The poll that says Joe Biden leads Bernie Sanders among millenials requires one important caveat

“Joe Biden leads 2020 Democrats in millennial support, poll finds,” reads a CBS News article.

The article lists a survey from GenForward, a project of the University of Chicago.

I went and found the underlying survey, and there’s an important caveat here. The polling that shows former VP Joe Biden as ranked above Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is segregated into two slides, one of which is general millennials, and the other is several categories of Democratic voters. You can see there is a significant difference:



A fairly small number of people vote in Democratic Party presidential primaries, and they tend to be people who affiliate with the Democrats. This is an important asterisk on this poll, which suggests that Biden may not be trouncing Sanders among millenials after all.

Beto O’Rourke spoke to former UBS banker and Democratic mega donor Robert Wolf shortly before launching campaign, while Obama bundlers reaching out to finance industry for him

There’s a lot of buzz about how former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke brought in an impressive $6.1 million. This is a pretty good CNBC article laying out some clues, given that O’Rourke did not release data on his contributors like other campaigns did.

One of former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s supporters from his 2018 Senate campaign has been reaching out to top Democratic Party donors to see if they will back him to run for president in 2020.

Louis Susman, former U.S. ambassador to the U.K. and a lead bundler for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, has been speaking with political financiers from across the country, including those in the financial industry, to see if they will invest in O’Rourke’s campaign, according to people with direct knowledge of the outreach.

The former Obama backer has put together a string of senior party donors who are willing to contribute to the former congressman’s presidential operation, said the people, who declined to be named due to the conversations being deemed private.


Robert Wolf, a longtime party donor and a veteran on Wall Street, spoke with O’Rourke on Wednesday afternoon, he confirmed to CNBC. Wolf would not comment on whether he will support him in the 2020 election but said he was impressed by his initial presidential campaign rollout. O’Rourke had a “great positive message and very smart retail-style politics, where he launches locally in an Iowa coffee shop shaking hands and taking questions.”

On Twitter, Wolf then goes on to praise praise “grassroots donors” from all 50 states, which is probably not what O’Rourke spoke to him about.


Yes, Twitter isn’t real life, but Beto O’Rourke is still performing poorly in national and early state polls

In response to Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s strong fundraising numbers of news outlets have pointed out that Twitter isn’t real  life, a very accurate observation as its political aspects are basically a cesspool of highly socialized polarization that is reflective of just about no one in the electorate. It’s very true that hard left hipsters in Brooklyn (the left-leaning news media) are not the Democratic primary electorate.

But we do have a way of gauging where most Democrats stand: opinion research.

Here’s a Wisconsin poll conducted after O’Rourke launched his campaign:


“Twitter’s Insiders Are Skeptical About Beto O’Rourke. Iowans Don’t Seem To Care,” reads a Buzzfeed headline. But O’Rourke has also been regularly included in Iowa polls:


It’s similar for New Hampshire:



It’s possible that O’Rourke gains traction, things are early. But an objective reading of the race as it stands shows that he’s not in the top 3 candidates. That’s regardless of Twitter snark.

In Wisconsin, polling appears to suggest that a Biden entry helps Bernie Sanders, hurts Beto

This was a pretty interesting little result in the Emerson poll of Wisconsin:

The first Emerson College Wisconsin Poll of the Democratic primary finds Bernie Sanders holding a strong lead with 39% of the vote, followed by Joe Biden at 24%. In third place, Elizabeth Warren, the only other candidate in double digits, is at 14%. The poll was conducted March 15-17, n=324, +/- 5.4%. […]

If Joe Biden decides against running, it appears that this vote would split between Bernie Sanders at 23%, Beto O’Rourke at 20%, Kamala Harris at 16% and Elizabeth Warren at 14%. No other candidate receives over 10% if Biden does not run.

There is a good case to be made that Biden’s strong polling hurts the non-Sanders candidates more than it hurts Sanders, especially in places where the Vermont Independent Senator’s base is more consolidated.

Julian Castro takes shots at Bernie Sanders over reparations, but a reminder that he oversaw the nation’s housing policy as black wealth was decimated

On CNN, former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro took a few shots at Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, the current Democratic frontrunner, over his opposition to reparations:

On Sunday, Castro contrasted his own openness to the possibility of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves to a recent ABC interview where Sanders said there were better ways to address the issue than “just writing out a check.”
“To my mind that may or may not be the best way to address it,” Castro said. “However, it’s interesting to me that when it comes to Medicare for all, health care, you know, the response there has been we need to write a big check, that when it comes to tuition-free or debt-free college, the answer has been we need to write a big check.”
With respect to “writing out a check,” it’s important to remember that there actually have been a number of government transfer payments and private sector programs aimed at African Americans since the Great Society and reforms of the 1960’s. Some of these programs worked, others didn’t. What Sanders is essentially arguing with his programs like single-payer is that the institutions themselves should be transformed, rather than writing one-time cash payments. Castro is obscuring the difference.
But it’s also important to remember that Castro himself has a very bad record when it comes to black wealth. He oversaw the Housing and Urban Development agency at a time when black wealth in the US was being decimated. A number of activists complained about this record at a time when Castro was being considered for a vice presidential pick:

By the coalition’s calculations, HUD under Castro has sold 98 percent of the long-delinquent mortgages it acquired through a program aimed at preventing foreclosures to Wall Street banks under Castro’s watch, without anywhere near the number of needed strings attached. (HUD says that figure is way off.) And Nelson and Walters say that for a politician who’s aiming to be considered the vice presidential prospect for both progressives and minorities, Castro has done too much to help private equity firms like Blackstone, instead of black and Latino communities.

“If Secretary Castro fails to create significant momentum in terms of stopping the sale of mortgages to Wall Street, then I do think it disqualifies him. But there’s time left on the clock,” said Jonathan Westin, the director of New York Communities for Change, which was formed out of the remains of the community activist group ACORN. “I think a lot of the progressive movement would not be in support of a Castro ticket if he fails to make traction here.”

Let’s be clear. There’s one candidate, Marianne Williamson, who has drawn up an actual reparations plan. Everyone else is basically talking about the issue without proposing any solution. Williamson’s solution would allot $100 billion over ten years for jobs and education programs, which is actually in real terms a lot less money than has been aimed at distressed African Americans over the course of Great Society and post-Civil Rights Era programs. Sanders’s plans to make college and health care free, as well as robust government hiring with living wages, would be far more effective in reducing inequities.

New Hampshire State Rep. changes mind about endorsement after listening to Bernie Sanders’s life story, endorses him

Vermont’s Independent Senator Bernie Sanders is making the campaign more personal this time, arguing that his life story demonstrates that he has a lifelong commitment to the issues he is talking about.

This strategy appeared to pay off a little bit for Sanders this week, as a New Hampshire State Representative who had previously said he was going to wait until the first debate to endorse anyone decided to get behind Sanders.



Adjutant specifically cited elements of Sanders’s life story, and explained that he had no idea that Sanders was descended from survivors of the Holocaust or that he was involved in the civil rights movement. Sanders rarely referenced these details in 2016, but most of his super-fans certainly knew them. This example shows that Sanders himself telling his story may reach a far broader audience.