Cornell experts: NY primary signals political rebellion

Elizabeth Sanders, an elections expert and professor of Government at Cornell University says candidates from both parties have given “full throat” to a political rebellion in New York.


Sanders says:

“New York has never been thought of as a rebellious state, but last night it gave full throat to the rebellion within the Republican Party.

“Trump’s surprising strength is the shot heard ‘round the world. The downwardly mobile white working class cannot get by on the religion and nationalism that has been about all their party offered them in return for their votes on tax cuts and deregulation. Seldom has a major party elite been so rejected by its base. After the New York primary Trump has a realistic shot at winning the nomination.

“There was also passionate rebellion within the Democratic Party. Though Bernie Sanders is poised to win impressively in de-industrializing upstate New York, the Democratic establishment proved hardy in this primary.

“Still, the Bernie Sanders campaign can claim victory in compelling the frontrunner to change almost every major economic position she had ever taken. The New York primary winner is not the same candidate she was at the beginning of the race.”

Adam Seth Levine, assistant professor of government at Cornell University and expert on political communication, looks at election turnout and says that despite a surge compared to 2008, the Democratic Party continues to lag in number of voters.


Levine says:

“It was a very strong night for both Trump and Clinton. But what about turnout? Turns out that was a continuation of what we’ve seen all season.

“Republican turnout surged compared to 2008 – 670,000 in 2008 as compared with over 857,000 this year. Democratic turnout, meanwhile, lagged again. And this was despite heightened media coverage focused on the democratic nomination contest being a heated battle between Clinton and Sanders, and despite headlines from a few days ago about record-breaking attendance at Sanders’s Brooklyn rally, all of which should have drummed up turnout – along with near-constant emails to supporters stressing the critical role of turning out. Yet what we saw on Tuesday night was more of the same — turnout that lagged 2008.

“More specifically, in 2008, there were 1.86 million votes cast in the New York democratic primary. In 2016 – at least with 98 percent precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, there were 1.79 million votes cast.”

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