The Wisconsin Democratic Party convention held a straw poll this weekend. Unlike the Ames (Iowa) straw poll, which is for attendees at a fundraising event, this was a poll of the 511 delegates to the convention.
The results weren’t good for Hillary Clinton. The presumptive presidential nominee fell just short of majority support. At 49 percent, she edged out Bernie Sanders — the choice of 41 percent.
As for the rest, Martin O’Mally captured 3 percent; James Webb 2 percent; and Lincoln Chafee 1 percent. Joe Biden, who has shown no inclination to run, received 3 percent of the vote.
Sanders’ strong showing wasn’t the result of person-to-person campaigning. Neither Clinton nor Sanders was present. According to Politco, a party official read a message from Clinton to the delegates. Apparently, no such message from Sanders was read.
Sanders reportedly has been drawing good crowds in Iowa and New Hampshire. It’s plausible to think that, with decent fundraising, his level of support among Iowa caucus goers (as compared to Clinton’s) could match, or conceivably exceed, the level it reached among Wisconsin convention delegates this weekend.
In any case, as Jim Geraghty reports, one Sanders supporter has come up with a message that has guaranteed appeal to a huge segment of the Democratic Party. It reads:
Bernie Sanders is not for everyone.
Sanders is a man for serious people who think about serious things.
Snobs and African-Americans put Barack Obama over the top with his party. Snobs alone might be enough to make Bernie Sanders a credible contender.
Hillary Clinton, a serious person, will now have to think about the serious question of how to avoid embarrassingly close races with Bernie Sanders. Her answer, I imagine, will be more of the same — raise lots of money and keep tacking to the left.
The first answer is good for all seasons. The second carries the potential for adverse consequences in the general election season.