The media reports that one in four Sanders supporters will not vote for Hillary in November if she is the Democratic nominee. I have no idea whom they are polling, as I do not know a single Bernie supporter who will back Hillary.
I’m sure there are plenty, and those I know may well be atypical. But most want to write-in Bernie if he is not the Democratic nominee. Others want to vote for Jill Stein of the Greens, who has a platform not very dissimilar from Bernie’s.
A significant number wish to deny Hillary the presidency if she is nominated, and plan on voting for Donald Trump.
Personally, I am in the latter category.
Voting for Trump is only helpful in those states where he might be able to defeat Hillary, so called “battleground” or purple states. Purple states include Florida, Ohio, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada. Depending on the polls, the list may grow to include some traditional blue states, like New Mexico, North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota.
But for Sanders voters in red sates, those carried by McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012. there is nothing to be gained by voting for Trump, as he will carry those states against Hillary with or without Sanders voters.
Yesterday I received a message on the Armory from Cliff Sommers:
Vincent, you’ve outlined what I call the Blue state strategy, where a vote for Trump hurts Clinton. Now how about moving on now and also publicizing a second collaborative Red state strategy where a vote for Trump is meaningless — where he’s going to capture electoral votes anyway? In the Red states we can help tamp down Trump’s margins of victory and simultaneously support building up the Green Party as a competitive force in 2018 and beyond. If the Greens can attract 1 in 5 of Bernie’s dispossessed supporters, that will be enough for the Greens to become eligible for full federal campaign financial support — effectively thrusting them into the big leagues of American politics and gaining us all an alternative to another round of bad choices between two evil corporatist shill candidates. Of all of the existing and startup leftist parties, the Greens are closet to achieving escape velocity and breaking through into the majors! They are also the ONE viable alternative vehicle for electing Bernie Sanders in 2016 if denied the Demonic Party nomination because only they have the established ballot access and in-progress ballot access initiatives strategically necessary to elect a leftist presidential candidate this year.
Of course Cliff Sommers is absolutely correct, Sanders supporters in red states have the opportunity to make a profound difference to the American political landscape by voting for Jill Stein of the Green party. While the likelihood is minimal that such votes would do anything to affect the outcome of races in those red states, the cumulative effect of a wave of Green party votes could operate to help the party reach the threshold of 5% of the vote to qualify the party for federal funds.
Many Sanders supporters are invested in the prospect of Bernie running as an independent or a third party candidate, especially given the deplorable treatment he has received at the hands of Hillary’s DNC and the Democratic establishment.
Unfortunately, there is no way in Hell that Bernie could win the presidency as a candidate of other than the Democratic party.
The American political system is anathema to third parties. Not one has ever succeeded at the national level. Even though headed by a former president of the US, the tremendously popular American hero Teddy Roosevelt, the Bull Moose (Progressive) party could not win against the Republicans and Democrats.
While it is possible that Bernie could make a credible showing in a three way race, it is highly unlikely he could win. If none of the three were to reach the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the presidency, the contest is thrown into the House of Representatives, where each state’s Congressional delegation has a single vote. Advantage: Trump, as the Republicans control more state delegations than do Democrats. And where a third party has zero.
A failed Sanders run will preclude the very real likelihood that progressives can take over the Democratic party, and could stop his revolution in its tracks. Like most third party efforts, they become political footnotes to the election.
It is infinitely easier to take over an existing national party than it is to build one from scratch and win national elections.
Bernie has come close this year. In one or two election cycles it will be possible to wrest control of the Democratic party from Wall Street, as Millennials begin to assume positions in society and politics. It will occur all the more quickly if Bernie wins the Democratic nomination. If he does not, our best chance is for Hillary to be defeated by Donald Trump, leaving Bernie as the most influential Democrat in the party.
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