Sanders Warns That His Supporters Will Not Automatically Support Clinton If She Is The Nominee

Sanders Clinton

A big question for Sanders’ supporters has been what to do should Clinton win the Democratic nomination. This nomination battle differs from other recent battles in the vast ideological difference between many of those supporting Sanders and Hillary Clinton. I previously looked at some of the reasons that some Sanders supporters might not vote for Clinton here. The normal pattern is for the losing candidate to endorse the winning candidate. That does not mean that the losing candidate’s supporters will go along, and Bernie pointed out that he realizes his supporters will not automatically support Clinton if she wins:

Bernie Sanders says Hillary Clinton shouldn’t expect his supporters to automatically back her should she win the Democratic presidential nomination.

“It’s a two-way street, the Clinton people are also going to have to listen to what these people are fighting for,” Sanders said during an interview on CNN’s “New Day.

“The Clinton people are going to have to say, well, maybe Bernie has a point that we should not be the only major country on earth not to guarantee healthcare to all people or have paid family or medical leave. And maybe, yes, the billionaire class should start paying their fair share of taxes, and maybe, yes, we should break up Wall Street,” he said.

“It’s not me. I don’t control millions of people, but the Clinton campaign is going to have to make the case to those young people that in fact they are prepared to stand up for some real, fundamental changes in this country, and that’s the case they have not yet been able to make,” Sanders said…

Sanders maintained Monday that while Clinton is the Democratic front-runner and has moved to the left on some issues during the campaign, she has not yet made the case to win over his supporters.

“They’re very good at rhetoric, and certainly she has moved to the left in this campaign in response to many of the initiatives that we have brought forth,” Sanders said.

“The average person understands that when you collect such large amounts of money from Wall Street and other special interests, they have their doubts whether the Clinton people will stand up to these powerful forces,” he added.

Clinton might have moved to the left on selective issues during this campaign, but she is certainly no liberal. Supporting programs to benefit women and children is admirable, but is not sufficient to make one a liberal–especially when she is a warmonger, opposes government transparency, supports the corrupting role of money in government, opposes single-payer health care, ran in 2008 as a self-described pro-gun churchgoer, worked with The Fellowship in the Senate, and supports restrictions on civil liberties. On issues such as trade, the drug war, and foreign intervention, Clinton is even to the right of Republican front runner Donald Trump (who has many faults of his own).

Preventing independents from voting in the New York primary, as well as the other irregularities there, will also not make independents supporting Sanders feel good about voting for Clinton if she wins.

I also wonder if there is more meaning to these words from Sanders. Most likely he will endorse Clinton if she is the nominee, with the understanding that his supporters will make their own decisions. However he has sounded less and less like someone who is willing to support the party if he loses, making me wonder if he is reconsidering his previous statements that he would not run as an independent.


  1. 1
    Ert&Bernie says:

    quit pissing about how many comments are in here and start working on how votes are out there.

  2. 2
    SycoRed says:

    I will NEVER vote for Killery. I will vote for Trump just to stop her. #Bernie

  3. 3
    Bob Munck says:

    If Sanders is the nominee, practically all of Clinton's supporters will vote for him for President … The reverse is not true; 

    That doesn't speak very well of Sanders supporters. 

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Bob, “That doesn’t speak very well of Sanders supporters.”

    That is your opinion, but not one which makes much sense. There are many good reasons why liberal Democrats will not vote for Clinton, including her conservative views, her unethical behavior, and her poor judgment.

    There is no reason for any Democrats not to support someone like Sanders who has a strong history of supporting liberal and progressive principles. There are zero questions about his ethics. Over the last few decades, he has consistently been right on the big issues while Clinton has been wrong.

    By the way, in responding to you above regarding the New York primary being closed, I forgot to include that, while other states have closed primaries, none make it as difficult for independents to vote as New York. It was necessary for independents to register as Democrats in early October. There is no question that Sanders has attracted much more support since then.

  5. 5
    David says:

    Don't throw away your vote for trump, go green if Bernie's not the nominee.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Plus, Bob, you give a very strong reason why Democrats should nominate Sanders. Sanders can get the vote of most Democrats plus a tremendous number of independents, and even some Republicans. Clinton can’t even hold together the support from her own party. It might not matter if she continues to lead Trump by as much as she does, but if either the Republicans nominate someone else, or if Trump improves nationally, Clinton is a very risky general election candidate.

  7. 7
    Bob Munck says:

    There are many good reasons why liberal Democrats will not vote for Clinton, 

    Sour grapes used to make whine. 

    including her conservative views, her unethical behavior, and her poor judgment.

    Boy, you've really been taken in by right-wing propaganda.  Handing them a majority-conservative Supreme Court for the rest of your life isn't an especially smart move.

    none make it as difficult for independents to vote as New York. It was necessary for independents to register as Democrats in early October

    New York doesn't allow independents to vote in party primaries; for some unknown reason they feel that party members are the appropriate people to decide what is best for their party and to determine whom they nominate.  You call that an "irregularity" but only because this time it worked against you. Keep in mind Rush Limbaugh's various attempts to have his followers cross party lines and vote for the weaker candidate in Democratic primaries; that's what an open primary makes you vulnerable to. 

    There is no question that Sanders has attracted much more support since [early October.]

    Many features of our form of government were explicitly instituted to dampen the effects of rapid swings in public opinion: things like the Senate and the Constitution itself. Here's another. 

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:


    “Boy, you’ve really been taken in by right-wing propaganda.”

    No Bob, you are the one taken in by the right wing in backing Clinton.

    Plus you certainly show that you are nothing more than a partisan hack when you recite the claims that all the opposition to her is part of the vast right wing conspiracy. Left-wing opposition to Clinton has nothing to do with the right wing.

    Why should we vote for a candidate who we disagree with on most of the issues, who is ethically unfit to be president, and has displayed terrible judgment throughout her career?

    “but only because this time it worked against you”

    No, it is a fundamentally different view of how elections should be conducted.

    No state is as restrictive as New York in preventing independents from voting in the Democratic primary. There certainly are two sides to the question of whether a primary should be open or closed. If we had a European style government with at least the potential for multiple parties, it would make more sense to make it easier for a party to remain closed to limited views and preserve its identity.

    However, the US system provides for a virtual monopoly in the two-party system. Locking out views in our system disenfranchises many voters, leading to the poor turnout we have experienced and the move to the right we have seen in recent years. We need to do better than a right wing Republican Party and a Republican-lite Democratic Party.

    Or you can look at it pragmatically. Independents are going to think that if the party won’t let them participate in the primaries, they aren’t going to vote or the party in the general election. It makes it even worse when considering all the ways the party rules and actions from Clinton backers in the DNC have used the system to favor Clinton over Sanders.

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