If Hillary Clinton was thinking that she could put Donald Trump to bed with help of the legions of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ supporters, she may be in for a rude awakening on Election Day. According to the New York Times, while Sanders may have sold out his revolution for a speech at the Democrat Convention in July, his millions of supporters are balking at the idea of voting for Clinton.
Recently at a campaign rally in Lebanon, N.H. Sanders received a taste of the soured feelings his former Bernie backers have for him and for Hillary Clinton. As he spoke to the crowd, many former supporters yelled back, at him “Never Hillary!” Others, stressed loudly that they were backing the Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.
Sanders who has disappeared nearly as quickly as he appeared on the national presidential political stage has to be feeling a bit disappointed that his sway over his former populist movement has nearly vaporized. In fact, to say that some former Bernie backers distrust Sanders’ judgment would not be far off the mark.
One former Sanders supporter, Lois Corcoran, who is now firmly in the Ms. Stein presidential camp said, “I feel very betrayed by him,” reported the New York Times. The 52-year-old activist added, “He says it’s not the man, it’s the message, but yet he’s jumped over to the Democrats’ message.”
This has to be excellent news for Trump who recently has enjoyed a post Labor Day bump in several national polls as well as in key battleground state polling. Typically polls begin to tighten in the first week of October as the election day nears. The fact that Trump is ahead in several national polls while pulling well within the margin of error in others, demonstrates that Clinton’s post-convention double digit lead has vanished.
While many of Bernie’s supporters will not take Sanders’ populist positions on trade and economic freedom for the average American over to the Trump camp, they may simply sit this election out. It appears, for all of the political pundits who never predicted that Sanders had truly unleashed a new American political movement, the reality is that it was and is very real.
Therefore, Hillary and her campaign should not automatically assume that these millions of voters would simply abandon their principals because Clinton is the Democrat nominee. Perhaps 2016 is the year as was 1828, when a new party emerges on the American political presidential landscape, as the Democrat party did with the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828.
Both Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Dr. Jill Stein of the Green Party already have a noticeable impact on the presidential race. Stein, who ran in 2012 as the Green Party’s nominee is currently polling nationally between three and four points while Johnson is polling between eight and nine points according to Real Clear Politics. Their combined 11 to 13 or more points can be the difference is handing a close election over to Trump in key battleground states.
With the general election just a few scant weeks away, Sanders may need to play defense against his own movement members, especially if he is greeted by fiery Clinton detractors. One example says it all. A woman at the rally waved a sign that said “No Corruption, No Clinton,” reported the Times.
Wake up, Sanders, maybe you should have opted to run as the leader of your own new populist socialist movement named: “American Hammer Time Party”. Oh wait, you probably need M.C. Hammer’s permission. Just add the sickle and former Russian leader Joseph Stalin will rise from his grave in approval.