If Clinton prevails in the Democratic Primary, Bernie’s supporters won’t necessarily flock to her
In past elections, Republicans voted Republican and Democrats voted Democrat. The real battle was over the swing voters, the undecided. As bizarre as the 2016 election has been so far, this formula for American Democracy isn’t about to change.
If Hillary manages to pull off a victory and beat Bernie Sanders, most of his supporters will flock to Clinton despite some of her more conservative history and closeness to Wall Street. They will fly to her mostly out of fear of the other side.
Speaking of which, the same goes for Trump. If he inevitably wins, as much they dislike him, the rest of the Republican Party will rally around him. It’s always more favorable to support a Republican after all than a socialist or a woman.
In this election however, the anti-establishment voter is turning out to be a key demographic, particularly the independent variety. Despite the vast array of differences between them, independents such as this are choosing between Bernie and the Don with the other as their second choice.
It appears as if things have gotten so bad in the United States that people are willing to overlook their own values in order to throw a wrench in the system that no longer sees them as relevant.
Bernie Sanders matches up better against every Republican Nominee based largely on the anti-establishment vote. In a theoretical match-up of contenders based on collection of national polls on RealClear Politics, Sanders is beating Trump by 7.8% while Hillary is beating him by 2.8%. A full 5% difference.
While Clinton is seen as losing to Rubio, Kasich and even Cruz, Sanders is losing to no one. My point here is not about electability, I’ve covered that before, but I fear that a battle of establishment politicians will result in a Republican victory.
I know, Clinton is still beating Trump by a slim margin, but I’m not convinced that will last once the race is really on. If and when Trump and Clinton go head to head for the presidency, Trump will shift toward the center in order to pick up moderates and the more progressive-conservative anti-establishment vote. He will essentially label himself further as a Bernie Sanders without the socialism.
Some people have claimed that if Hillary beats out Bernie for the nomination, progressives will stay home and leave Clinton out to dry. That’s possible, there are liberals who outright despise the Clintons, but this year, the same can be said for Trump. There are many conservatives who simply won’t vote for a guy who supports Planned Parenthood and a single payer health system.
That being said, Trump will certainly steal Bernie’s voters away from Clinton in the general election. There is no question. Probably more than any other party has taken from another in a while. Bigots/racists actually come from all political persuasions (some more than others) and in America, they are plentiful.
Don’t look at Saturday’s example of Bernie supporters yelling “English only” at labor leader and Spanish interpreter Dolores Huerta. It has been debunked. But there are many instances of racism and bigotry all over social media. If people like that are supporting Sanders, they’ll have no trouble going to the other side after a Hillary victory.
Will these idiots be enough to eventually put Trump over the top? Who can say? What is certain is that no one has any idea what’s going to happen this year and anyone who says otherwise is a bigger liar than Ted Cruz.
This post has been updated to reflect that the Dolores Huerta story is false.