Don’t Go Overboard With This

|
February 23, 2020 1:07 p.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

While I was away I had a lot of time to reflect and pull together my thoughts on the Democratic primary race. As I’ve stated in the past I think there are major downside risks for the Democrats if they nominate Bernie Sanders. At the same time, I see a lot of pundits and not a few Democrats saying that Sanders is “unelectable”.

As I say, I’ve made clear that I have a lot of skepticism about Sanders as a general election candidate. But the idea that he’s unelectable is just belied by too much evidence. The most important is this: pollsters have been polling a Sanders versus Trump contest for over a year. Virtually every one of those polls has shown Sanders beating Trump. The great majority show him beating Trump by margins that make an electoral college win very likely. None of this guarantees a Sanders victory, obviously. Indeed, there are two or three reasons I fear those numbers will not hold up – one being that Sanders has simply never faced a concerted negative campaign. (I’ll address those reasons in a separate post.) Given the enormous stakes, you don’t just want someone who has a shot. You want to be sure it’s the candidate with the best shot, to the extent you can ascertain that. But you simply can’t state as a fact that someone can’t win when virtually all the polling data shows they are at least a favorite. That’s certainly in spite of the evidence.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.

COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).

IHME Projections Site (COVID-19 epidemic model which has become the canonical model for many states and hospitals.)

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).

Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: