Since it seems to be a popular talking point for Hillbots, I thought I would write up a rebuttal to the claim that Hillary won the primary and was therefore more popular than Bernie/the stronger candidate/the coming of the divine prophet of the democrats, or whatever other claim Hillbots want to make.
The claims are all based on this: ‘Well, Hillary won the popular vote in the primary by several million.’ So here is why this is an irrelevant statistic:
1 Caucuses don’t count individual votes
This is significant, because Bernie tended to do really well in caucus states. Whether he did well enough there to tip the popular vote is debatable, but it would certainly narrow this gap.
2 There’s very good reason to think election fraud occurred in Hillary’s favour.
Analysis from Berkeley and Stanford found that there was a 1 in 77 billion chance that the results of the primary were not biased towards Hillary via election fraud. This is based on statistical analysis of discrepancies between exit polls and actual results. This method is how the US determines if foreign elections are fair: more than a very tiny discrepancy, and the chances there was voter fraud skyrocket.
In addition to this, we have numerous other accounts of fraud/bias in favour of Hillary. Eye witness testimony regarding Broward county, for example. Many thousands of people in Brooklyn mysteriously disappearing from the voter rolls just before the primary. Delegates changing the rules by seconding their own motions.
In other words, the vote tallies favoured Hillary, but that doesn’t mean the voters did.
3 The media and the DNC both worked hard to push Hillary
Remember when a leading newspaper ran sixteen hit pieces on Sanders in sixteen hours? Remember how leaked documents showed that CNN gave Hillary debate questions ahead of time? Remember how the DNC chair was fired for being biased in favour of Hillary (and was then immediately hired by Clinton’s campaign)? Leaked documents show DNC members, who are required to be impartial by their own charter, were working to push Hillary. If you want more details, read up on the DNC Fraud Lawsuit. A good place to start is here.
4 The Dem primaries are a bad way to judge a candidate’s viability in the general
Even supposing that Hillary won the Dem primaries fair and square, and then lost in the general, does not mean Bernie would have also lost in the general. For one thing, he campaigned pretty much entirely on issues, whereas Hillary ran the least issue-oriented campaign in decades. She failed to campaign in key swing states like Michigan. She insulted voters, calling them ‘deplorable’ and ‘basement dwellers.’ And let’s not forget the numerous independents whom Bernie could attract, but Hillary could not. Let’s not forget the ‘Dem to deplorable’ Bernie supporters, perhaps most famously Cassandra Fairbanks, whose hatred of Hillary was so strong that they flipped to supporting Trump, or the #BernieOrBust crowd who wrote in Bernie or voted for Jill, rather than vote for Hillary. Trump supporters themselves seemed to be more open to Bernie than to Hillary (consider the ‘vote trading’ agreements some republicans and democrats were making, to vote for Trump and Bernie); both, after all, were in agreement that something needs to be done to make America great, while Hillary ran on the ‘it’s already great, you deplorable basement-dwellers’ platform.
Winning the democratic primary, especially in states with closed primaries, is therefore very little indicator of widespread appeal. And in a country where the independents and third party members greatly outnumber either major political party, appealing outside the party is exactly what is needed to win a general election. And it is exactly what Bernie could have done.
Finally, let’s not forget that throughout the primaries and all the way up to the election, polls showed Clinton and Trump virtually tied, but Sanders beating Trump by a substantial margin. And the polls turned out to be pretty accurate: Clinton won the popular vote by a fairly small margin, while losing the electoral college miserably. This is quite good evidence that Bernie’s popularity over Trump would have rocketed him to victory.