Published with permission from Alternet.
Despite attempts by establishment Democrats to unify the party ahead of the general election, an astonishing poll out today by Bloomberg Politics shows almost half of Bernie Sanders supporters say they would not support Hillary Clinton in the general election.
Fifty-five percent of voters who supported Sanders in the primary say they’ll vote for the former Secretary of State, while over a fifth—22 percent—of Sanders supporters claim they will cast their ballot for Republican nominee Donald Trump. Eighteen percent say they plan to vote for the Libertarian choice, Gary Johnson.
This poll comes two weeks after Clinton became the presumptive nominee. Sanders, who promised to “support” Clinton and vowed to “do everything in my power” to defeat Trump,” has yet to endorse the former Secretary of State. He has previously said it’s “incumbent” upon Clinton to make the case to his millions of supporters, “who do not believe in establishment politics or establishment economics,” and who may view Clinton’s Wall Street donors as a serious liability.
Indeed, of the dozen people interviewed by Bloomberg Politics in conjunction with the poll, many cited their perception of Clinton’s hawkish pragmatism and corporate ties as the main reasons they refuse to support the candidate. Some insist nothing could change their minds.
“There’s zero percent chance that Hillary Clinton could ever get my vote,” Baltimore resident Perry Mitchell told Bloomberg. “She’s a corporate candidate. I don’t vote for corporate candidates. I don’t do the lesser of two evils.”
But other voters, including 27-year-old Sanders supporter Albert Arevalo, recognize the alternative to Clinton is unacceptable.
“A true Bernie fan would be stupid to not vote for a Democrat,” Arevalo said. “By being ignorant and not voting you are electing a racist troll.”
It’s possible that a Sanders endorsement of Clinton would sway some voters, though the Bloomberg Politics poll shows only 5 percent of Sanders voters say they would vote for the presumptive nominee even if he endorses her. And some die-hard Sanders supporters like Ethan Winnett, 31, say endorsing Clinton would be “a betrayal of all his principles.”
“She’s become everything that we’re against,” Winnett told the New York Times, adding “if we get Trump, then we’ve gotten the country we deserve.”
“It’s not the fault of the Bernie Sanders supporters,” Winnett claimed. “It’s the fault of the Democrats for choosing Hillary Clinton.”
Photo: U.S. Democratic presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talk before the start of the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson