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US Election | Munk Debates

EPISODE #13

US Election

Be it resolved, Bernie Sanders is a compelling candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2020 US Presidential Election.

Guests
Ryan Grim
Jonathan Chait

About this episode

The uncertain path to holding Donald Trump to a single term in office is dividing the Democratic Party and pitting radicals against moderates. The radical wing of the party, energised by Bernie Sanders’ campaign, believe that their candidate can beat Donald Trump precisely because he offers voters the kind of sweeping change they want see in an America beset with rising social and economic inequality. Centrists are not convinced. They point to history and polling which shows that moderate Democratic leaders stand the best chance of appealing to swing state and independent voters. Without the support of these two key groups the party faces long odds in winning back the White House.

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Guests

Ryan Grim

"Bernie Sanders is motivating people in the right places to come out, participate in politics, and create a new base to implement real change. "

Ryan Grim

"Bernie Sanders is motivating people in the right places to come out, participate in politics, and create a new base to implement real change. "

Ryan Grim is The Intercept’s D.C. Bureau Chief.

He was previously the Washington bureau chief for HuffPost, where he led a team that was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and won once. He edited and contributed reporting to groundbreaking investigative project on heroin treatment that not only changed federal and state laws, but shifted the culture of the recovery industry. The story, by Jason Cherkis, was a Pulitzer finalist and won a Polk Award.

He grew up in rural Maryland. He has been a staff reporter for Politico and the Washington City Paper and is a former contributor to MSNBC. He is a contributor to the Young Turks Network and author of the book “We’ve Got People: From Jesse Jackson to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the End of Big Money and the Rise of a Movement.”

Jonathan Chait

"Bernie Sanders has flouted the best practices of politicians at every level by running on a series of highly unpopular positions."

Jonathan Chait

"Bernie Sanders has flouted the best practices of politicians at every level by running on a series of highly unpopular positions."

Jonathan Chait is a political columnist for New York magazine. He was previously a senior editor at the New Republic and has also written for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic. He has been featured throughout the media, including appearances on NPR, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, HBO, The Colbert Report, Talk of the Nation, C-SPAN, Hardball, and on talk radio in every major city in America. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Show Notes

Read Jonathan Chait’s recent New York Magazine aricle on Bernie Sanders’ electability prospects here.
 
Ryan talks about Bloomberg’s commitment to beating Donald Trump, regardless of who the Democratic candidate is. Earlier this year Bloomberg pledged to spend a lot of money and keep “a chunk” of his 500-person ground game operation working to defeat Trump, regardless of who wins the primary contest
 
Ryan and Jonathan disagree over the level of support in 2015 for Trump’s proposed border wall and Muslim ban. In 2015, 73% of Republicans supported a southern wall. 59% supported Trump’s Muslim Ban proposal. 
 
Jonathan argues that moderate Democrats won the 2018 midterm elections to regain control of the House. 79% of the total Democratic flips were won by moderate candidates, including in critical presidential battleground states. However, as Ryan argues, many of the victorious moderate Democrats adopted more left-wing stances on Medicare.
 
Jonathan brings up Jeremy Corbyn’s 2019 election loss in Britain as a warning to the Bernie Sanders campaign. Corbyn’s Labour Party suffered its worst defeat in 80 years. Others argue that Labour’s loss had less to do with Jeremy Corbyn’s radical leftist agenda, and more to do with Brexit.
 
Bernie Sanders is beating Donald Trump in most national polls. Biden is also ahead of Trump in national polls.
 
Jonathan brings up Barry Goldwater’s disastrous 1964 presidential campaign. Goldwater, a Republican evangelical and hero of the radical right lost the election to President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was re-elected by the largest popular vote margin in U.S. history.
 
Ryan talks about Obama-to-Trump supporters. Approximately 6 million voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012 shifted their support to Mr. Trump in 2016. Here is a look at these swing voters and the issues most important to them.
 
 

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