People that over the last several years or even decades have given up and believe that it doesn’t matter who you vote for. And while there are some arguments to be made on whether that stance is right or wrong, the fact still remains, they’ve been turned off for a long time. But Bernie has energized and electrified many of them. Some people think that as much as 60 percent of his supporters belong to that crowd. Toss in some percentage points for younger voters and what you come up with is a wide swath of support for Sanders that absolutely is not going to show up in the polls, mainly because of the polling methods.
The recent poll from Iowa shows Bernie closing the gap in a huge way. In May Clinton held a 41 point lead but has watched that massive lead evaporate as more and more people begin to #FeelTheBern – this particular Iowa poll shows him 7 points behind her now and that’s an enormous climb in just a few months. Of course we all know he actually took the lead in New Hampshire but even with Sanders’ meteoric rise, some of the polls show Hillary Clinton still carrying a substantial lead. Some of them show a 50 plus point margin over Bernie but one has to remember that sometimes these polls come back with just what the pollsters want(as we talked about earlier) A new Rasmussen Reports poll just came out August 26 and while this one shows Bernie gaining, once again the methodology is a little sketchy but like I alluded to, consider the source of these polls and look at the entire picture. We’ll get to the bigger picture soon, we promise.
You also sometimes have polls that are ran by people that have history with Wall Street pandering democratic hopefuls such as the case with a poll that a company called Hart Research Associates runs. BTW, they provide the polling data for at least one large and dare we say highly influential poll on NBC / WSJ(Wall Street Journal) and with Geoff Garin who used to be Clinton’s campaign strategist as president of the company, you’d have to have your head buried in the sand to think there’s not at least a little bit of favoritism going on there.
But there’s even more madness to be had: In a recent Gallup poll, it was shown that Bernie Sanders is less familiar with democrats than he was a month ago. What on God’s green earth are these people smoking? Have we gotten to a point in this country where they feel they can blatantly throw out data like that and that people will believe it? Bernie drew 100K in a recent west coast weekend and has added hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and somehow becomes less familiar? One thing that absolutely has to be taken into account is that these weapons are all part of the game that the power brokers play but Bernie is hell bent on changing the rules and with a massive fanbase that grows larger everyday, he is having a lot of success doing just that.
One more word about polls. Most of them are weighted by more landline calls than they are cell phones. That’s important because Bernie is resonating very well with the younger crowd and a good 2/3 of them don’t use or even own a cell phone, so their voice is not being counted in the polls. In a 2014 poll conducted by Pew Research Center, 66% of 25-29 year old adults don’t have a landline and 60% of those 30-34 don’t either. I’ve seen other surveys with even less landline usage but you get the point.
Aside from the polls though and why I think Bernie is actually the frontrunner is his social media dominance and the internet in general. Bernie Sanders reigns supreme in that department and it ain’t even close. Last week the Sanders camp flew past the Clinton camp on Facebook in terms of fans that have liked the page and a quick glance at each page tell two different stories. The social engagement battle is clearly being won by Bernie and his army of people that #feelthebern. When he or his team post something on Facebook it will as a rule gain tens of thousand likes with thousands of shares. Bernie’s engagement is so high, he could probably make his own social media network if he wanted to. When Hillary posts something the engagement is far less, generally 15-20% of Sanders’ engagement and that is within her own fanbase. Back in the beginning of July, when Hillary held a 200,000 plus lead over Bernie in the Facebook department we put together some social media numbers, you can see that HERE. And the amount of Bernie pages, profiles, accounts and websites is staggering.
Next you have an animal called Reddit and there you’ll see that even when Clinton’s name is mentioned there it is usually mentioned with Bernie’s name as well. With over 5 million daily views on the frontpage of that site it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that that it is a huge weapon in Bernie’s arsenal. His /subreddit which is a hotbed of grassroots organizing, boasts over 97,000 very active readers.
Tumblr is a universe all to its own and I’m guessing many in this race didn’t even know it existed before this campaign. I imagine questions coming from them like “and just what is a Tumblr?” But Tumblr also belongs to Sanders. While Bernie’s lead on Facebook is huge, the 246 million mini-bloggers on Tumblr have a powerful voice and people like Tyler Oakley, who boasts a fanbase in the several million range across all social networks and a young fanbase clearly on Team Bernie, the Tumblr crowd is largely untouchable by the establishment. There isn’t enough money on planet to buy ads believable enough to sway them.
All of this makes Bernie even more of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and he is your actual frontrunner, regardless of what some of the polls are saying.