Comparing donations, plans and supporters: who wins?

John Barrett

A struggle exists between the dying neoliberal corporatist wing of the Democrat party and the newer, more populist, democratic socialist wing.

Their differences do not stop just at policy, however.

There is a fundamental divide between the theories of political change within these factions.

Based on this divide, certain categories and demographics of blue voters find their candidate for the 2020 primary.

Yes — policy matters, but genuine theory of political change drives donations, volunteering and activism.

ActBlue, the organization through which all donations to Democratic primary candidates are facilitated, just released a compilation of data sets revealing exactly what kind of people make up the individual-level donor bases of each candidate.

Here’s a quick run down as provided by ActBlue: Senator Bernie Sanders has the most individual donors by far out of all the candidates, receiving 27.2 percent of all donations to primary candidates.

In second is Mayor Pete Buttigieg with 12.5 percent and Senator Elizabeth Warren just barely behind him at 12.4 percent.

As far as the occupations of donors in relation to who they support goes, data analyst David Waldron reports Sanders donors are mostly bartenders, fast food workers, waiters and waitresses, forklift operators and truck drivers.

Buttigieg’s are mostly CEO’s, clergy, doctors and economists.

Warren’s are made up of librarians, college professors, economists and reporters.

It may not be surprising, then, that the vast majority of donors in low-income professions donated to Sanders, whereas Buttigieg and Warren’s donors are mostly upper-middle class to upper-class.

Sanders’ donor base is far less educated than those of Buttigieg and Warren.

Sanders has a plurality of the donors so far and his are much less wealthy and much less formally educated than Warren’s and Buttigieg’s.

Why is this important?

We often hear Sanders and Warren grouped together because they are similar on policy.

In fact, Warren voters tend to cite this as a reason to support her rather than Sanders.

Emily Tisch Sussman, a guest on MSNBC had this to say on air: “If you are at this point in the race and still support Sanders it shows your sexism because they have the same ideas but Warren is a woman.”

If Warren and Sanders are so similar then why do their donors and voters look so different?

Because Sanders’s theory of political change is enough is enough.

Enough with corporate greed dictating our politics, enough with fossil fuel companies destroying the planet for profit, enough with billionaires existing, enough with abuse of workers and organized labor.

Warren is a “capitalist to her bones.”

Warren wants to cancel most, but not all of student debt.

Warren says Medicare-for-all “is a framework” and she’s open to other solutions.

Warren refuses to explicitly say she will leverage foreign aid to Israel if they continue expanding illegal settlements in the West Bank and brutalizing Palestinians.

Warren is here to split the difference between progressive and establishment politics.

She has a campaign, Sanders has a movement.

There is no way to quantify the value and power of revolutionary movement politics.

Truck drivers and bartenders live the struggle created by a system Sanders is working to fundamentally change.

The multi-racial working class is going with the candidate who has a proven track record of going to bat for them regardless of whether or not it’s popular.

Upper middle-class white liberals back candidates like Warren and Buttigieg because they’re “calmer” and “non-threatening.”

Best of luck using that energy to beat Trump in the midwest.