Nice Guys Don't Finish Last: Her Supporters' Acceptance of Bernie Sanders Spells Trouble for Hillary
Bernie Sanders is Becoming Accepted as Mainstream
As summer looks to fade into autumn, we're entering the home stretch before the presidential primaries kick off. And Hillary Clinton's popularity may be fading with the August heat: According to Politico, a new poll has found that a majority of Clinton supporters would be just fine with Bernie Sanders ending up as the Democratic presidential nominee, and fewer than one in four Clinton supporters would actually be upset. This is bad news for Clinton because it erodes one of her main pillars of support: The notion that her moderate-leaning supporters would never go for a Sanders ticket.
Conventional wisdom has supported Hillary Clinton as the inevitable nominee because Bernie Sanders, as a left-leaning progressive, would allegedly scare away many mainstream Democratic voters. Basically, Bernie Sanders supporters would willingly accept Clinton as the nominee, but not the other way around. Voters on the fence between Bernie and Hillary might be persuaded to vote for Hillary on the grounds that she would be a more unifying Democrat. Though she fails to elicit enthusiasm, they would reason, she does offer a little something for everyone, even if it is "diet" liberalism and "lite" reform.
But now it appears that Sanders is not the polarizing presence fence-sitters might have feared. Since Clintonites seem willing enough to back Sanders in the general election, the fence-sitters will now feel encouraged to vote their conscience. This will make the Democratic primaries more open and honest, with few liberals feeling held hostage into voting for Clinton. Sadly, the logic of "I must vote for Clinton because her supporters might defect to the GOP if she doesn't win the nomination" has probably kept Bernie Sanders from receiving his just due from the political establishment.
Accepting that Bernie Sanders is an acceptable nominee, even if not your preferred nominee, is a positive step for Democrats. No political party should be guided by fear. You should have the confidence to vote your conscience.
And, to be fair to Sanders, it is not just dissatisfaction toward Clinton that is fueling his increasing acceptance among Democrats: Polls show him trouncing Republican candidates just as easily, if not more easily, than Clinton. The longstanding belief that only Clinton could defeat the Republican nominee in the general election have been thoroughly debunked. There is not a Republican in the race who can come close to matching Sanders' popularity...and he has yet to even grapple with them in a debate! Sanders, who has long been open and honest about his bold policy proposals, will crush any hemming and hawing Republican in a presidential debate.
I have oft opined about Clinton's numerous political weaknesses, and I applaud that voters are finally breaking free of the brainwashing.