I hope that Bernie fans, among whom I count myself, keep an open mind: Maybe Hillary did win the Democratic debateTuesday night. Maybe the mainstream media’s declarations of her victory weren’t just Beltway insider spin to promote one of their own and snuff the socialist out of the picture.
With the caveat that the Trump-dumb, zero-sum notion of “winning” doesn’t so easily apply to smart debates like the Democrats’, we now have a couple of reliable polls that have Hillary, yes, crushing Sanders.
An NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll of 4,898 Democrats conducted earlier this week and released this morning asked who “did the best job in the debate?” It was Clinton 56 percent, Sanders 33 percent.
In a Gravis Marketing poll (which Daily Kos wrote “is obviously more reliable than the online ones we’ve seen, most of which do not even require user validation by SMS or email”) of 760 registered Democratic voters, Clinton did even better: 62 percent thought she won the debate to Sander’s 30 percent.
And, just in: A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll released today found that, post-debate, Clinton leads Sanders slightly, 37 to 35, in the New Hampshire primary, after a summer of Sanders leading her in the state. Moreover, of those who watched the debate, 54 percent said she won the debate to Sanders’s 24.
Until other post-debate polls clock in next week, we won’t know if these three are just outliers. But they directly contradict the avalanche of evidence—from online polls, social media, and focus groups–that emerged immediately after the debate showing that people thought Bernie won the night, hands down. As Alternet’s Adam Johson wrote on Wednesday:
Sanders won the CNN focus group, the Fusion focus group, and the Fox News focus group; in the latter, he even converted several Hillary supporters. He won the Slate online poll, CNN/Time online poll, 9News Colorado, The Street online poll, Fox5 poll, the conservative Drudge online poll and the liberal Daily Kos online poll. There wasn’t, to this writer’s knowledge, a poll he didn’t win by at least an 18-point margin. But you wouldn’t know this from reading the establishment press. The New York Times, the New Yorker, CNN, Politico, Slate, New York Magazine, and Vox all unanimously say Hillary Clinton cleaned house.