A June Bloomberg poll finds that almost half of those who supported Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary race do not support Hillary Clinton — and nearly a quarter of them will vote for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Only five percent of Sanders supporters who haven’t come around to Clinton yet plan to vote for her in the general election, Bloomberg found. They spoke to a couple dozen Sanders fans about their perceptions of Clinton and Trump:
- Homemaker Laura Ames from Texas, who will vote for Trump: “I’m a registered Democrat, but I cannot bring myself to vote for another establishment politician like Hillary. I don’t agree with a lot of what Trump says. But he won’t owe anybody. What you see is what you get… I do follow her on Facebook, and I don’t care about her emails. Ugh, this is so hard. I guess an endorsement would probably sway me.”
- San Francisco community organizer Eric Brooks, who believes Clinton is a “war criminal”: “I will absolutely never vote for Clinton… I’d be okay voting for Johnson as a protest vote. But as a Green Party member, I’m going to vote for Jill Stein. If you care about the climate, like I do, it makes a lot of sense strategically to vote for Stein, because she could get five percent, which has implications for the Green Party getting federal funding… Nobody in this election has to worry about being a spoiler.”
- Baltimore non-profit worker Perry Mitchell: “There’s zero percent chance that Hillary Clinton could ever get my vote. She’s a corporate candidate. I don’t vote for corporate candidates. I don’t do the lesser of two evils.”
- Sanders supporter Bako Nguasong: “I don’t know if I’m voting. She’s definitely the lesser of two evils, but I don’t trust her… I know Donald Trump is evil, he’s a racist, he’s a misogynist… [Clinton] not for the people. She’s about money.”
Other Sanders backers are more afraid of Trump than disgusted by Clinton. Gay Latino Albert Arevalo told Bloomberg that Trump will enforce immigration law, and that alarms him: “The party needs to be unified. A vote for Trump would have me deported. A true Bernie fan would be stupid to not vote for a Democrat. By being ignorant and not voting you are electing a racist troll.”
Populist fury is fueling Trump’s and Sanders’ outsider campaigns and there is overlap between the two camps, especially when it comes to trade and keeping middle class families afloat. The Trump campaign believes it can poach many left-leaning voters put off by Clinton.
“We’re going to bring in even [more] new voters, more voters from the independent side, from the Democrat side,” Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily in April. “I’ve got Bernie Sanders people sending me messages — it’s surreal — saying that if they steal the nomination from Bernie they’re voting for Trump. So he is definitely the only candidate that can beat Hillary Clinton in the fall.”
Sanders has not endorsed Clinton yet or suspended his presidential bid.