Rising Newsletter: Bernie’s Early State Surge

Media assures us Buttigieg is in 4th, 'but a strong 4th'

Hello #Risers! Welcome to the fourth edition of our newsletter. If you haven’t already, tell your friends to sign up by sharing the link to this post!

As promised every Friday we’ll tell you what our favorite segments of the week are, give you a written and expanded version of #RisingQs, and give you our weekly takeaways. If there’s anything you love, like, dislike, or hate don’t hesitate to reply to this email with your thoughts!

Favorite Segments Of The Week

1) Glenn Greenwald:

Why: Glenn enthusiastically defended Bernie Sanders plan not to prosecute whisteblowers under the Espionage Act and ripped media coverage of the raid to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi.

2) Omeed Malik:

Why: Tulsi Gabbard attended a Wall Street fundraiser which raised a lot of eyebrows amongst progressives. Luckily the guy who threw the fundraiser was more than happy to stop by and answer questions about why somebody like him would back Gabbard. Omeed offered a fresh and unique perspective you very rarely hear from somebody on Wall Street.

3) Michael Brooks:

Why: Michael shed light on uprisings across the world from Chile to Lebanon. The turmoil has been totally ignored by the U.S. media and could represent a backlash to neoliberals. As Michael tells us, protestors in Chile are shouting “neoliberalism was born here and will die here.”

Expanded #RisingQs


Saagar - I’ve been the annoying political kid in class ever since I was in grade school during the 2000 presidential election. That being said, I absolutely love history. If I were to do something else maybe I would be professor like my parents.

Krystal - Before I was in politics, I was a CPA! I actually started my career working in Federal government accounting systems design so I guess if not for politics, I would still be working in that thrilling field.


Answer (from both): The obvious answer is this:

Even scarier is the zombie of neoliberalism that just won’t die


Answer (from Saagar): I believe socialism would condemn the United States to a backwater nation with no say in the affairs of the world, and worse subjugated by the Chinese state. Socialism would inherently require destroying the economic infrastructure the U.S. uses to project power across the globe. This would come precisely at a time when the Chinese are using state-subsidized capitalism to do the very same thing.

In my debates with full blown socialists they hold up European nations as an example of what our ideal society would look like. That is my nightmare scenario. For more, listen to my podcast episode with Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara here.

Weekly Takeaways

Krystal’s Takeaway: Pete rises at Warren’s expense?

A spate of good news for the Sanders campaign continued into Friday with a new Iowa poll showing him improving his position quite a bit over other recent Iowa polls. This new New York Times/UNH poll has him jumping up to 2nd just behind Warren and within the margin of error for the poll. Meanwhile, Biden has dropped to 4th place as every single young person flees to a different candidate. He garners only 2%(!!!) of support from voters under the age of 45 and is getting crushed by Andrew Yang among the youngest cohort. Buttigieg has moved into 3rd place on the strength of the post-grad crowd.  This is the second good poll for Bernie this week in the early states coming on the heels of a CNN New Hampshire poll that showed him in the lead in the Granite state. That poll also showed Bernie as the top candidate for healthcare and climate change, the top two issues for that state’s primary voters.

The new Iowa poll had another good number for Bernie, his supporters are the most committed of any candidate. That means they are both least likely to change their minds and also most likely to show up to brave the complicated and lengthy caucus process. All in all not a bad place to sit in the first two states, for anyone, let alone a guy just coming off a heart attack.

There’s also a dynamic to watch as we move forward. Buttigieg definitely seems to be picking up steam in Iowa and New Hampshire and nationally as well with the major caveat that his support is still quite monolithically white. But part of Warren’s recent momentum has been consolidating affluent white support, a demographic group with which Buttigieg also performs quite well. Although pundits tend to think Buttigieg’s rise will hurt Biden most because they are similar ideologically, it is just as likely to pull from Warren because of the overlap in their coalitions. They are both darlings of the white professional managerial class. In CNN’s New Hampshire poll this demographic overlap is clear. Warren voters top 2nd choice is Bernie Sanders but next in line is Pete Buttigieg. For Pete voters, their top 2nd choice pick is Warren. So keep an eye on this dynamic, if Pete continues to rise, he could well eat into Warren’s support. As I wrote earlier this week, Warren’s momentum does seem to have slowed or reversed post-debate.

Saagar’s Takeaway: My Dire Warning For The American Right

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are atop the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. The Trump campaign is gearing up its response and I am deeply worried they, and the rest of the American right, are setting themselves up for an abject failure. The Republican party under Trump has been coopted by the Chamber of Commerce, libertarians, and professional consultants to push the same tired Reagan ideology with a uniquely Trumpian flair.

The Trump campaign has flown socialism sucks banners at every single Democratic debate, as if that is a clever way to respond to candidates who are trying to address lack of access to healthcare and historic income inequality. Donald Trump won the presidency precisely because he rejected the free market ideology of the American right. Embracing the banner of “socialism sucks” is learning exactly the wrong lesson from his 2016 campaign and sets the party up for failure.

I noted this week on the show that a new survey shows 72% of millenials consider it likely that they will support a socialist. I don’t believe they actually want socialism, they’ve just been told by generations of conservatives that they’re socialists if they support government efforts to reign in corporations so they shrug and they go “sure I guess.”

To truly preserve the American system, the right must abandon once and for all the professional libertarian class. Libertarians claim to be against crony capitalism, but the truth is that they are the greatest allies of corporations. They support no robust government effort to reign in private control of American freedoms. They were founded upon the idea that centralized power is the greatest threat to the American experiment, they just forgot that centralized power can’t just exist in the form of governments.