Sunday, February 7, 2016

If Bernie Sanders Loses, His Supporters May Bail Out Come November

Yeah, because Bernie's cool, and Hillary's the non-motivational candidate. Or, well, she'll motivate voters to skip the general election if she's the nominee — or vote for Donald Trump!

At the Los Angeles Times, "If Bernie Sanders loses, his backers may not be there for Hillary Clinton in November":

Gio Vanecchia is so enamored of Bernie Sanders that he made a five-hour drive with his wife and infant son from South Jersey on Saturday morning to catch a glimpse of the progressive firebrand.

But what if Sanders loses the Democratic nomination? Asked whether he will be there to vote for the Democrat in November should Sanders falter, the 34-year-old union mechanic reacts as if the question is insane. There is not a chance, he insists, that he would ever support Hillary Clinton.

“She’s establishment,” Vanecchia said. “Most of the guys I work with think she’s a criminal.”

Usually, that sort of primary-season hostility means little when the general election rolls around. Even after bitter battles, voters generally coalesce around the goal of beating the opposing party.

But Sanders voters are a unique lot, and Clinton campaign strategists are growing concerned about whether they will be there for her should she be the Democratic pick.

This is not a group that is particularly loyal to the Democratic Party. While liberal Democrats make up a big chunk of Sanders’ support, many other backers are independents. Some mistrust the party so much that Sanders supporters booed the party chair when she took the stage Friday night at a dinner at which the candidates spoke.

Vanecchia’s second choice for president is Donald Trump.

Before a single ballot has been cast here, Clinton is already reaching out to the voters she knows will be deciding against her in Tuesday’s primary, particularly the younger ones, who so far are showing her campaign little love.

At a rally in Manchester on Friday, Clinton had a message for New Hampshire’s young voters: “I know you may not be for me now, but I am for you,” she said. She made the same gesture Saturday at a town hall at New England College in Henniker, an event her campaign advertised on the “Students for Sanders” Reddit page.

But even such olive branches turn off some Sanders voters...
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