Thursday, May 5, 2016

#BernieOrBust vs. #NeverTrump

And then there was 1: John Kasich has dropped out--apparently having a moment of clarity as his plane was about to take off. This leaves Trump as the "presumptive" nominee. Basically, as the nominee. Unless something happens (an FBI indictment, a bolt of lightning, etc.) it will be Hillary vs. Donald. Clinton vs. Trump.

This has certain implications.


The #NeverTrump movement spent 75 million dollars trying to stop Trump--and failed.  Now there are lists of people saying they'll never vote for Trump, burning their Voter Registration cards, and so on. While a decent number of high profile bloggers are in either the #NeverEverTrump category or maybe the #WellOkayIfHeTOTALLYChangesOrSomething group, some of the bigger names (Limbaugh) are in Trump's camp.

The question is: (a) How big is this movement really and (b) will this philosophy hold to November.


There's also #NeverHillary. As Sanders asymptotically approaches losing the nomination (but vows to stay in and fundraising continues) his supporters make it more and more clear they'll never come around. They might vote Green. They might vote Trump. Whatever the case, though, they Won't Vote Hillary. They might also be lending their names to The Revolt Against Plutocracy.

The question is: (a) How big is this movement really and (b) will this philosophy hold to November.

It's actually a picture of a communist May Day demonstration in Cuba.

Some Fundamental Differences

The Omnivore firstly sees two fundamental differences between #NeverTrump and #BernieOrBust. Both of them have to do with money.

  1. Real Politicians are #NeverTrump. Yes, a lot of guys like Rubio have rolled over for Trump--but not everyone. People who currently hold elected office, are standing members of the Republican party--or, in the case of the surviving Bushes, ex-presidents, are firmly against Trump. While Elizabeth Warren has not endorsed Hillary, she probably will when the primary is over. This is a substantial difference.
  2. #BernieOrBust got #DropOutHillary trending. #NeverTrump, raised and spent 75 million dollars. This is a massive distinction. It's kinda the same split that the Tea Party had vs. Occupy Wall Street. Tea Party people got candidates elected. Occupy just froze in the park.
There's also the issue of sample size:
Comparing the total voting of Clinton-to-Sanders-to-Trump, it is clear that if, as the poll says, 1/4th of current Sanders voters will NEVER vote for Hillary that's not all that significant in the general election.

If you compare that to 1/3rd of Republican primary voters who say they won't vote for Trump (or Clinton)--and map that across all the red, that's a larger group. If we use the RCP Total vote count and take the 40% of 9MM Sanders voters who will never vote for Clinton vs. the 30% of Republican voters who will never vote for Trump, the actual difference in numbers would be:
  • 3,719,643 #BernieOrBust 
  • 4,344,162 #NeverTrump 
Now, this assumes that (a) the exit polls are right, (b) that those percentages hold, (c) that the sample value is applicable in some way to the general campaign, etc. But the point is that compared to the general election no one has voted yet and anti-Trumps still outpace anti-Clintons by a margin.

There's also the issue of, well, timing. #BernieOrBust is still in a state of denial that Sanders could be elected. As such,. there is potentially more ROI for them to adopt a hardened stance. For #NeverTrump, though, while the group launched during the campaign, they are still active after Trump is the nominee. That's ... different.

Well, I guess it’s all over. I held the line for as long as I could, but now it looks like Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. It’s never fun to admit that defiance is futile, but it’s time for me to make amends. It’s time to build bridges. It’s time to reach out to all my Trump-supporting brothers and sisters. Here’s why I’m going back on my word and voting for Donald Trump in November, and why you should too:
He plays Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up and then continues with:
Get this through your thick skulls, Trumpkins: #NeverTrump doesn’t mean #MaybeTrump. It doesn’t mean #NeverTrumpUnlessCruzDropsOut. It means just what it says. #NeverTrump.
These are not the words of someone who thinks they still have a chance to influence things.

Of course a lot of the #BernieOrBust people are using the same rhetoric--or at least similar--but there is a difference in clarity. NeverTrump knows they have lost. The party they want may no longer exist. They are no longer entertaining anyone causing a contested convention.

The #BernieOrBust people still are. The Omnivore thinks that's where the difference comes in.

The Main Difference

The real operational difference here is that #NeverTrump is clear about where they stand. They've invested millions of dollars (but Bernie has raised millions too, right? Wrong. Not the same.). #NeverTrump has people endangering their jobs (the RNC has told staffers who aren't behind Trump to quit by the end of the week). But isn't that happening to #BernieOrBust too? Kinda--there may be some stress over not voting Hillary--but honestly? It's not the same.

Basically #NeverTrump is laying it on the line right now. #BernieOrBust has a lot less skin in the game. The Omnivore assesses that #BernieOrBust will go the way of the PUMAS--going down in fury over a burst bubble of belief that they could win if they just believed hard enough. Green Party voters won't vote for Hillary--sure--but they were never going to. On the other hand, Democratic voters who don't like Hillary at all will start to come around when Sanders campaigns for her.

That will not happen with #NeverTrump. It seems unlikely that Cruz will campaign for Trump (although prove The Omnivore wrong!). It seems unlikely that major conservative mouth-pieces (the NRO) will fall in line. What they have is their ideological clarity. They're not going to jettison it for Trump.


  1. Looking forward to an upcoming post titled, perhaps, "GOP: Civil War"

    1. Working on it!
      -The Omnivore