Are the democrats hurting themselves by letting this primary go on so long?

Question: Are the democrats hurting themselves by letting this primary go on so long?



George Mitchell: Well, first off, it’s a mistake to think that if you didn’t have this contest, there wouldn’t be a risk. There’s always a risk in elections. When I first ran, having been appointed to the Senate, I was 36 percentage points behind in the public opinion polls. I’ll never forget it. These are the kinds of things that stick in your mind. The headlines said he has no chance to win. Well, I won the election by a big margin, so anybody who says to you, “Whoa, this is a sure thing, that’s a sure thing.” In my mind, that’s completely wrong. Any election can be won, any can be lost, any candidate can win, any candidate can lose, depending upon what happens. So, let’s remove the central premise of the question, that if you didn’t have a contest, the Democrats would be sure to win. To me, that’s just not true. So then you argue, well, yes, of course they can be hurt. If you have a primary, the benefit is you get a lot of publicity, there’s a lot of focus on them, the downside is that the polls show that substantial numbers of Clinton voters wouldn’t vote for Obama in the fall if he got the nomination, and the reverse. But over time, I think that a very large number of them will come around because the alternative, I think, will be worse. That is, the election of Senator McCain and a Republican to the Presidency, and particularly since you consider that in many respects, the policies being pursued would be those of the current administration, which certainly anybody who’s voted for Obama or Clinton in the primaries wouldn’t be supporting. So, a lot will depend upon how the candidate who doesn’t get the nomination handles it. I think both of them are so committed to the principles that they’re talking about, to the Democratic party, that they will help to heal the wounds once this competitive process is over. Difficult as that can be, because personal ambition, and I say that in a positive, not a pejorative sense, plays a very large role in all of this, of course. That they’ll come around and that the Democratic candidate will prevail in the fall. But there’s no such thing as a sure thing.


Are the democrats hurting themselves by letting this primary go on so long?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

This prophetic 1997 Jeff Bezos interview explains the genius behind Amazon

Jeff Bezos, the founder of, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for from the start.
  • He saw the innovative potential of the online marketplace.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

TESS telescope has found eight new planets, six supernovae

It has found several bizarre planets outside of our solar system.

NASA/Kim Shiflett
Surprising Science
  • The Kepler program closed down in August, 2018, after nine and a half years of observing the universe.
  • Picking up where it left off, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has already found eight planets, three of which scientists are very excited about, and six supernovae.
  • In many ways, TESS is already outperforming Kepler, and researchers expect it to find more than 20,000 exoplanets over its lifespan.
Keep reading Show less