In the face of endless propaganda from Democratic establishment leaders, a new poll finds that Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vermont) popularity is greater among minorities and women than among whites and men.
The survey, conducted by Harvard University and The Harris Poll, disproves the “Bernie Bro” trope with hard numbers. According to the survey results, which were conducted among 2,027 registered voters between April 14 and April 17, 2017, Sanders is actually more popular among women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian Americans than white people and men.
The poll shows 55 percent of men and 52 percent of whites approve of Bernie Sanders. However, Sanders is approved by 73 percent of African Americans, 68 percent of Hispanics, 62 percent of Asian Americans, and 58 percent of women. And even though Sanders identifies as independent, 80 percent of Democrats approve of him.
During the 2016 Democratic presidential primary contest, the “Bernie Bro” trope became a tried-and-true myth propagated by officials at the highest levels of the national Democratic Party apparatus. The pejorative — first deployed in late 2015 — was used to depict Sanders’ most ardent supporters as limited to young white men between the ages of 25 and 35 who were vociferous in both their support of the Vermont senator and their opposition to the eventual Democratic nominee and failed general election candidate Hillary Clinton.
Before serving as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and while employed as Obama’s labor secretary, Tom Perez encouraged the Clinton campaign early on in the primary election cycle to demean her opponent by labeling him as a favorite of white men and unpopular with the African American, female, and the Latinx demographics. According to emails leaked by WikiLeaks, Perez encouraged Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta to use the Bernie Bro myth in order to win the Nevada caucus:
“Nevada is an opportunity to fight back on so many levels,” Perez wrote. “First, the current storyline is that she does not connect well with young voters. Given that Nevada is far more demographically representative of America, I am confident that HRC can do well with all African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans (don’t forget the sizeable[sic] population of Asian Americans in Nevada, including Filipinos.).”
“[Clinton campaign Nevada state director Emmy Ruiz] and the team have a good plan to attract all minority voters,” Perez continued. “When we do well there, then the narrative changes from Bernie kicks ass among young voters to Bernie does well only among young white liberals—that is a different story and a perfect lead in to South Carolina, where once again, we can work to attract young voters of color.”
In addition to Perez, staffers within the Democratic Party infrastructure used the term “Bernie Bro” to loosely describe anyone who wasn’t a ride-or-die Hillary Clinton supporter. In one email thread, DNC communications director Luis Miranda and other staffers declined SiriusXM producer David Guggenheim’s request for an interview with Debbie Wasserman Schultz because they saw him as a potential “Bernie Bro.”
“Wait, this is a shit topic,” Miranda wrote on May 4, referring to the Hillary Victory Fund controversy Guggenheim wanted to talk about. “Where is Guggenheim? Is he a Bernie Bro?”
“Must be a Bernie Bro,” DNC interview booker Pablo Manriquez wrote in response.
Despite former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s loss to alleged sexual assailant and former game show host Donald Trump in November, top Democratic thought leaders continue to peddle the “Bernie Bro” myth to major media outlets. Markos Moulitsas — publisher of liberal blogging site Daily Kos — insisted to the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim last week that Bernie Sanders supporters were overwhelmingly white and male:
“We remained steadfastly focused on the bigger picture, the Democratic Party picture. Again, less sexy, less excitement, but Clinton wasn’t Joe Lieberman and she was running on the most liberal platform in party history. We saw little reason to further divide our party,” Moulitsas said, when asked about why his site didn’t endorse Sanders despite 60 percent of its users supporting Sanders over Clinton. “Not to mention, given the decidedly white complexion of the Sanders coalition, it made little sense to hitch our wagon to a person who had such difficulties attracting the party’s key growth demographics — Latinos, African-Americans and women. In other words, we were focused on the future.”
Despite all the new data, it remains unclear whether or not leading Democrats will cease use of the “Bernie Bro” myth to justify their hatred of his policies and unflinching opposition to the establishment.
Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook by clicking here.
(EDITOR’S NOTE 04/21/17: This article was updated with a chart showing Sanders’ approval rating among different demographics.)