Reuters/Ipsos recently conducted a poll in which it asked Americans whether the primary process for choosing presidential candidates was rigged. Here’s what they found:
More than half of American voters believe that the system U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is “rigged” and more than two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The results echo complaints from Republican front-runner Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders that the system is stacked against them in favor of candidates with close ties to their parties – a critique that has triggered a nationwide debate over whether the process is fair.
Trump has repeatedly railed against the rules, at times calling them undemocratic. After the Colorado Republican Party awarded all its delegates to Ted Cruz, for example, Trump lashed out in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, charging “the system is being rigged by party operatives with ‘double-agent’ delegates who reject the decision of voters.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has dismissed Trump’s complaints as “rhetoric” and said the rules would not be changed before the Republican convention in July.
Some 51 percent of likely voters who responded to the April 21-26 online survey said they believed the primary system was “rigged” against some candidates. Some 71 percent of respondents said they would prefer to pick their party’s nominee with a direct vote, cutting out the use of delegates as intermediaries.
The results also showed 27 percent of likely voters did not understand how the primary process works and 44 percent did not understand why delegates were involved in the first place. The responses were about the same for Republicans and Democrats.
Many people will read this and say, so what? Everyone knows it’s rigged? To that I would say, not quite.
While anyone paying close attention will have come to terms with the fact that everything in America is rigged to favor a handful of oligarchs, most people have been either blissfully unaware, or in denial, of this reality for most of their lives. The painful admission by 51% of Americans polled that the process for choosing the U.S. President is a rigged sham, is an indispensable first step toward correcting the problem. As James Baldwin so accurately noted:
So the first observation is that the American public is finally starting to wake up. The second observation is that this is very good news for Trump.
If Trump were running against Sanders in the general, he’d be in huge trouble. Fortunately for him, he’ll get to compete against one of most corrupt, dishonest political creatures the world has ever seen. This allows him to continue to play the outsider role against a consummate crony insider.
Moreover, he’s the candidate who can honestly say primary rigging has worked to undermine, while everyone knows Hillary is the candidate the rigging worked to benefit. Trump will win the nomination despite the establishment doing everything thy could to stop him. In an environment in which 43% of Americans identify as independents, and 51% see the whole process as rigged, who do you think this benefits?
Trump couldn’t have asked for a better setup. All he has to do now is close.