Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters don’t lack in enthusiasm, as a cursory perusal of social media proves. In fact, mainstream media once likened their zealotry to that of an “unhinged cult.” And now, with Hillary Clinton all-but cementing the Democratic nomination, the Bernie-or-bust crowd has drawn a line in the proverbial sand: nearly half of voters who support Sanders refuse to capitulate to the Democratic establishment by casting a vote for Clinton in the national election.
According to a recent national poll from Bloomberg Politics, just over half, 55 percent, of the Vermont senator’s followers said they would toe the Democratic Party line by voting for Clinton. Twenty-two percent would rather vote for her putative nemesis, Donald Trump, while 18 percent claim they’ll abandon the Democrat-Republican duopoly entirely by supporting Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson.
Despite the coordinated effort by the corporate media to proffer Hillary as a viable, acceptable candidate — by both downplaying his followers’ dedication and mocking their devotion as obstinate foolishness that could land Trump in the White House — many of Sanders’ proponents remain steadfastly undeterred.
Indeed, as the poll proves, an arguably bigoted demagogue and a third-party quasi-outsider have nearly the same appeal as the Democratic establishment’s darling — and the sheer volume of voters who balk at the prospect of voting Clinton has exploded in just three months’ time.
In March, a joint poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC, cited by the Nation, found nearly one-third of people backing Sanders would not cast a vote for Hillary should she secure the nomination — and just under 120,000 voters have agreed to either write-in Sanders or vote Green Party by taking the Bernie or Bust pledge. Similar sentiment exists in the dual NeverClinton and NeverHillary movements.
Democratic Party hardliners and sticklers have denounced Sanders’ bid for the presidency as extraneous and potentially detrimental to Clinton’s White House hopes — but with poll numbers remaining steady, and with Bernie garnering the only favorable views among voters, in general, it’s conceivable the opposite is true.