Politics

Why You Shouldn't Freak Out about Bernie or Bust

June 10th 2016

By:
Kyle Jaeger

Despite much concern from liberal pundits, it looks like Bernie Sanders voters aren't going to throw their support behind Donald Trump when the Vermont senator drops out of the presidential race, a new poll finds.

In fact, six times as many Sanders supporters say they'll shift their vote to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton than to Trump, according to SurveyUSA data compiled exclusively for The Guardian.

Make no mistake about it, that shift is expected to help Clinton substantially in the general election.

Throughout the 2016 races, politicos have speculated about a possible breakdown in party unity over the Sanders-Clinton divide, with alarmist predictions that Sanders' voter base would go for Trump if their candidate of choice didn't win the Democratic nomination, The Atlantic reports. (Trump has certainly tried to make that argument.) Now that Clinton is clearly positioned to take the nomination, this poll seems to put the lie to those arguments.

"Of those who vote for Sanders when Sanders’ name appears on the ballot, 13 percent say they will stay home if Sanders name is not on the ballot, 41 percent vote for Clinton, 15 percent vote for [Libertarian candidate Gary] Johnson, 11 percent vote for [Green Party candidate Jill] Stein, and 7 percent defect to Trump," SurveyUSA writes.

This poll was conducted the day after the June 7 primaries, when Clinton won decisively in major states California and New Jersey, earning her enough delegates to be named the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

So much for the Bernie or Bust movement.

What's more, SurveyUSA found evidence that this post-Sanders shift will significantly bolster Clinton's support among young voters, where Sanders has prevailed and Clinton has struggled.

"With Sanders on the ballot, voters age 18 to 34 split 32 percent for Clinton, 29 percent for Sanders, and 26 percent for Trump," the polling company wrote.
"With Sanders not on the ballot, Clinton wins the youngest voters by 14 points."

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