Bernie Sanders’ supporters are angry after a recent tweet from Nate Silver, editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight, referred to some of Bernie Sanders’ followers as “residue.” Silver, meanwhile, has doubled down on Twitter defending what he wrote. Here’s what’s happening.
Nate Silver Said: ‘White Liberals (Are) Likely to Leave Him … So the Residue of What’s Left Is More Diverse’
The controversy started when Silver was discussing Sanders’ recent poll numbers in Iowa. The poll showed Elizabeth Warren leading Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, Des Moines Register reported. Warren had 22 percent in the poll, compared to Biden’s 20 percent and Sanders’ 11 percent. Someone on Twitter noted that a positive sign for Sanders was that his support is more diverse than it was in 2016. That’s when Silver’s controversial tweet was made.
Silver wrote in response: “Not sure Bernie should get credit for having more diverse support than last time given that he has far less support than last time. A lot of voters have left him. White liberals have been particularly likely to leave him (for Warren) so the residue of what’s left is more diverse.”
Sanders’ supporters are taking issue to the characterization that the people of color who support him are referred to as “residue.”
Silver clarified his comments in a later tweet.
He wrote: “Put another way, Sanders is doing worse among blacks and Hispanics than in 2016, but he’s doing *much* worse among whites, among whom he overperformed last time. That’s the sense in which his support is more diverse, not in his actually having made inroads with voters of color.
But then he got snarky.
He wrote: “You know who had diverse support? De Blasio, that’s who. He had 0% among whites, 0% among blacks, 0% among Hispanics, 0% among men and 0% among women. 0% among college graduates and 0% among non-college voters. 0% among evangelicals and 0% among LGBTQs. Hard to get more diverse.”
Bernie Sanders’ Supporters Are Now Tweeting #ResidueforBernie
Sanders supporters were unhappy about this characterization and are now tweeting about it, including using the hashtag #ResidueforBernie in some of their tweets.
They’re also speaking out about it on Facebook too.
On Facebook someone else pointed out that if a Republican had tweeted the same, they’d be demolished and not defended.
This isn’t the first time that Sanders’ supporters have thought that Silver’s tweets have seemed to show a bias against Sanders. In mid-September, Silver tweeted the following:
His tweet read: “Wrote last week how I didn’t think there was a clear dividing line between the “top tier” and the rest of the D field. But if you *had* to draw a line right now, it would probably after 2 candidates (Biden, Warren) rather than 3 or 4 or some other number.”
At the time of his tweet, there was a clear line between three top candidates and the rest. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden were consistently polling in double digits while the other Democratic candidates were polling consistently in single digits. Biden was still typically leading, but Warren was seeing some improvements and sometimes placing second instead of Sanders. But Sanders and Warren were still typically switching back and forth between second and third place.
Sanders supporters called him out then too.
Silver, in turn, has said on Twitter that Sanders’ supporters are “annoying,” (although not naming them by name.)
He wrote: “I honestly think the annoyingness of a certain candidate’s supporters on Twitter prevents other reporters/analysts from pointing out that said candidate’s campaign obviously isn’t going that well.”