NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — There are few states redder than Louisiana is. Citizens of the Creole Capital of the World enjoy the loosest and most lax gun laws imaginable, income taxes are incredibly low, as are corporate and sales taxes. The state has elected conservative governors since before many who live there can remember. They have rejected Obamacare, forcing the federal government to set up their exchange for them, while also turning down millions of dollars in subsidies that would help the state’s poorest people get access to health insurance. By all accounts, it’s just not very possible to get a state that hues as deeply red as Louisiana does.
Yet, when devout and openly espoused socialist Bernie Sanders showed up to the Pontchartrain Center near New Orleans, literally thousands of people attended. Sanders’ campaign estimates that more than 4,500 people attended the rally. By contrast, just a couple weeks earlier when the state’s governor Bobby Jindal (R) announced his now stalled presidential bid, there were a fraction of the people filling the very same auditorium that Sanders was able to get. Between his stop in Arizona that drew several thousand, his stops in Texas that drew thousands, and now this stop in Louisiana that has drawn another massive crowd, Beltway insiders must surely be ready to give Sanders more than a fighting chance to best Hillary Clinton, and perhaps even the Republican nominee, one would think, but they’d think wrong, according to those who are paid to know such things.
“Oh, no, Bernie Sanders has no chance to win, no matter how huge the crowds of regular people are,” Henry Miller told The Political Garbage Chute. Miller is a long time political strategist for The Greenbladt Group — a political science think tank in Athens, Georgia. “It doesn’t matter how many thousands of private, small donors he gets to contribute millions of dollars. It doesn’t matter how many people show up to his rallies, making him look extremely popular and attractive to voters. He won’t win. He has no chance to win, and all of us on the Hill know it, so it’d be best for the plebes — er I mean the regular people — to just fall in line and choose between Coke Bush and Pepsi Clinton.”
Susan McGee, a Democratic pollster told us, “Ordinarily, everyone in politics would be desperate to get the kinds of crowds Bernie is. Normally, we’d look at this kind of early popularity and his surge in the polls in recent weeks as a clear sign that we have ourselves a true dark horse candidate that could make big waves and very easily win the election. But this is 2016, and we have decided long ago this will be a contest of two politically powerful families from the last century duking it out over who gets to run the country in this century.”
“For sure, Sanders looks to have everything you need to make a serious challenge to any candidate in either party,” Gus Palumbo told us. Palumbo, a neoconservative who writes for the National Journal and various other right-wing think tanks said however that “all that stuff doesn’t matter though because we say so” and “we’re still convinced we know more than the American people do.” Palumbo said he’ll “give Sanders credit for having a message that resonates with a lot of people” and that “pulling thousands in a state that overwhelmingly rejected your party’s figurehead in the last election is huge” but “who cares, he’s a socialist and we’ll be able to use that word over and over and over and over and over and over and over again, so that should make enough Americans fearful of his agenda to not vote for him.”
Speaking to Sanders’ agenda, Gary Hoffstra told The Political Garbage Chute, “Americans are all fired up because he’s a newcomer, feisty and speaks his mind. But once they hear his insane rhetoric — that super rich people that have more money than God don’t need to be our first economic priority anymore, he’s toast!”
Even those there to see Sanders speak understand he has no chance to win. “Oh sure, I look around and I am engulfed in a sea of people here to support him,” said Becky Jackson of nearby Lafayette. “But I know full-well that it’s not like if the same kind of enthusiasm and popularity at his ralles spread to the primary voters, got him nominated, and then spread into the general election that he’d get elected. I mean, don’t we just have to vote for who our party machine tells us to vote for anyway,” Jackson asked rhetorically.
Several nationally-conducted polls still show Sanders with a sizable gap to close between himself and front runner Hillary Clinton, though the Vermont senator has gained considerable ground on both Clinton and in terms of those who find his message favorable. The election is a mere 14 months away.