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Clinton Has Already Won the Nomination (But the reason why isn't what you think.)

Updated on May 28, 2015

The democratic nominations are still a ways away, but the winner has already been decided: Hillary Clinton. Elizabeth Warren isn't running and no one cares about Bernie Sanders. So it's going to be Clinton with the nomination.

This is the story countless news sources have been pushing ever since Hillary Clinton declared her presidential bid. Actually, people were predicting her victory even before that.

Most sources don't even offer much reason as to why she is going to win. She's going to win the nomination because she's going to win the nomination and that's that. But why? It's not because no one cares about Bernie Sanders because people absolutely do. And it's not solely pessimism over a candidate like Sanders winning over someone backed by large corporations. There's something much more prevalent, but harder to detect going on.

The reason Clinton is going to win is because countless media sources, as a collective whole, have decided she's going to win. Because of this, the general public has accepted this as fact, and so people who don't like Clinton will not vote at all, or people on the fence will vote for her because they figure she's going to win anyway, and there's no point in throwing a vote away on someone who has no chance. This is called the Third Person Effect.

First proposed by W. Phillips Davison in 1983, the Third Person Effect is a theory with two parts.

1) We believe that media influences others more than it influences ourselves. ("Others" being an unspecified third party.)

2) We are more likely to follow the crowd not because we are directly influenced by media, but because we think that everyone else is.

Let's break this down. The first part isn't saying that we, as individuals, do not believe we are above media influence: that it doesn't effect us at all. Rather we believe that others are influenced by media more than ourselves. How many times have you heard someone say that they believe media is influential, just not over them? Maybe you've even thought this about yourself. (Makes you wonder how much and in what way media is influential if it only seems to affect some unspecified group of people over there, out of sight, rather than you or me.)

The second part of the theory is a little more tricky, and I've found to be best explained by using lots of examples. Here's one:

Countless news sources are predicting a shortage in whatever food choice you want. (Let's say chocolate.) There is no shortage yet, but there might be. Maybe. Now everyone is sitting at home thinking to themselves, "Oh great, now all the crazies are going to raid the chocolate section of stores. I better grab some before they run out." Now everyone is running to the stores, knowing full well there will probably not be a shortage, but the "crazies" don't know. So now there is a shortage of chocolate because everyone had to buy some chocolate before the crazies got it all. But who are the crazies? Everyone else. Not me and surely not you. All these other people are crazy. Right?

No. Either everyone is crazy or no one is. There is no in-between in this situation. News sources reporting on a possible shortage indirectly created a shortage.

Now apply that line of thinking to the democratic primaries. Everywhere we look, people are announcing Hillary Clinton as the winner of an election that hasn't happened yet. There's no point in donating to a campaign that has no hope of beating Clinton, right? Surely voting for anyone besides her would be a waste because they aren't going to win anyway? Why even bother voting at all? The candidate I like has no chance.

And that's why Clinton is going to win the nomination. Countless media sources have decided she is going to win, and we believe it, but not because we think she's the best candidate or because we want her to win. We've accepted her victory as fact because we think everyone else is blinded by the media and so will vote for her, even though we might not want to. And there's no point in going against the tide: no point in supporting a candidate that stands no chance of winning.

Right? Hopefully, your answer to that question is "no." I know mine is.


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    • Meghan Beatty profile imageAUTHOR

      Meghan Beatty 

      3 years ago from PA

      Yes, I was referring to "Okayyafewthings." Haha. Sorry for the confusion.

    • steve8miller profile image

      Steven Miller 

      3 years ago from Ohio Great City of Dayton

      I am assuming you were talking to Mrs "Okayafewthings" lol. Whenever I see Hillary getting any attention I am like a bug to light. lol. This women is evil period and my last comment was to okayafewthings. I think this is a good post got carried away forgot to mention that =o)

    • Meghan Beatty profile imageAUTHOR

      Meghan Beatty 

      3 years ago from PA

      I see you completely missed my sarcasm. Well done.

    • steve8miller profile image

      Steven Miller 

      3 years ago from Ohio Great City of Dayton

      We can give long speeches all we want but the facts are Hillary Clinton should be in jail, let alone running for president. I asked 10 people if they would vote for Hillary Clinton and 11 people laugh at me and tell me she sells drugs and peddles "porn" just do a quick Google.

      Is character nothing anymore? Like a wise man said, there is nothing new under the Sun, and where not talking about dancing on a photon here we are talking the king of kings. If all these people hate the internet so much then why do they stay on it so much???

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Well first off, it's inaccurate to claim that media outlets are already predicting that she's going to win the election. That's a very general statement and with all the things that could happen between now and 2016, it's premature to start making any concrete declarations. It's more on point to say that most media outlets are admitting her status as the front-runner for the democratic nomination, a position that she does, admittedly, seem unlikely to lose. But she didn't get to this point just because the media has anointed her as such.

      She's been active in politics for most of her adult life, with a storied law career in both the private and public sector. When she was the First Lady of Arkansas, she had an active role in propelling a variety of policy initiatives. She did this for years, and this was before she had a passenger seat view of the U.S. Presidency, during which she was a far cry from the ceremonial hostess of the White House. After that she went immediately from the White House to the senate, where she went on to be elected to a second term before deciding to run for President. She had that pretty much locked down until Obama came along, and she still ended up becoming his Secretary of State in his first term. This gave her invaluable foreign policy experience. This, all coupled with the fact that she has a familiar family name, and that she's been in the public eye on a national level for almost a quarter decade, is the main reason she's been so successful at fundraising, which in turn is why she's been touted as the front-runner of the democratic nomination, to say nothing of the endorsements she has received from a vast majority of prominent democrats. People will vote for her for these reasons, not because the media tells them too.

      Also, it's pretty cynical and illinformed to think that there's no point in voting for someone if theres no chance they can win. History has taught us time and time again how candidates with little to no expectations of winning can come out of nowhere with unexpected momentum. This is true as recently as 2008, where John McCain was considered a long-shot for the Republican nomination, or even with Hillary's husband Bill, whose victory in both the primary and general elections was achieved against popular odds. More to the point though, to say no one cares about Bernie Sanders is a gross understatement. Bernie Sanders is far more liberal than Hillary on pretty much all of the issues, and because of that, many people think that it's not only good that he is running but important. Sure, he can't match Hillary in endorsements or fund raising, but his position on issues are positions that are shared by millions of voters. Sanders throwing his hat into the race means that Hillary will be forced to openly acknowledge and debate those issues as opposed to ignoring them and walking her own line. This is important in any election and in democracy as a whole. It ensures that minority views are heard. In the case of 2016, having Sanders as a far-left counterweight to Clinton's wall-street friendly image will only force Clinton to work towards shedding that image.

      Basically what you're saying is "Hillary will win because the media says she will win, and they're saying that because she will win," which is A) wrong, and B) far too simplified and circular of an argument, and politics don't work that way, especially a political system as complicated and convoluted as the U.S. government.

    • steve8miller profile image

      Steven Miller 

      3 years ago from Ohio Great City of Dayton

      Wow if Hillary Clinton becomes president then the world is in trouble. She holds all the keys of Power in Washington and you know she will use them. She will have no issue causing a war by trying to pull guns from Americans.

      Anyone thinking about voting for Hillary Clinton needs to do a quick YouTube search with the phrase "Hillary Clinton, Chinagate, travelgate, whitewater, cattle futures, drug dealing, and so on and so on. This women is said to have raped women. From what I saw both her and her husband are bad for America. I was a democrat until I realized its all a farce.


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