Recent controversies plaguing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign may have created an opportunity for Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein to win over the hearts of some progressives and jump start her far-left “people-powered” movement.
“This is Jill Stein’s moment,” said longtime Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor Pat Caddell.
“There are many Clinton voters who would rather vote their conscience than vote for a major party. According to the latest Breitbart/Gravis poll, when given the choice of whether you should vote for a major party candidate or vote your conscience, 44% of Clinton voters said you should vote your conscience,” Caddell explained.
Even before the FBI director’s dramatic announcement on Friday, the ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll indicated that “loosely affiliated or reluctant Clinton supporters”— which includes white women and young voters under the age of 30— seem to be floating off and “look less likely to vote.”
Caddell explained that the polling data suggests “there are many people who are ambivalent about Clinton who don’t want to vote for Trump. Given these new revelations from WikiLeaks and the re-intensity of the concern regarding the corruption of her emails, these ambivalent voters need a place to go and Jill Stein—being not only a progressive woman, but an honest progressive woman—is the obvious choice for so many of these voters, particularly for those who supported Bernie Sanders.”
Indeed, nearly 60 percent of voters— including 43 percent of Democrats— believe America needs a third major political party, according to a Gallup poll released late last month.
As one former Bernie Sanders supporter told Breitbart News, “It’s come to this: voting for Hillary Clinton is voting for the lesser of two evils. But voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil, and I’m tired of voting for evil. That’s why I’m voting for Jill Stein.”
This sentiment has been echoed by Stein herself who has argued, “it’s time to reject the lesser of two evils and stand up for the greater good.”
Stein seems ready to capitalize on the FBI’s announcement as well as the steady stream of WikiLeaks revelations that have exposed, what Stein has characterized as, the Clinton camp’s “hostility” to progressives.
“The FBI has re-opened the Clinton investigation. Will the American people rise up and vote for honest change?” Stein asked on Friday, via Twitter.
The FBI has re-opened the Clinton investigation. Will the American people rise up and vote for honest change? https://t.co/O31Yg10wtC
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) October 28, 2016
Stein’s party sent out a similar message.
— Green Party US (@GreenPartyUS) October 28, 2016
Some have suggested that Clinton’s camp is already quietly concerned about Stein’s potential ability to peel off some of Clinton’s more reluctant liberal voters. The Inquisitr’s pro-Bernie Sanders columnist Caitlin Johnstone has argued that the increased attacks against Stein leveled by Clinton’s allies in corporate media is evidence of the Clinton camp’s concern. Johnstone writes:
Attack editorials and smear pieces about Stein have been churned out by Clinton-allied media like cheap t-shirts at a Bangladeshi sweat shop since well before the Green Party convention, but lately, the frenzied attacks are getting even louder and more desperate… Jill Stein, if you haven’t been following, is the only candidate on the ballot who has never been a Republican, the only candidate on the ballot who doesn’t hate progressives, and the only candidate on the ballot pushing an actual progressive agenda. That means she’s going to be pulling votes from people who would otherwise support Hillary ‘candidates must have a public position and a private position’ Clinton, who is currently pretending to care about progressives so they’ll give her the power to privatize social security and start a war with Russia. […] If Hillary’s lead has swelled to insurmountability, why have the attacks on Jill Stein increased instead of decreased? Is she taking far more votes from Clinton than the Nate Silvers are letting us know? Or is it broader than that? Is it simply that in this era of WikiLeaks, alternative media, and widespread internet access, too many people are opening their eyes and looking toward true rebels like Jill Stein? Are they so desperate to keep the progressives from taking over their party or replacing it that they need to grasp at straws by sponsoring hit pieces attacking her…
Clinton’s strained relationship with progressives has been well documented and could present Stein– who has demonstrated a remarkable ability to articulately prosecute the progressive case against Clinton– with an opening, especially as polling reveals a significant chunk of Clinton voters believe voting their conscience ought to trump voting for a major political party.
As Politico reported in a piece titled “WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left”:
Some of the left’s most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as “puritanical,” “pompous”, “naive”, “radical” and “dumb,” calling some “freaks,” who need to “get a life.” […] among progressive operatives, goodwill for Clinton — and confidence in key advisers featured in the emails including John Podesta, Neera Tanden and Jake Sullivan — is eroding…
Even before the FBI’s announcement, many noted that it was becoming increasingly difficult to view a vote for Clinton as anything other than a vote to continue the worst aspects of political corruption.
As columnist Kim Strassel recently wrote, the one thing in this election of which one can be certain is that “a Hillary Clinton presidency will be built, from the ground up, on self-dealing, crony favors, and an utter disregard for the law.”
As such, “anyone who pulls the lever for Mrs. Clinton takes responsibility for setting up the nation for all the blatant corruption that will follow,” Strassel concludes.
“She just doesn’t have a whole lot of integrity,” said far-left progressive Cornel West.
West endorsed Stein over Clinton explaining Stein is “the only progressive woman in the race.”
“The Clinton train— [of] Wall Street, security surveillance, militaristic— is not going in the same direction I’m going,” West told Bill Maher earlier this year.
She’s a neoliberal… [I] believe neoliberalism is a disaster when it comes to poor people and when it comes to people in other parts of the world dealing with U.S. foreign policy and militarism. Oh, absolutely. Ask the people in Libya about that. Ask the people in the West Bank about that.
West has separately explained that Clinton’s “militarism makes the world a less safe place” and that her globalist agenda created the “right-wing populism” that has fueled Trump’s rise.
Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen.
“It’s too easy to view him [Trump] as an isolated individual and bash him,” West told Maher. “He’s speaking to the pain in the country because white, working class brothers have been overlooked by globalization, by these trade deals”– trade deals which Stein also opposes.
Stein has railed against the passage of TPP, which she and her party have described as “NAFTA on steroids” that would “enrich wealthy corporations by exporting jobs and pushing down wages.” They have argued that the deal essentially amounts to a “global corporate coup” that “would give corporations more power than nations” by letting them “challenge our laws”.
— Beebz the Squirrel (@SquirrelBeebz) October 25, 2016
Stein is against the “massive expanding wars,” “the meltdown of the climate,” “the massive Wall Street bailouts,” and “the offshoring of our jobs.”
Pointing to Clinton’s “dangerous and immoral” militarism, Stein has warned that “a vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for war” and has explained how under a Clinton presidency, “we could very quickly slide into nuclear war” or could start an air-war with Russia.
“No matter how her staff tries to rebrand her” Clinton is “not a progressive,” Stein has said—rather Clinton is a “corporatist hawk” that “surrounds herself with people who are hostile progressives” such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz “after she sabotaged Bernie [Sanders].” Stein has warned progressives that the role of corporate Democrats like Clinton is to “prevent progressives from defying corporate rule.”
— Canary Coalminer (@BigTinyBird) October 23, 2016
Stein has made a point to highlight the fact that “we’re now seeing many Republican leaders join Hillary Clinton in a neoliberal uni-party that will fuel right-wing extremism,” by continuing to push its “neoliberal agenda [of] globalization, privatization, deregulation, [and] austerity for the rest of us.”
In contrast to Clinton’s corporatist “uni-party”, Stein and her party have explained that their campaign represents a “people’s party with a populist progressive agenda” that—unlike Democrats and Republicans— is not “funded by big corporate interests including Wall St. Banks, fossil fuel giants, & war profiteer.”
Stein is a Harvard Medical School graduate, a mother to two sons, and a practicing physician, who became an environmental-health activist and organizer in the late 1990s. As the Green Party’s 2012 presidential candidate, Stein already holds the record for the most votes ever received by a female candidate for president in a general election.
In Jill Stein, her party writes, “progressives have a peace candidate not beholden to the billionaire class.”