Michelle Goldberg writes: Until Tuesday night, I had assumed that my neighborhood, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, was overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders. Sanders bumper stickers and T-shirts outnumbered those for Hillary Clinton by what seemed like 20 to 1. A couple of times, I thought about putting my baby daughter in a Clinton onesie — whatever my hesitations about Clinton’s candidacy, I love the idea of my girl’s first image of an American president being female. But I always hesitated, not wanting to invite playground harangues from local dads about Goldman Sachs and the Fed.
When I looked up Cobble Hill on the nifty New York Times tool providing neighborhood-by-neighborhood results, however, it turned out that Clinton won the immediate area around my apartment by 59.4 percent. A block over, she won by 72.5 percent. She won all around me. A lot of Clinton supporters, evidently, have been keeping quiet about their allegiances.
There are a couple of explanations for this. Sanders fans seem to be more enthusiastic, though it takes a certain amount of enthusiasm to vote in a primary at all. Registered independents couldn’t vote in New York’s closed primary, particularly given the absurd, undemocratic October deadline for switching parties. But I think there might be something else at work as well: an optical illusion that the candidate with the most white male support had the most support, period. I had let myself mistake the loudest people for The People.
I’m not trying to deny that the Sanders coalition is diverse or to erase the many passionate women and men of color who supported him. But the fact remains that according to exit polls, Clinton won every racial and gender demographic except white men. And somehow, I’d become convinced that, in my own backyard, their preferences were far more widespread than they really are. [Continue reading…]