Bernie Sanders- Wisconsin Primary Night; Analysis

In a recent speech Senator Bernie Sanders focused on the importance of momentum in his campaign, after gaining another round of delegates, winning the Wisconsin Primary on Tuesday, April 5th.

The speech was during a campaign rally at the University of Wyoming, after much need win in Wisconsin beating Hilary Clinton by 13 points.

Sanders opened his speech in extending thanks to his supports for the win, attributing his success to the momentum of his campaign.

“Momentum is starting this campaign 11 months ago and the media determining that it was a fringe candidacy,” said Sanders.

Sanders mentions his opponent former Sec. Hillary Clinton when defining momentum. He talked about how momentum is represented in his campaign  by starting 60 to 70 points behind Clinton’s campaign.

Claim: “In almost every instance in national polls, our margin over Trump is wider then is Secretary Clinton. ”

The senator is right based on the numbers.

According to Real Clear Politics, Sanders has a larger margin against Trump than Clinton in a general-election contest. From national polls starting in March, Sanders beats Clinton in an average of 16 points against Trump to her 10 points against Trump.

Trump vs Sanders poll

Trump vs Clinton poll

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 8.23.10 PM

Courtesy of RealClear Politics


True. All seven national polls between the March 16th to April 2nd, from McClatchy/Marist to CBS News/NY Times showed Sanders approval ranting.

Like most speeches, Sanders’ rhetoric is middle/ lower class focused; Speaking as if he is the modern day Robin Hood, having the desire to police the rich and giving more to the poor.

Sanders’  remains consistent to the Robin Hood style language by saying no to the big money, and yes to individual campaign contributions.

Claim: “When every major candidate has a super pac we have said no to super pacs, said no to the billionaires who fund those super pacs, and what we have done in an in American we have up to this point in the campaign have received over 6 million individual campaign contributions.”

This claim does not take into account of the two types of PACs.

According to PolitiFact, who compiled date from the Center for Responsive Politics and a Washington post analysis, found that both Sanders and Trump are not backed up affiliated PACs. They are instead backed by unaffiliated PACs. Sanders is backed by Collective Actions Pac and Billionaires for Bernie who have have raised over $8,000 for the campaign.

Sanders consistency in disavowing support and PACs does not align exactly with research data. What Sanders preaches has to do with the difference of campaign surrogates and supporters. In a letter from Sanders team, they ask support groups to cease donations to the campaign.


Courtesy of Twitter

The affiliated PACs are often the campaign surrogates who can act as an extension of the official campaign by creating or being staffed by party allies. The unaffiliated PACs have no connection with the Sanders campaign.

Sanders is right about being the only major democratic candidate not being funded by a affiliated super PAC. However before dropping out, candidates Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee were not in connection of an affiliated super PAC.

This claim is mostly True when taking into account affiliated versus unaffiliated super PACs. Sanders loosely uses the term, disregarding unaffiliated super PACs in connection to him and other presidential candidates.

The senator went on to say that his campaign does not represent the billionaire class, but his campaign is for the people and by the people.

Claim: “The top 1/10 of 1 percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom middle class.”

This statistic comes from an article back in 2014 by the Guardian. The study was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, an organization in Cambridge, Mass. in a paper series titled ‘Wealth Inequality in the United States Since 1913: Evidence from capitalized income tax data.’

By looking at tax records, the economists determined that “almost all of this increase is due to the rise of the share of wealth owned by the 0.1% richest families, from 7% to 1978 to 22% in 2012, a level comparable to that of the early twentieth century.”

The top 0.1% includes roughly 160,000 families who’s wealth goes about $20 million in 2012. In contrast, the wealth of the bottom 90 percent includes 144 million families averaging wealth of $84,000.

Sanders also added to this claim that the middle class has been shrinking over the last 30 years, with new income and wealth going to the top 1 percent.

According to The Tax Policy Center in Washington approximately 42 percent of capital gains and dividend came from the top 0.1% percent in 2014.

However, other economist disagree that this is the correct way to measure wealth. A professor of policy analysis at Cornell University critiqued the paper series by not taking into account of Social Security.

Overall Sanders’ statement is more true than false in accordance with the findings of the study with the critique of other expert economists.

An overarching rhetorical theme in Sanders’ speech engages the American people and the questions they want answered. He then transitions to questions about economic freedom healthcare policy.

Claim: That every other major country on earth… guarantees healthcare to all of their people as a right expect the United States.”

What is considered a major country and what does it guarantee?

According to PolitiFact , the spokesperson for Sanders, Michael Briggs said Sanders was referreing to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.  That was unclear in the original claim.

The OECD does not include Russia or China, which some may assume as a major country. According to the 2014 report only two OECD countries do not have universal health coverage. This includes Mexico and the United States.

According to the United Nations Treaty Collection not all countries used language of a guaranteed right.

Sanders claim is half true because of his vagueness about what countries were compared to the US. Without context of the OECD report the claim can come across ambiguous.

The senator concludes his speech with encouraging voter turn out for the upcoming Wyoming caucus.

“We often win, well we always win the voter turnout is high,” stated Sanders.”Let us see a record breaking turnout for the Wyoming caucus and let us Wyoming democratic making it clear that this great state is part of the political revolution.”

You can watch the full speech here


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