Corporate media has a story and it's sticking to it: Hillary Clinton has the Democratic nomination in the bag. Bernie hasn't a chance. Talk of big change may attract the under-30 crowd, but the majority of Democratic voters don't buy it. If you're not for Hillary, you're backing a loser, so you may as well stay home on primary day.
But Americans who are filling stadiums to support the peaceful evolution that is Bernie Sanders' Second American Revolution should not lose heart. Bernie insists that he is in the race to win, and this is still quite possible. Clinton is far from invincible.
As a veteran investigative reporter, I have been researching this contest for months, and cannot find any evidence that a candidate has ever become a Democratic nominee with the unfavorability ratings that Clinton has, or with a criminal F.B.I. investigation underway, or with such a high percentage of young voters favoring her opponent.
Although the corporate media has spent endless time covering this election, it has not reported these important facts. And despite a robust First Amendment and staffs that include most of the best investigative reporters in the world, no major news organization has ever investigated what influence the $153 million that corporations and organizations paid in "speaking fees" to Hillary and Bill Clinton during the past 15 years might have brought. Nobody has reported on how this money, and tens of millions in additional corporate campaign donations for Hillary Clinton, has influenced her positions.
A handful of multinational corporations today own America's mass media. But they do not own us. We have our social networks, and we are using them. Just as Bernie has made political history by relying on small individual donations instead of corporate PACs and billionaires, we, the people, have a chance to share information without corporate gatekeepers determining what we read or hear.
It is web-based, democratizing media that is spreading Bernie's grassroots revolution. Citizens can quickly share information with large numbers of people, and, as the enormous support for Sanders has demonstrated, effectively counter biased corporate media coverage and deceptive corporate financed TV ads.
We can share, for instance, the following scenarios that could very well result in Bernie Sanders's winning the Democratic nomination for President.
1. Voters May Uncover Corporate Media's Biggest Secret: On Health Care, Marijuana and GMO's, Bernie, Not Hillary, Represents the Views of 80% of Democrats
Here's some big news that no corporate media has deemed fit to print: According to an authoritative December, 2015 Kaiser Research poll, 81% of Democrats strongly or somewhat favor Medicare for All. This is the Sanders position which our media pundits tell us is so far out of line with the American voter. In fact, more than half of all American voters want Medicare for All. The poll found Bernie's position is significantly more popular than Obamacare.
A few months ago, Clinton told Americans that Medicare for All is a system "that will never, ever come to pass." The Kaiser poll showed that less than one out of six Democrats agree with Hillary's barbed opposition to Medicare for All. Hillary's campaign has gone so far as to slander Sanders by claiming that Medicare for All will take health insurance from people who have it now. The Intercept, an independent website for investigative journalism, reported that Clinton has received more than $2.8 million in speaking fees from the health industry during the past few years, for just 13 speeches. It's expose was titled, Hillary Clinton's Single-Payer Pivot Greased By Millions in Industry Speech Fees.
Hillary Clinton also stands far to the right of most Democrats and even Americans in general when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana. Bernie supports this. Hillary wants to "study" it more. This single issue reflects the greatest distinction between the two candidates in addressing the nation's out-of-control prison population, yet pundits continue to suggest that there is no difference between them when it comes to civil rights and the school to prison pipeline.
The decriminalization of marijuana would curb not only the racially-targeted drug arrests that feed our nation's notorious prison plantations, but also provide relief for the tens of thousands of parolees who continue to have their lives destroyed by being returned to jail for testing positive for marijuana on their drug tests. A startling admission by Richard Nixon's top aide reported here in the latest Harper's magazine revealed what critics of the DEA and war on drugs have long suspected: that they were created to suppress African Americans, and dissidents.
More than two-thirds of Democrats and 58 percent of all Americans favor Sanders' decriminalization position. Hillary's position, shared by fewer than one-third of Democrats, is to keep marijuana illegal except in states that allow it for medicinal use.
Clinton wants to move marijuana from its current criminalized status as a Schedule I drug with no known use to a Schedule II drug with some known medical benefit, like opiates and cocaine. Hillary believes that marijuana should remain as illegal under federal law as cocaine , empowering the continuation of the federal war on marijuana by US Attorneys, armies of DEA SWAT teams, and a Kafka-esque racket of IRS and bank regulatory rules
Bernie Sanders would remove marijuana from the federal schedule of illegal drugs entirely. He wold leave it to the states to decide how to treat it. More than 40 years since the taxpayer financed terror campaign against millions of Americans who chose marijuana over more harmful drugs like alcohol began, Bernie Sanders would end the federal war on weed.
Then there's genetically modified food. More than 92 percent of Democrats favor mandatory labeling of GMO food. Sanders is one of the nation's most outspoken proponents of GMO labeling and this July Vermont will become the first state in the nation to mandate this. Hillary is one of the nation's most prominent supporters of GMO food and Monsanto. She was reportedly paid $325,000 to speak at a 2014 biotech conference, during which she said that the industry needed not to label, but to learn how to better market its GMO products.
2. A Criminal Indictment of Clinton Over Email Scandal Could Derail Her Candidacy
The greatest wild card in this election is whether Hillary Clinton will be indicted on criminal charges prior to her election. The F.B.I. is in the midst of a fully independent criminal investigation into Clinton and her aides over her use of a private email server while Secretary of State. A sober, insightful interview with a former U.S. Attorney General about the federal laws that Clinton may have violated can be viewed here.
Hillary has only half of the pledged delegates that she needs from the primary to secure a nomination. Bernie Sanders will still need to win about 58 percent of the remaining contests if he is to succeed. It seems like a very tall order. But if Hillary is indicted during the next month, and then faces a criminal trial and endless subpoenas, the 58 percent threshold may not seem so challenging.
Moreover, if Hillary does win a majority of primary delegates, and is indicted after this, but before the July 25 Democratic National convention, those hundreds of super delegates that right now support her would be free to change their mind and support Sanders, as the Washington D.C. tip sheet The Hill described last week. If a Clinton criminal trial were underway, the Democrats would face a very high likelihood of losing the White House in November to Trump or Cruz. In that instance, Hillary's coronation by the Democratic Party machine might be cut short, and the super delegates could use their power to appoint Bernie Sanders instead.
3. Democratic Voters May Wise Up to the Reality That Bernie is Far More Likely to Beat Trump Than Hillary
America's corporate media loves polls. As I wrote about in The Huffington Post a few weeks ago, the two most widely parroted narratives about the Democratic contest are that Hillary is inevitable and that the polls show her winning by huge margins everywhere. Yet there is a major story that has been mysteriously missing from the media coverage of the polls. This is that Sanders polls better in the November election against Trump or Cruz than Clinton does. Much, much better.
Hillary Clinton is viewed unfavorably by more Americans than any Democratic presidential front-runner since such polling began. She is now regarded unfavorably by 54.3 percent of Americans polled. Sanders has an unfavorability rating of just 40 percent, far lower than Clinton, and far lower than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
Although Clinton manages to lead among Democrats, if she wins the Democratic nomination during the July 25 convention, she will need more than 50 percent of the nation's voters to win the general election. This is where her large unfavorability numbers work against her. Democratic candidates need a majority of independent voters to win a presidential race. Hillary, the quintessential establishment candidate during an Election year in which voters are in open revolt against party-backed candidates, is so disliked by independent voters that two to one of them will vote for her Republican opponent in November. These same Independent voters flip when faced with a Sanders-Trump- or Sanders-Cruz lineup, virtually insuring that a Sanders nomination will lead to a Sanders presidency
Reuters is the second largest news agency in the world. The Reuters/Ipsos poll was the most accurate national poll of U.S. residents published just before the 2012 presidential election, and it has been polling more than 2,000 Americans every week during the current campaign. These polls are highly transparent. They allow any reader to read general results and also see how subgroups like independents say they will vote.
In the Reuters March 20 poll of 1,722 Americans, pitting Clinton against Trump, 37% of all voters expressing a choice would vote for Clinton, while 35% would vote for Trump. This small margin vanishes among Independents, who say they would vote 49% for Trump and 25% for Hillary, while 26% of respondents would not answer the question or not vote.
When squared off against Ted Cruz, the Reuters March 20 poll of 1,724 Americans gave Clinton 36.3% of the vote to Cruz's 33.7%. Drilling down to the respondents who are registered, likely voters and Independents, 43% Cruz, 22% back Clinton and 35% dislike them both so much they would not vote.
Contrast these results with those for Sanders. The March 16 Reuters poll of more than 1,700 votes predicted Bernie would win 44.4 percent of the votes to Trump's 32.6 percent, a comfortable victory and possibly long electoral "coat-tails" to enable the Democrats to regain the Senate. Among Independents, Bernie wins by a margin of 10 percent.
In the Reuters March 16 poll of 1,735 voters, Sanders beat Cruz 45.6 percent to 29.5 percent. Among Independents, Bernie won 40 percent to Cruz's percent.
Democratic voters are far more intent upon making sure a Democrat wins the general election than they are on making sure Hillary Clinton is that Democrat. If, through their social media, voters in remaining states learn that a Clinton nomination is far more likely to make their nightmare of a Trump presidency a reality, millions could desert Hillary on primary day.
The contest for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party is not yet over.
Stay tuned.... but not to your T.V.