Skip to main content

Debunked: The popularity of Bernie Sanders



If you've spent any time following politics at all this year, you're probably under the impression that Bernie Sanders has engendered a "movement" (or a flat-out revolution, as many of his followers insist). Yes, you've probably heard about the tens of thousands of rabid, salivating fans who show up at Sanders rallies. You may have heard about his fundraising prowess, and you may have even seen some of the Sanders merchandise being sold online (such as the "Burn one for Bernie" hash pipe, which can be yours for just $60). And, no doubt, you've probably noticed that you can't scroll down your Facebook newsfeed for two seconds before encountering at least a half-dozen pro-Bernie posts.



Since Bernie has indeed chalked up a few impressive victories over Hillary Clinton so far in 2016, what I'm about to tell you may be a total shock. The cold, hard truth is that....

The popularity of Bernie Sanders has been grossly exaggerated.

Forget about win totals, margins of victory, delegate counts, Saturday Night Live appearances or Twitter followers. When it comes to assessing a candidate's popularity, what it all boils down to is raw vote totals. And when it comes to raw votes, the fact of the matter is that Sanders isn't nearly as popular as his supporters insist.

Earlier today, we crunched the numbers based on the raw vote totals from 15 states in which Republicans and Democrats have both held primary or caucus contests (we excluded Nevada and Iowa from our calculations, since the DNC doesn't report actual vote totals from these states). And what we discovered was shocking, to say the least.

As it pans out, Sanders has amassed 2,570,250 votes thus far nationwide, for an average of 171,350 votes per state. Donald Trump, on the other hand, has clocked 3,426,513 votes thus far, for an average of 228,434 votes per state. And, yes, even Ted Cruz-- the same Ted Cruz who has been panned by pundits for being unlikable and unpopular with his Senate colleagues-- beats out Sanders in terms of popularity, garnering a nationwide total of 2,846,024 votes thus far, or an average of 189,734 votes per state.

In other words, if Bernie Sanders has fostered a "revolution", Donald Trump has created something that boggles the imagination, since his votes-per-contest average is 33.3% higher than Bernie's

Even more surprising is the fact that Marco Rubio-- presently teetering on the verge of presidential campaign irrelevancy-- has a votes-per-contest average of 141,110. This places him within striking distance of the much-ballyhooed Democratic socialist from Vermont. In fact, by March 15, when North Carolina and Rubio's home state of Florida both hold their presidential primaries, it is quite possible that Rubio may surpass Sanders in votes-per-contest. Considering that Rubio is under heavy fire from Republicans to drop out of the race, this should poke the final hole in the completely erroneous belief that Bernie Sanders has created a "political movement".

While liberals like to accuse conservatives of being "science deniers", based on their viewpoints on climate change and evolution, it would also be a fair argument to say that liberal Democrats are now guilty of being "math deniers". The votes-per-contest average clearly indicates that Trump (who has been criticized for being unlikable by Republicans and Democrats alike), is 33.3% more popular than Sanders. And Ted Cruz, the man said to be hated by his peers, is 10.7% more popular among voters than Sanders. Rubio, in spite of being a distant third place in the GOP race, is just 17.6% behind Sanders.

Of course, many Sanders supporters will insist that Texas, by way of having a large Republican majority, skews the numbers. While Sanders tallied 475,561 votes in the Lone Star State, Ted Cruz amassed a whopping 1.2 million votes. However, after 15 state-by-state comparisons, we feel that a sufficient cross-section of American voters have been represented thus far in the primary season. Let's not forget that Sanders tallied 586,716 votes in Massachusetts, compared to Cruz's meager vote total of 60,473. Or that Sanders walked away from Minnesota with 118,135 votes compared to the 24,018 votes received by Trump.

Like so many things in life, from baseball to the stock market, politics boils down to averages. Math doesn't lie and figures can't choose sides. And, based on what we've seen so far, it certainly appears that the perhaps the best hoax of 2016 is the claim that Bernie Sanders has ignited some kind of political revolution.   

Popular posts from this blog

Jenny Hanivers, Mermaids, Devil Fish, and Sea Monks

Three centuries before P.T. Barnum attracted flocks of crowds with his mummified Fiji Mermaid (which turned out to be a papier-mâché creation featuring a monkey's head and a fish's body), sailors around the world had already began manufacturing "mermaids".  Known as Jenny Hanivers, these creations were often sold to tourists and provided sailors with an additional source of income.  These mummified creatures were produced by drying, carving, and then varnishing the carcasses of fish belonging to the order rajiformes- a group of flattened cartilaginous fish related to the shark which includes stingrays and skates.  These preserved carcasses can be made to resemble mermaids, dragons, angels, demons, and other mythical creatures.


Jenny Hanivers became popular in the mid-16th century, when sailors around the Antwerp docks began selling the novelties to tourists.  This practice was so common  in the Belgian city that it may have influenced the name; it is widely believed …

The Roberto Clemente death conspiracy

Was the Hall of Fame baseball star assassinated by the CIA?



From the Sandy Hook school shooting to the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370, it seems that every tragedy in recent times is accompanied by a slew of conspiracy theories. Yet history is filled with events that would be enshrouded in conspiracy theories if they happened today. One such event is the plane crash that killed baseball Hall-of-Famer and Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente on December 31, 1972.

Most of us are familiar with the story: Clemente, playing the role of humanitarian, decides to accompany a flight of emergency aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, after the victims claim that the corrupt military dictator, Anastasio Somoza, was preventing the much-needed emergency supplies from getting into the hands of earthquake survivors. The rickety plane goes down off the coast of  Isla Verde, Puerto Rico, immediately after takeoff. Strangely, Clemente's body is never found.

This story has all t…

The Incest Capital of the World?

At the far eastern edge of Kentucky, nestled in Appalachia, resides Letcher County. In spite of its isolation and poverty (approximately 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line), Letcher County has managed to grow at an impressive rate, from a population of just 9,172 in 1900 to a present-day population of nearly 25,000. However, even if Letcher County tripled or quadrupled its present population, there's still a pretty good chance that virtually all of the county's inhabitants would be related to each other-- thanks to one particularly fertile family whose astounding rate of reproduction can put even the friskiest rabbit to shame.

Around the year 1900, Letcher County was the home of a man by the name of Jason L. Webb, who made national headlines for having the one of the largest families in the world. According to newspaper reports of the era, Jason had 19 children, 175 grandchildren, and 100 great-grandchildren. Perhaps even more impressive was his br…