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Sanders vs Warren

It would a fascinating proposition of the democratic left; left liberals, social democrats, democratic socialists, mutualists, ancoms, etc realised that the populist and establishment right were the bigger enemy. Well, a genuine attempt has started,Progressives Unite 2020, to bring to gether the competing Sanders and Warren camps for the US Democrats. But disagreements are deep even when appeals to unity are made; as one Facebook interlocutor put it:

Wouldn't it be great if old white men stopped saying a woman can't win in 2020? Lefties are not necessarily supporters of feminism and this guy is a case in point and has form. Btw that’s what the rift's [sic] about. That and Sanders undermining her.

Now I don't know what Sanders said to Warren in private conversation, but we have on record what he said publically: "Does anybody in their right mind think a woman can’t be elected president?” Of course a woman can win". Of course, this rapidly devolves into "he said", "she said". With no sense of irony, my interlocutor said that Sanders couldn't be trusted because he is a politician.

It was suggested if Sanders wanted a woman to win, he wouldn't split the vote between progressive candiates; it was pointed out that he didn't want a woman to win - He said that a woman *could* be elected President. But I don't think he would want Ann Coulter or Ivanka Trump. So who should drop out, Warren or Sanders? The fact that it split the vote was agreed. Both candidates announced their nomination on the same day.

The polls suggested that Sanders would have a better chance of winning rather than Warren. But polls have been wrong; Clinton vs Trump, Shorten vs Morrison. All they provide is a balance of probabilities; as 5:38 pointed out just prior to US election, there was still a 28% chance of Trump winning. Either say, Trump has made it clear that he would relish Sanders or Warren as an opponent.

Warren's big problem is, despite humble origins, is finding an appeal to the white uneducated Christian working-class vote of the rust belt. Because that's where Clinton lost, big time. If the Democrats don't win Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio etc they'll lose.

Several months ago, I would have agreed with my interlocutor on the Warren vs Sanders debate, I was supportive of the Warren campaign and indeed argued that strategically a Warren/O'Rourke ticket would have good widespread appeal. I grimaced at the fact that Sanders was even running, as I felt that he was getting on a bit, and was splitting the progressive vote.

But the ground has shifted. I knew that Sanders, despite his relatively simple approach to policy, had widespread support, especially in the rustbelt states and curiously among religious people. But it was only recently that it became clear to me that his secret weapon is that he appeals to those who have disengaged from politics. Warren can't do that; they're seen as part of the Establishment, albeit an internal thorn. Sanders is hard to beat because his supporters ar so committed.

Warren is an awesome policy wonk, and really challenged the commercial bureaucrats for not doing their job. They would make an excellent Secretary of State. I understand that under the circumstances of a gradual but consistent decline in the polls they need to get a break somehow.

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