Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy for America, debated why Nina Turner lost in Ohio's 11th district with Rahm Emanuel and host George Stephanopoulos on ABC News, its great to get a fuller perspective of events that are often clouded in mainstream media
I think I lost some brain cells watching those debate excerpts. My takeaway from it is that none of them are completely honest.
The good news for progressives is that, in spite of Nina Turner's defeat, the 44% of the vote she got was nonetheless an improvement for the progressive movement compared to the recent past. For example, in the 2016 presidential primaries, Bernie Sanders got just 32% of the vote in the same district and got just 27% there last year. The difference really is that Turner was able to win the working class vote in the district overall, which, in terms of differences from Sanders, is probably mostly down to the fact that she was the big-name celebrity candidate in this election and also maybe owing partly to the fact that the progressives this time around were supporting a black woman from the area in a district that's, after all, 53% black and for the nomination of a party that's 58% female, but it's also a reality that Shontel Brown didn't really run on a policy platform, she ran on not being Nina Turner the same sorta way that Biden ran on not being Donald Trump. Turner, on the other hand, ran substantially on economic populism.
The bad news for progressives is that Shontel Brown's platform of not being Nina Turner was good enough for a win overall nonetheless, which perhaps says something about how alienating a personality she can be. Also, some of Yvette Simpson's claims in the video above appear to be just flat wrong. For example, she claims that Turner won the balance of black voters, but that assertion flies in the face of exit poll and other survey data that suggests otherwise. She fared better among black voters than Bernie Sanders (not terribly surprising), but she doesn't appear to have won over this demographic overall. Likewise the now-ritual claim to have been financially disadvantaged compared to the Brown campaign just doesn't align with the fact that Turner raised $4.5 million in the course of the campaign compared to $2.1 million that was raised for Brown. That the Turner campaign spent that money perhaps unwisely is ultimately their own fault. Turner was the celebrity candidate. She accordingly raised more money. This race was her's to lose, not Brown's to win. For all intents and purposes, this was a straightforward up-or-down referendum on Turner as a person and she lost. That's the bottom line.
One of the major reasons Turner lost appears to have been the publicity surrounding her comparison of voting for Joe Biden to eating shit in a district where 73% did exactly that in the presidential primary and then by an even wider margin in the general election, at least according to the available survey data (see the first link above). This outcome also continues a theme we've seen in this primary season of the defund-the-police ticket losing, especially among black voters. I keep highlighting that point because it keeps being relevant. Just saying.
Speaking for myself personally, I'd probably have voted for Nina Turner...IF I bothered voting at all. Might've depended on factors like how long the line was. I've reached a point of not really being the biggest fan of either of the major factions (progressive and normal liberal I guess we could say). The liberals need to acknowledge that most of their candidates lack blue collar appeal and that Joe Biden has been an exception to this rule, not the rule itself (and what's more, as I've pointed out earlier, he too seems to losing blue collar support in particular at this point). They're too slick and commercial. The progressives in turn need to acknowledge that they have a wokeness problem that is only narrowly overcome by their economic policy ideas in general in the minds of most working class people, as shown by the triumph of pro-labor, law-and-order mayoral candidate Eric Adams in the Democratic primary in New York City. His was probably the most genuinely all-around proletarian campaign I've seen in a long time now and frankly the type I'd like to see more of. There was no analogous candidate in this race and there isn't one in most Democratic primaries for that matter.
Last edited by Jaicee - on 15 August 2021