Paul Heintz | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Paul Heintz 
Member since Feb 13, 2014

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Paul Heintz

Bio:
Paul Heintz is a staff writer and political editor for Seven Days. He wrote the "Fair Game" political column from May 2012 through December 2016.

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Re: “Why Did Black South Carolinians Snub Bernie Sanders?

That's a fair point, Sen. Zuckerman. And while I didn't ask the specific question you raise, I can only assume that some of those I interviewed (Rivers and Gilliam, in particular) would quite happily support Sanders in a general election.

I think the question is whether African-American voters would turn out in high numbers in a general if a candidate many aren't excited about wins the Democratic nomination. The same question can be asked of young, enthusiastic Sanders supporters, should Clinton win the nomination. My guess is a lot will depend on who the Republicans nominate.

Two other points worth considering, which I didn't get to in my story:

1. Sanders generally seems to do better among ALL voters once he's had a chance to fully introduce himself. I think that helps explain why he did better in the early states, where he spent a lot of time, and why he's struggling in the March states, where he's much less known. Which means if he's able to somehow win the nomination, he will have more time to introduce himself to all voters before the general, including those of color.

2. While I explored the issue of race in this story, I did not touch on age — and that's a pretty key factor. As I wrote a few days earlier (http://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/arch…), most of the older black voters I spoke to in Orangeburg, S.C., supported Clinton, while many of the younger ones supported Sanders. The difference was quite stark.

Plenty to consider here. I should also reiterate that it's a perilous path to make too many assumptions about a large and diverse group of people.

-Paul

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Posted by Paul Heintz on 02/29/2016 at 3:54 PM

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