, 10 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
With Sen. Sanders throwing his hat into the ring, some data and observations from his 2016 primary campaign... 1/10
As with any political coalition of any meaningful size, Sanders' 2016 supporters weren't all alike. Sanders' 2016 campaign combined voters on the left w/ more disaffected, anti-establishment voters. I wrote about this coalition for @538politics here: fivethirtyeight.com/features/does-… 2/10
Take Sanders' 2016 victory in West Virginia Dem primary. Sanders did better in the places where Keith Judd had done better running against Obama in 2012. The ultimate protest candidate, Judd was a federal inmate who won > 40% of the WV vote in 2012. 3/10
Consistent with Sanders tapping into disaffection, Sanders also did better among those who termed themselves independents but leaned Dem, as I wrote about here: fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-s… 4/10
And one of the key ways in which Sanders' backers differed from Clinton backers was they were less pro-Obama well before Sanders ran, as I wrote about here: fivethirtyeight.com/features/voter… 5/10
So some part of Sanders' support was clearly an anti-Clinton protest. But he also had a core of quite liberal supporters, as I wrote about in that second @538politics piece. For instance, among strong Democrats, the Sanders supporters were markedly to the left of Clinton. 6/10
And here's a new result that speaks to that. In the winter of 2016, @kyledropp and @MorningConsult collected thousands of open-ended responses about why voters preferred either Clinton or Sanders. My research team & I then coded those responses as to whether they cited... 7/10
the candidates' policy positions, experience, ideology, demographics, or other factors. Sanders' backers were much more likely than Clinton backers to talk about either his policy proposals or the social groups he'd help, often defined in class terms. 8/10
That's more evidence that while Sanders benefited from being anti-Clinton candidate in '16, he was also preferred by many voters because of his policy positions. Questions moving forward: 1) how much of that left-leaning core can he hold in a very different 2020 Dem field? 9/10
2) In a multi-candidate field, will the anti-establishment Dem vote coalesce around a single candidate--and if so, will it be Sanders? My guess is that this will be tough--in 2016, Clinton was a quasi-incumbent. But we will see... 10/10
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