Democrats need a candidate capable of winning and must not assume that voters will rely solely upon name recognition as they drive to the polls on November 8, 2016. There's a reason Yahoo writes that "More Americans distrust Hillary Clinton than trust her." There's also a reason that CNN reports 55 percent of registered voters have an "unfavorable" view of the former Secretary of State. In terms of building trust or increasing Clinton's favorability rating among Americans, this will be difficult since only 1 percent of registered voters have "never heard of" Hillary Clinton and her emails are the subject of an ongoing controversy.
Democrats won't be able to win on November 8, 2016 if the Democratic nominee's server is still being investigated by a total of five intelligence agencies: the FBI, National Security Agency, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Geospatial Agency. By the middle of the next president's term, 4 Supreme Court justices will be in their 80's, so the Democratic Party faces a monumental choice in 2016.
Most importantly, below are five reasons Senator Bernie Sanders is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton, in terms of both the Democratic nomination and general election. Considering Sanders just raised $1.2 million in only two days (after an attack from a Clinton super PAC), these five reasons are rooted in various competitive advantages possessed by the Vermont Senator.
1. Bernie Sanders has always embodied the value system that Democrats were supposed to uphold when polls weren't in the favor of progressives.
He's not a Democrat!
Well, Bernie Sanders embodied progressive values and principles when Democrats abandoned them; turning our two-party system into Republican and Republican-lite on war, gay marriage, and other issues.
Asking why Hillary Clinton was against gay marriage until 2013, when most Democrats had already viewed gay marriage as a human right, is usually met with silence or the viewpoint that it's alright to "evolve" on a contentious issue.
Bernie Sanders voted against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.
When asked about her Iraq War vote, Clinton calls it a "mistake," but still espouses an aggressive foreign policy. Vox writes that Hillary Clinton will pull Democrats -and the country- in a hawkish direction. Also, Jacom Heilbrunn in The New York Times asks, Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton?
Bernie Sanders voted against Iraq and he accurately predicted the repercussions of invading the country.
On the Trans Pacific Partnership and Keystone XL, both issues that Bernie Sanders vehemently opposes, Clinton has either dodged questions or is on record as supporting both controversial issues in the past.
In terms of facing the eventual GOP nominee, Hillary Clinton's centrism will hurt her chances of winning a general election. Voters who desire a hawkish foreign policy or think Keystone XL is a good idea already vote Republican. The belief that Hillary Clinton appeals to the moderate (or somewhat conservative) swing voter doesn't correlate to reality; these people either don't trust her or vote Republican.
2. According to Quinnipiac University's Swing State Polls in July and August, voters in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Iowa and Virginia have an unfavorable view of Hillary Clinton and don't find her trustworthy.
Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio total 67 electoral votes. The problem with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee is that voters in these states, along with other key states, don't trust Clinton. According to Quinnipiac University's Swing State Poll on August 20th, you might think she's qualified, but qualifications and campaign money won't win a person's trust:
Clinton gets a negative 37 - 55 percent favorability rating and voters say 64 - 32 percent she is not honest and trustworthy.
Ohio voters give Clinton a negative 36 - 54 percent favorability rating and say 60 - 34 percent she is not honest and trustworthy.
Pennsylvania voters give Clinton a negative 38 - 55 percent favorability rating and say 63 - 32 percent she is not honest and trustworthy.
If you think Sanders can't win a general election, read the numbers above. Then ask what the chances are of swing states turning blue on Election Day if voters find Clinton "not honest and trustworthy," or have an unfavorable view of the Democratic candidate.
In Colorado, Iowa and Virginia, Quinnipiac University's July 22 Swing State Poll finds the same results pertaining to Clinton's image:
Colorado voters say 62 - 34 percent that Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy.
Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, Iowa voters say 59 - 33 percent.
Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, Virginia voters say 55 - 39 percent.
These three states total 28 electoral votes. Combine them with the 67 of Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and you get 95 electoral votes. If 270 wins you the presidency, and voters in states totaling 95 electoral votes find Hillary Clinton "not honest and trustworthy" (and hold an unfavorable view of her), then how on Earth is Hillary Clinton a better candidate than Bernie Sanders?
3. Bernie Sanders never needed a private email server. Voters will eventually start asking why Clinton needed her public and private correspondence hidden from the government. Also, Bernie Sanders doesn't need an attorney to give an email server to the FBI.
If you don't find Reason #3 to be compelling, you're probably not interested in Reasons #4 and #5.
4. Bernie Sanders is never embroiled in scandal and his campaign is free to focus on issues like wealth inequality, healthcare, and education. In contrast, Hillary Clinton must contend with intelligence agencies and the media; limiting time that should be spent on key topics.
Presidential polls (not specifically asking about a person's character) rarely remain static, which is why Bernie Sanders has surged in the polls while Clinton's once colossal lead continues to dwindle. Furthermore, a person's trust doesn't follow poll numbers; you either trust Hillary Clinton or you don't. The 57 percent of Americans who don't trust Clinton aren't going to change by Election Day.
In contrast, trust is the foundation of the Bernie Sanders campaign, primarily because Vermont's Senator answers questions directly, never defends against scandal, and his supporters have no need to attack globally respected publications like The New York Times.
5. Hillary Clinton and her supporters are at odds with the media and U.S. intelligence agencies. Because of this bizarre scenario, the eventual GOP nominee can exploit these rifts and win in 2016.
When supporters of a potential Democratic nominee need to attack The New York Times, and when even the media is lumped alongside the GOP as being accused of "baseless attacks" against Clinton, then the Democratic Party should reevaluate its meaning of "inevitability."
The Clinton campaign's defense of scandal, incredulity regarding the definition of "classified," and its disdain of the media's reporting of this matter are all reasons Democrats should be concerned with a Clinton nomination. Because of the nature of these divisions, the theme of this presidential election is beginning to echo a Nixonian plot. From James Carville's reference of a surreal "witch hunt" and David Brock's condemnation of The New York Times, salacious plots seem to bolster the belief that others are out to undermine Hillary Clinton.
As the email story unfolds, the Clinton campaign and supporters continue to paint accusers in a negative light. While Richard Nixon once claimed, "the press is the enemy," Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House is seemingly riddled with adversaries never before faced by Democrats.
For a certain Democratic candidate, The New York Times is now "the enemy."
The definition of classified information is now "the enemy."
The notion of a "double standard" is now "the enemy."
Ultimately, voters will need to answer two questions on Election Day, regardless of whether or not they believe in conspiracy theories. Will Democrats elect Hillary Clinton and move the Democratic Party towards a conservative direction on foreign policy and war?
Or, will Democrats nominate Bernie Sanders, a man who just surpassed Clinton in Iowa and New Hampshire without the help of a Super PAC? In reality, Bernie Sanders is the most electable and honest candidate Democrats have in 2016, which is why he will win the nomination and can easily beat any GOP candidate. After all, you can't win the presidency with the FBI as a running mate and money can't buy a voter's trust.