Even Fox News had to admit that Hillary Clinton’s South Carolina primary win (73.5%-26%) was resounding. So of course they went to work painting her as a loser.
The booking of Hillary-hater Ron Fournier as a panelist pretty much guaranteed a good dose of Hillary bashing no matter who won. And Fournier surely didn't disappoint the Fox producer who booked him. “This race is now hers to lose,” Fournier said of Clinton, and then immediately followed up by “just wondering” if she’ll be indicted. “Her biggest impediment really is the FBI primary, whatever comes out of the investigation, if anything.”
While he was at it, Fournier got in a dig about Obama. He noted there were fewer white voters in this South Carolina primary than in 2008, “maybe because how the party’s changed under Barack Obama.” But, he acknowledged, “Unless something really big changes, she’s going to be the nominee.”
Panelist Charles Krauthammer agreed. “The only thing that’s gonna stop her is gonna be the Comey primary, he’s head of the FBI. If there’s a criminal referral, that’s the lightning strike that would elevate somebody like a Sanders.”
Krauthammer went on to give Bernie Sanders some props (which would surely disappear should Sanders start looking like the nominee): “He’s got the money, he doesn’t have to go out and campaign from fat cats. He’s got the biggest and most successful internet fundraising machine ever which means he’ll be able to go everywhere and he will stay in it until the end. Even if he only ends up as the number two and will speak for a movement.”
Host Bret Baier brought up some elements “that are troubling” for Clinton. He cited the young vote going to Sanders 65/35. “White men, almost 70/30, there against Hillary Clinton.”
Panelist Stephen Hayes agreed that was “potentially troubling for Hillary Cinton in a general election.”
Hayes said Clinton “cleaned up” except with voters who said “honest and trustworthy” were the most important qualities where she won by 52/48.
Hayes also noted that Clinton beat Sanders on the issue of income inequality.
So Baier made a point of swiping at Clinton over her “Wall Street speeches.” They didn’t “seem to show up in these results, anyplace, yet,” Baier said, “but there are other states it could factor into.”
Panelist A.B. Stoddard got in her own dig. “What we’re gonna watch is how hard he [Sanders] pushes on the Wall Street speeches… As he slides down the tunnel walls, is he going to actually come out and really swing hard at her?”
Fournier apparently hoped so. “We have Sanders who really hasn’t come as hard on Hillary as he could and as he should if he really wanted to win,” he said, before adding, “and we have the entire Republican party hasn’t come as hard on Trump until these last few minutes, last few races. So we’re very likely to have a general election fight between Trump and Hillary Clinton, two of the most untrustworthy, disliked, most polarizing candidates in our lifetimes.”
Before long, Baier stepped in to defend Trump. “Obviously, there’s a groundswell of support for Donald Trump who do believe that he’s trustworthy and that showed up in entrance and exit polls in past contests,” Baier assured viewers.
But, hey, the gang must be slipping. Not one of them brought up Benghazi.
Watch it below, from Fox News’ coverage of the February 27 South Carolina Democratic primary.
I also keep hearing mainstream Republicans warning against Trump and making comments that they’re concerned he can’t win a general election.
The GOP primary numbers for Donald Trump reflect that GOP base voters are turning out for him on a 35-45 percent level, while the other voters are split between other options. I don’t know that this shows that this means that more casual independent voters are suddenly turning to Trump. I agree that the GOP is more stirred up right now, and that many of them frankly hate Hillary Clinton. But many of them also hate Donald Trump.
It’s certainly possible that Trump could somehow get past all of his negatives (and they’re huge) and get himself a term in the White House. In the event that this somehow occurs, and in the event that the Senate remains in GOP control by an equal fluke, we could be looking at a significant crisis here. Trump would immediately try to completely undo every single thing that happened during the Obama administration and nominate the most right wing judge possible to fill Antonin Scalia’s seat. His bellicose attitude toward the world would result in a trade battle with Mexico and potentially a brand new cold war with Russia. That’s not to mention all the other international fun he’d cause. Which would in turn pull the legs out of the economy – I’d expect a severe downturn to start within 6-9 months of his arriving in DC, which he’d then blame on everyone else.
But all of that is easily avoidable. Dems do need to show up at the polls, just as they did in 2012. If they choose to stay home in the swing states, they’ll effectively hand the election to the most inappropriate and potentially dangerous person we’ve seen go for the Presidency in many years. I can’t believe that the people of this country would be that foolish. I think people’s instincts are better than that. But if I’m wrong, we’ll get the President and the government we deserve.
Don’t underestimate Trump. Don’t underestimate the passion of raw voter anger. Don’t pretend it’s just the Republicans running to Trump. Democrats – Blue Dogs who are legion here in the South – are gaga over the demagogue. It’s anecdotal but I keep bumping into a lot of people who I’d never suspect it but who are just loving Trump. Also, don’t underestimate the foaming hatred of Obama and an electorate convinced Hillary is the 2nd incarnation of him in a pantsuit.
My feel is – at this moment in time – the right is far more stirred up than the left and what passes as all the rest – call them independents – are mostly looking the Republicans’ way. The primary numbers back me up. Republicans are seeing a heavier turnout.
Bernie Sanders is by far exceeding expectations but a core of his base is young people who are notorious for not voting. Hillary is so weak it looked for a moment he’d take the whole thing – another indication, IMHO, of the plight of Democrats this election cycle. Certainly, this excited relatively small but passionate liberal core of Progressives. It’s no surprise to me Progressive blogs I follow like Daily Kos, The Raw Story, Salon, etc. have a strong tingle going up their leg over Bernie but, frankly, the guy’s a populist crackpot. He has a snowball’s chance in Hades of winning a general election. Someone mentioned 99% of the Hillary supporters would hold their noses and vote Bernie. My girlfriend and myself must be the 1%. More to the point, I don’t think you have the pulse of a swing state like here in Virginia. We’ll see if I’m wrong tomorrow on Super Tuesday.
Don’t project reality based upon what you hope for. I’d prefer Hillary of this cast of Republican and Democrat clowns but in a year of a worked up electorate pining for populist crackpots, pragmatism will struggle. I’m hoping Trump self-destructs and flames out in the general election but fear the unthinkable that he’s an effective shyster who might insult and bluff his way to the White House. Prepare yourself for Der Furor making a lot of Hillary in pantsuits jokes.
I can’t see a lot of voters getting worked up to vote for Hillary unless they’re worked up to vote against Trump. I’m not sure that’s enough.
Pundits keep pointing out demographic trends favor Democrats but we’re still at a point in history where turnout is still what matters. Keep in mind Republicans control a majority of the states and have been working hard at voter suppression efforts.
Now that I’m watching more mainstream media, I’m hearing more analysis Trump can’t win the election. For example, Chuck Todd was on “Today” pitching this idea. I’m hoping and praying he’s true. If Republicans control all 3 branches it’s going to be a really ugly time in America.
I’ve also seen various people throw in the idea that it would be better for us to have an off-the-charts bad Trump Presidency and a horrible Congress that would screw everything up so badly that they wouldn’t be able to weasel out of it. I’ve tried to correct that thinking with what we’ve actually seen over the past 15 years. The reality is that the right wing makes a mess out of the economy and the country and then blames everyone else when the Dems have to come in and clean it up. The W. administration pretty much wrecked our economy but Fox News never wanted to hear about it while it was happening. They’d hoped (as did W.) that things would peter on until after the 2008 election so they could blame the successor for whatever happened. Unfortunately for them, everything crashed about 9 months earlier than they wanted. So what did they do? Take responsibility? Of course not. They attempted to pretend nothing was wrong. Until President Obama took office – at which point it was suddenly all his fault.
My read of the Sanders voters is that there definitely is a hard-core group that will not vote for anyone but him under the Democrat ticket. But this group is primarily older voters – these are people who voted for McGovern back in the day (or wished they were old enough to have done so) and they’re thinking this is their last chance to vote for someone they really believe in. For those voters, Hillary Clinton is never going to be an option.
But I also believe that Sanders will be realistic after he deals with the consequences of this Tuesday. In the end, I believe he will ask his supporters to vote for Clinton in the general, for the greater good. I believe many of them will do so – some because he asked them to, and some because they’ve been able to do the math themselves.
At the same time, on the right wing, I’m not seeing Cruz supporters like Beck giving any ground to Donald Trump. To them, Trump is identical to Hillary Clinton. I don’t see any of the real far right wingers pulling the lever for Trump. And at the same time, a lot of the more moderate GOP voices I’ve been seeing also have issues with Trump, meaning that they’d either sit on their hands or actually vote the other way.
I don’t think this is the same thing as 2010 (or 2014, or even 2000 or 2004 for that matter). 2010 was not a presidential election year, and the GOP took advantage of the phenomenon you noted as well as the basic issue of more GOP voters tending to show up in off-year elections. I think this will be a similar situation to 2012, where turnout will be crucial, and where the GOP will repeatedly try to spin the election as inevitably favoring their candidate.
Let’s see what happens later this week. The Dems will have to accept Hillary Clinton as their standard bearer for certain, and the GOP will be forced to stomach what their behavior has wrought. My instincts say there will be real fireworks on the right wing side of the equation.
Basically, what I’m seeing is a virtual repeat of 2010, when far too many self-described progressives chose to stay home to “punish” Obama for not being as far-left as they thought he was (seriously, anyone who voted for Obama in 2008 because they thought he was a hardcore progressive simply chose to delude themselves—Obama’s Senate voting record was virtually identical to Clinton’s, with their major difference coming on women’s issues, on which Clinton was the “more progressive” candidate). They were incensed that he didn’t provide “Medicare for all/single-payer” health care coverage (again—not bothering to pay attention to the opposition Obama had to deal with).
I have read a lot of these “progressives” who’ve somehow managed to convince themselves that a far right-wing Presidency and far right-wing Congress will wind up being so bad that the people will “rise up” and toss them all out for a magical group of progressive candidates to usher in a progressive paradise. Of course, these are some utter narcissists who seem to think the country would survive such a horror.
Clinton’s supporters obviously want her to be the nominee as much as Sanders’ supporters want him to be the nominee. But, realistically speaking, I’m betting Sanders would pick up 99% of Clinton’s supporters if he’s the nominee. I’m betting Clinton would be lucky to get even 50% of Sanders’ supporters because too many of them seem to have no fucking understanding of politics. Sanders or Clinton will have to deal with a GOP-controlled House (there is NO feasible way of swinging 30 seats from the GOP to the Dems this cycle—most analyses I’ve seen suggest there’s a chance to pick up 20, at most; it’s true that the GOP captured 60 seats in 2010 to take the House majority, but that election was using the PREVIOUS district lines—in 2012, following redistricting, the Dems only managed to pick up 9 seats during a Presidential election, a year in which the Democratic President was re-elected by a 3.5 percentage point margin). And, considering how hampered Obama was in 2009 and 2010 with a GOP minority (the GOP never held more than 178 seats through the period, until Election Day of 2010 when they had 180 for almost a month), just imagine how well President Sanders (who has proudly called himself a Socialist) would fare with a GOP majority (keeping in mind that the GOP has spent the last 7 years obstructing Obama’s “Socialist” agenda)—even a narrow GOP majority.
I’m not a registered Democrat and am not supporting either one. I like both and will happily vote for whoever wins the nomination. I do hope everyone comes together in the end, pretty much as they did in 2008.
On the opposite side of the fence, you have the non-Trump voters in the GOP, most of whom will NOT support him. The die-hard Ted Cruz group will not settle for Trump – they hate him. The more centrist GOP voters who could have voted for Kasich or Rubio will be split between just holding their nose for the party’s choice and either sitting out the election, or, shocker, becoming a Clinton Republican. I don’t think you’ll see nearly as many Dems deciding that they don’t like Hillary Clinton so their best bet is to go vote for someone like Trump.
It’s also fascinating to watch how each side is discussing the numbers. Just as they did in 2012, the Dem analysts are cautioning that this will be a close election – making sure that turnout is as high as possible, as they should. This is a commendable approach, as you don’t really know how things will go until Election Day, after which everyone can wax poetical about how they knew all along, etc. The difference is with the GOP analysts. In 2012, they repeatedly predicted a landslide for themselves, saying that President Obama couldn’t get re-elected due to the economy or whatever other reason they could concoct. When the polling showed Obama ahead, they insisted that Romney was actually doing better than anyone knew and began generating oddities like Unskewed Polls to artificially move the numbers where they wanted them. It was only after the election that they admitted they’d been fudging the numbers. But that was 2012. This year, they’re openly stating that they’re worried about Trump’s prospects. Let’s see if that changes after he clinches the nomination.
That Fox sucks is a given…we all know that they have always been obsessed with hatred and fear of the Clintons.
But to constantly see & hear the constant whining and self-absorbed threats by “Democrats” that claim they cannot vote for the other candidate if their choice does not win the nomination is quite possibly the stupidest political position I’ve ever heard. As stupid and crazy as the Republicans are, they will unite behind the party’s choice. Maybe they don’t have an exclusive on ‘dumb’?
Followed by a very snarky, “But then you knew that already, didn’t you?”
“Special Report’s” All-Star panel has actually gotten worse since then. Moderate (and likely registered Republican) Mara Liasson isn’t on as much, for example, and typically it features a panel like the one in this clip where there’s no dissension, just a conservative mutual masturbation society. Which is to say the All-Star panel is more biased than even a comedy act like “The Five” which at least uses some weak ‘lib’ like registered Republican Geraldo who many cons hate as a RINO to play the useful idiot.
Of course, “The Five” doesn’t do this to be diverse. It does it for the kabuki theater of watching the lib get piled on and put into their place like some scripted WWE wrestling match. “Special Report” is modeled after mainstream, serious journalism programming but apparently can’t even fake a diverse panel without losing audience. So sad.
The really story here isn’t another Fox News ‘debate’ spewing endless hatred of Hillary, one of their favorite punching bags. For me, the story is Fox News’ right-wing audience is following the national trend of becoming more and more partisan, angry, and intolerant of anyone not fitting their orthodoxy. All of Fox’s programming is reflecting this as Democrats – other than Blue Dog Democrats who hate the party as it stands now – almost have no presence in the GOPTV™ alternate reality bubble.
In the longer term of the next few years, this may be better for them, as it will give Fox News many more opportunities to attack both Clintons. (And there will be the issue of how Fox News will begin to deal with its declining viewership – do they go for a smaller but angrier fanbase, or do they adjust the formula to try to attract a more moderate GOP group?)
In the shorter term, they’re going to have to endure this election cycle and the significant fallout likely to come from it.