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Bernie's R.I. Win is a Rebirth for the Democratic Party

By       Message Thom Hartmann     Permalink
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Reprinted from Thom Hartmann Blog

Bernie Sanders: The Warning Shot Of The Impending Revolution
Bernie Sanders: The Warning Shot Of The Impending Revolution
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So, last night didn't go that well for Bernie Sanders.

Despite high hopes for a strong showing in the so-called "Acela primaries," he managed to win just one of the five states at play -- Rhode Island. As a result, his path to the Democratic nomination, although still open, just got a lot slimmer.

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But contrary to what you might hear on the mainstream corporate media, Bernie's win in tiny Rhode Island is actually a pretty big deal.

It wasn't the last gasp from a candidate who's well past his sell-by date that establishment types are making it out to be.

It was a wake-up call to Democrats everywhere about what they need to do to expand their party.

You see, there's a reason why Bernie Sanders did so well in Rhode Island: it has an open primary, and Bernie Sanders often does really, really well in open primaries.

Including Rhode Island, most of the actual primaries he's won this election season have been open contests or virtually open contests.

This isn't a coincidence.

It's the logical result of the strong support Bernie has among the independent voters who play a big role in deciding open contests, because independents can actually vote in them.

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Some establishment Democrats have shrugged off Bernie's rapport among independents as yet another example of how he's not a "true Democrat."

The way they see it, he's just a johnny-come-lately who only has support among other johnny-come-latelies who could care less about the future of the Democratic Party.

This kind of thinking is so short-sighted and downright counterproductive it just boggles the mind.

Bernie's success in open primaries and among independents isn't a bad thing or -- it's exactly what the Democratic Party needs.

Independents account for 42 percent of the national electorate, and while doing well among Democratic loyalists is well and good during primary season, a good general election candidate needs to be able to win at least some of the independent vote. An even better general election candidate would win the majority of the independent vote.

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http://www.thomhartmann.com
Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. www.thomhartmann.com His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War (more...)
 

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