In our first endorsement post, we reported that Hillary has 152 endorsements from the House vs. Bernie’s two. She also has 36 endorsements from Senators and 12 from governors to Bernie’s zero. But does this mean anything for the election? Don’t the people decide?
Here’s why they matter: those endorsements are bets. Elected officials are betting their careers. It doesn’t matter if you like them or not, you can trust them on the one point that matters most. And here’s why that’s so important and telling:
What matters is who can stop the Republicans. Current polls about November are hopeless nonsense, as most people are paying little attention and — this is the big one — the Republicans are doing all they can to make sure Sanders gets the Democratic nod. That means they’re attacking Clinton and saying hardly a word about Sanders. They’re trying to sucker the Dems into running him. Current polls can’t factor in the future Republican attacks on Bernie.
So if you can’t trust the polls so far in advance, where should you turn for a good prediction?
The best method of making good predictions is to ask a lot of people who stand to lose big if they’re wrong. This is standard in business. If you want to know the future price of oil, check the price of oil futures. People who buy and sell those will lose big bucks if they guess the future price wrong. So that price reflects their true opinions, and these are well researched opinions, because there are billions of dollars at stake.
When elected Democrats endorse, they have one overwhelming motive — to get themselves re-elected. You can always trust them on that. They know that if their presidential candidate is a loser, that hurts the whole Democratic ticket — hurts their chances for re-election. It could wreck their whole career. But if their candidate wins big, that ups their chances considerably.
So if you’re up for election and think candidate X stands a better chance of winning, you will support and endorse that candidate — to save your own career, if nothing else.
Elected officials spend enormous energy judging what will win elections and what won’t, and those who hold office have judged correctly. So, like it or not, these guys are about the best predictors you will find and they have absolutely no reason to lie when they endorse. Their careers are on the line.
The hugely lopsided endorsements tell us for sure that the vast majority of elected Democrats think Bernie might well go down to an ignominious defeat like the anti-establishment McGovern did in 1972 when he got only 37.5% of the popular vote and lost every state but Massachusetts. That doesn’t mean Sanders is wrong, it just means those who know and care most, think he’s a much worse bet for being elected than is Hillary Clinton.