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Will Sanders supporters complete the stages of grief and vote for Clinton?

In a word, “No.” Former Sanders followers have made their choices and the dye is pretty much set by now. But who will they vote for? Below are my thoughts:


In what was apparently an editorial, The website World in Motion (WWIM) claimed the following (rather smugly, as I thought) in June, 2016:

So for now we get to watch as activists whose candidate lost go through their stages of grief over the result.   Then, as the campaign heats up and the ‘other side’ looks like a scarier option, people will coalesce around each party’s standard bearer.

Hold on, not so fast there partner. For one thing, Jill is not the “scarier” choice, if by scary you mean death, destruction, and corporate influence.

WWIM argued that we, the “Berners,”  would go through the eight stages of grief and end up back in the Democratic camp, but I am not so sure of that. It certainly does not seem to have happened yet.

The “pragmatists”
In reality, some supposed Sanders followers made an easy transition: They simply admitted that they had lost and moved on as good Democrats. 

The Bernie or Bust group 
The second group is hell-bent for Bernie Sanders. 

WWIM seems to think that the “Bernie or Bust” group are stuck in the “denial” stage of grief (since they are still claiming that Bernie can win), and that they will eventually complete that stage and vote for Clinton. 

I think WWIM is mistaken. 

I personally feel that “Bernie or Bust” is mistaken too, but I respect their dedication both to the man, Sanders, and to the ideals he represented. Will the “Busters” do as WWIM claims? Will they return to the Democratic camp and vote for Clinton? I seriously doubt that many of them will. They have confirmed their beliefs to the contrary and are committed to them. 

Should any of the “Bernie or Bust” group convert en masse at the last minute, it is far from clear that they will coalesce around Clinton. There is, indeed, another option, which brings me to the third group.

The Greenies
A third group are the Greenies, or Green Party backers. Were there no other option, perhaps a (very) few Berners might vote for Clinton. I cannot prove otherwise. And still others might simply drop out.  But there is, in fact, another viable option: To vote for Jill Stein and to support the Green Party. And the Greene Party is actively trying to attract support from all of the above groups. 

Many former Sanders supporters have already made the switch to the Jill Stein and the Green Party. I don’t really expect huge numbers of the “Bernie or Bust” group to switch loyalties at the last minute, but I would guess that those who do, will be far more likely to vote for Jill Stein than for Clinton. 

Why do I think that? Mostly it is just a hunch, but also there is the strong aversion to Clinton that has been expressed by the group. I predict that most Bernie or Busters simply will not vote for Clinton. And they are a very small minority anyway. 

Although we Green Progressives have all been cajoled, ridiculed, derided and even bullied at times in attempt to prevent us from voting for Stein, we only become more devoted to Stein’s ideals.

As to Greenies converting back to Clinton, anyone who thinks that will happen has just not been reading any of the Green Party advertising, nor the comments among Stein’s followers. It just is not going to happen. Jill has an addictive quality about her: She is believable, she is personable, charismatic even, and though some have tried to deny this, she is eminently Presidential.. Jill Supporters will indeed vote for Jill Stein, in my estimation. And with good reason, but that is an article for another post. 

My guess is that the numbers are not going to change that much among former Sanders followers. Those who have announced for Clinton will vote for her. Those who are Bernie or Busters will likely try a write-in, but if some do switch at the last minute, I don’t think it will be to Clinton. At one time I thought Bernie or Busters might be to Jill but recently, I say this sadly, there has been some friction between those camps. I hope it can be resolved and quickly, as we need each other. 

Jill Supporters by now understand what is at stake, and we are convinced that a Clinton Presidency will not move us in the directions of peace, democracy and the environment, so we will continue trying to expose people to what we think are better ideas. 


#politics #sanders #clinton #stagesofgrief #winnertakeall #winnertakesall #greenparty #jillstein #bernieorbust 


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