Nina Turner Hits the Panic Button

Nina Turner at the People's Rally, Washington DC

Nina Turner was flying high when she filed paperwork to run for Ohio's 11th Congressional district special election for the House seat formerly held by now-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Marcia Fudge.

Turner, a former Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein surrogate who used her position as the president of a Sanders-aligned dark money group to pad the pockets of her own cronies and members of the Sanders family, entered the 11th district race as the prohibitive favorite. Her highly visible roles at the two Sanders for President campaigns gave her near-universal name recognition, and money quickly started pouring into her coffers from far-left activists while she racked up early, high-profile, alt-left celebrity endorsements from the likes of Bernie Sanders himself, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ro Khanna, and the like.

Her campaign was so bullish about her chances that in June, they released an internal poll that they claimed showed Nina Turner had a massive, 35-point lead over her closest rival, Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chair and Cuyahoga County Councilmember Shontel Brown. The poll of likely voters, the Turner campaign touted, showed Turner dominating the field with 50% support, with Brown barely entering double-digits at 15%.

But Shontel Brown, who has for decades been a local organizer, kept steadily building her profile, earning endorsements, and putting together a formidable campaign apparatus for voters who are looking for an alternative to Turner. She cast herself as a community champion and a real Democrat - a Democrat who stood with President Obama and Hillary Clinton while Nina Turner was refusing to support the Democratic nominee in 2016, and now, as the candidate who will work hand-in-glove with President Biden if voters send her to Washington, as opposed to prioritizing political bomb-throwing in the mold of Nina Turner.

Momentum built as Brown picked up endorsements from local officials, organizations, and unions. Her profile soared in the last month when she was endorsed, in rapid succession, by Hillary Clinton, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee, and even the mother of Sec. Fudge. And while Nina Turner touted her endorsement by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which praised Turner for her support for busting the teachers union in Cleveland while she was in the Ohio State Senate (incidentally, the Plain Dealer itself is reputed for union-busting), Brown picked up the endorsements of both the local teachers union and the national American Federation of Teachers.

Finally, Brown and her allies have begun to go on the offensive against Nina Turner recently, as any campaign that wants to dethrone an early favorite must. Luckily for Brown, Turner's record leaves plenty to be desired. Turner's hostility to the Democratic party was always her biggest vulnerability, and thankfully for those of us who do not want to see her in Congress, Brown and her allies have trained their fire straight at it. The Brown campaign has released positive ads highlighting her eagerness to support the President's agenda in Congress, while independent groups have taken aim at Turner's disdain for Joe Biden.

Nina Turner wasn't just opposed to Joe Biden becoming President, she made sure everyone knew it in colorful language. In 2020, she compared voting for Biden to eating a bowl of human waste. Well, half a bowl. And not while Biden was running against Sanders in the primary, but in the general election, when he was facing Trump. That record, coming to light, is making the Turner camp nervous.

This ad, sponsored by DMFI PAC and spotted over the last week, may have finally set them onto full panic mode.
Turner's campaign released a response ad attempting to shore up her Democratic bona fides, but without addressing a single specific issue raised in the previous ad. Turner's ad also laughably attacks Brown's "out of state" supporters, which is quite rich given the fact that the vast majority of Turner's own campaign money comes from outside of Ohio, and it is Brown whose campaign is heavily dependent on Ohio donors. Californians gave Nina Turner twice as much money as any other state, while Ohioans gave Shontel Brown 13 times as much as residents of any other state. And of course, multiple outside dark money groups, like Our Revolution and Sunrise Movement, are pumping resources into the effort to elect Turner.

Also, when she has a minute, maybe Nina Turner can tell us what part of Cleveland Bernie Sanders hails from.
Of course, the reason Turner does not address the specific issues raised by the DMFI ad is that she can't. She did team up with Jill Stein after the Democratic primary in 2016 and refused to support Hillary Clinton. She did relish trashing President Biden by claiming his voters are shit-eaters. Not to mention she founded an entirely new political party with the sole purpose to defeat Democrats. That might have gotten her a lot of Twitter followers and the gushing of the alt-left, but it's problem in a Democratic primary, particularly a Democratic primary in a district where more than half the residents are Black - the same Black voters responsible for Joe Biden winning the Democratic nomination and then the White House.

Ohio 11th's demographics are precisely why some of the biggest headaches among Turner supporters on the mainstream and alt-left media are being caused by the Clyburn endorsement. Prior to Rep. Clyburn's endorsement of Joe Biden, the Bernie Sanders campaign had been riding high after performing well in the first three primary and caucuses while Biden's candidacy had been counted out in much of the media.

After Clyburn's endorsement, which came just three days before the pivotal Southe Carolina primary, everything changed. Biden won a thumping 30-point victory in South Carolina and carried that momentum to Super Tuesday on March 3. Biden left political pundits and the Sanders campaign dumbfounded, as he won states like Minnesota, Massachusetts, and Texas, drowning Sanders's delegate lead and closing off Bernie's path to the nomination. By April, Sanders dropped out.

There is nothing the socialist alt-left fears more than coalescing of the Black vote, and there's no one they fear more as a catalyst for that coalescing than Jim Clyburn. Turner's contempt for the Democratic party - in a heavily blue district - was always apparent, but the CBC, Clyburn, and Clinton endorsements, as well as ads zeroing in, are putting a spotlight on that contempt. If anything can defeat Turner and put Shontel Brown over the top, it's this spotlight.

Nina Turner is panicking. She should be.

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