Politics

Sanders Supporters Should Back Clinton

| by Mark Jones
Bernie Sanders addresses his supporters in Phoenix, AZBernie Sanders addresses his supporters in Phoenix, AZ

During the Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders urged his supporters to back Hillary Clinton. According to an article written for FiveThirtyEight, one-third of Sanders supporters still refuse to support Clinton. In the interest of securing an America closest to the one envisioned by Sanders, it is imperative that this subset of undecided voters give their support to Clinton.

According to CNN poll results released at the beginning of August, 91 percent of Sanders supporters said that they would vote for Clinton if given the choice between the Democratic presidential nominee and her Republican opponent, Donald Trump.

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The same poll, however, shows that support for Clinton among Sanders supporters drops to 69 percent when voters were given the option to vote for a third party candidate.

Clinton leads the polls dramatically at the moment.  In a Fox News poll conducted on Aug. 3, Clinton led Trump by 10 points. Other post-convention polls have shown similar results.

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Because of her dramatic lead, the skeptical one-third of Anti-Clinton Sanders supporters are not causing great concern for the Democratic party presently. FiveThirtyEight reports that their support would add to Clinton’s lead over Trump by just one percentage point.

That one percentage point, however, could become critical as the election draws nearer.

CNN reports that Democratic leaders are remaining wary of the “convention bump” effect.  This is the phenomenon that accounts for presidential candidates’ dramatic increase in support during the days or weeks immediately following their parties’ conventions.

Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director, said, “There's a reason they call the convention bounces a 'bounce.' They can shoot you up to an artificial high and then come down to reality.” 

She added, “We are really glad that our convention was so well-received but believe that we continue to face an electorate that is still very divided and know this election will be close."

If Clinton does not retain her lead sparked by the DNC, that 1 percentage point increase over Trump could make a difference in the November election.

Sanders supporters don't have to look anywhere other than the Vermont Senator’s 2016 DNC speech for reason to back Clinton.

In his speech, Sanders compared the two major party presidential nominees, continuously emphasizing why Clinton would be a better choice for the presidency than Trump.

Sanders said, “We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger, not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans and divides us up.”

He pointed out the ways in which Clinton’s proposed policy ideas aligned closely with his own, including the guarantee of tuition-free higher education to the children of families earning less than $125,000 annually.

For Sanders supporters who fervently advocate for greater educational opportunities, affordable healthcare, and the elimination of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Hillary Clinton is a more logical choice than Donald Trump.

Come November, third-party candidates will not receive enough support to win the presidential election. This is a reality that all Americans must come to accept.  Giving valuable support to one of these candidates, therefore, is simply a waste in a close election between Democratic and Republican nominees.

The subset of undecided Sanders voters should grant their support to Clinton now, even as her post-convention lead over Trump continues to remain strong .

In an interview with Bloomberg’s Albert R. Hunt, Sanders most simply stated, “We have got to do everything that we can to defeat Donald Trump and elect Hillary Clinton.”  Now, it is up to his followers to choose whether or not they will join his efforts. 

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: FiveThirtyEight, CNN, CNN-ORC, Fox News Politics, Politico, Bloomberg / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr