Harold Meyerson

Harold Meyerson is the executive editor of The American ProspectHis email is hmeyerson@prospect.org.

Recent Articles

Sanders's Chances in November: A Bloomberg Addendum

An update to "Why Bernie May Have a Better Shot at Winning Than Hillary"

In the past, I’ve written that if Bernie Sanders were the Democratic nominee, Michael Bloomberg would enter the race and thereby win enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House, which, assuming it’s still under Republican control, would elevate the GOP nominee—that is, Donald Trump or Ted Cruz—to the presidency. So why didn’t I raise that possibility in assessing Bernie’s strengths and weaknesses should he become the Democrats’ nominee?

Chiefly because the one thing even Michael Bloomberg can’t buy is time.

When Bloomberg announced last week that he wasn’t going to run, one of the reasons behind his announcement—one he didn’t articulate—was time. If he were going to become a candidate, he’d have to start the process of collecting signatures to get on various state ballots right away. Perceiving that Hillary Clinton would almost surely be the Democrats’ choice, and not wishing to tilt a Clinton-Trump contest to Trump, he bowed out.

Clinton’s path to the nomination has become longer and more tortuous in the wake of Sanders’s Michigan victory, but she’s still the prohibitive favorite. Looking at the delegate numbers, even if Sanders were to somehow overtake her, it wouldn’t be until California votes in early June. By then, it would be too late for Bloomberg to change his mind. Indeed, even today, it may be too late for Bloomberg to change his mind.

The last gazillionaire to wage an independent campaign for the White House, Ross Perot, understood this perfectly. He declared his candidacy very early in the 1992 process and had time to collect the signatures to get his name on every state’s ballot. Then he dropped out in mid-summer, announcing, in effect, that he thought Bill Clinton would be a good enough president. He re-entered the race in the fall—but he already had his name on the ballots because he’d secured his ballot lines in the spring.

Even if Bloomberg believes he could theoretically prevail in a three-way race against Trump and Sanders, he couldn’t do it if his name wasn’t on a host of different states’ ballots. If a late Sanders surge causes him to rethink, it will be too late for him to run unless he’s resigned to winning an insufficient number of states to get to 270 electoral votes. In which case, the election would almost surely be thrown to the House, and thence to Trump or Cruz—the very scenario he’s stated he cannot in good conscience countenance.

Why Bernie May Have a Better Shot at Winning in November than Hillary

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders shake hands before the start of the Univision, Washington Post Democratic presidential debate at Miami-Dade College, Wednesday, March 9, 2016, in Miami, Florida. M uch as I’ve liked Bernie Sanders, I never believed he’d be a stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton in the November run-off against the Republicans’ pick for president. I knew he polled better than her when pitted against the leading Republicans, but those polls didn’t factor in the red-baiting and hippie-baiting (Bernie being a child of both the ‘30s and ‘60s lefts) he’d be subjected to by a desperate GOP. After all, the only remotely analogous campaign to Sanders’s in modern American politics was that of Upton Sinclair for governor of California in 1934. A lifelong socialist, Sinclair switched his registration from the Socialist to the Democratic Party in late 1933, stunned everyone by winning the Democrats’ gubernatorial...

What Super Tuesday Means for Establishment Politics

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses supporters at her Super Tuesday election night rally in Miami, Tuesday, March 1, 2016. L et’s begin with the revolution, in the most classical sense—the surge of the working and middle classes against the rich. It’s not confined to Bernie Sanders’s campaign. It’s not confined to Donald Trump’s. In some particulars (by no means all, however), there really is a cross-party attack on the 1 percent. Consider, for instance, both Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s election night talks on Super Tuesday, when both all but locked up their respective parties’ nomination. Clinton, as she’s done lately, attacked the Johnson Controls manufacturing company, which had received taxpayer funding from the 2008-2009 auto bailouts, for its recent inversion —a corporation’s relocation, on paper, to another nation to reduce its taxes. For his part, Trump attacked Pfizer for its inversion, as well as Ford, Nabisco, and Carrier...

Class Will Out

Rex Features via AP Images
Rex Features via AP Images Trump supporters at the rally Donald Trump campaign rally, Las Vegas on February 22, 2016. W hy is this year’s presidential contest different from all previous cycles’ presidential contests? There are lots of reasons, but at the root of them all is class-based voting. To a limited degree, Americans’ votes have always been influenced by their income, wealth, and education levels—the most common metrics defining a voter’s class. They’ve also been influenced, however, by other aspects of Americans’ identities: race and religion foremost. In recent decades, though, voting in the two parties’ presidential primaries has tended to follow more specific patterns. The Republican primary electorate (which has become almost entirely white) has generally been divided between more affluent voters favoring traditionally conservative economic policies (chiefly, low tax rates) and less concerned with religious and cultural matters, and evangelicals, more commonly less...

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