A Vote for the Greens or Sanders in November is a Vote for Donald Trump
CNN released its presidential election poll on June 8 with former Vice-President Joe Biden leading incumbent President Donald Trump by a wide margin of 14 points. However, as we all saw in the 2016 general election, polls are not a reliable source of who will be elected president.
Although Joe Biden will be named the Democratic nominee barring some unforeseen circumstance, far left-leaning voters will still opt to vote for Bernie Sanders or chose not to vote, and in some cases, vote for Donald Trump or the Green Party candidate. Sanders dropped out of the race for president in early April and denounced the possibility of running as a third-party candidate or an independent. The thought of voters still choosing to write-in Sanders’ name in November is a nightmare scenario for the DNC.
This problem is something the Trump campaign and the RNC are well aware of. Conversely, there is a real danger of disaffected Trump voters opting to vote for Biden, so the problem goes both ways.
Most of the democratic primaries moved to the summer months due to the coronavirus pandemic, and still, Sanders’ energetic base is failing to dissolve. During the most recent primaries, Sanders earned a significant portion of the votes. Like in Pennsylvania, Sanders won 18% of the vote and more than 30 delegates. Even though Sanders endorsed Biden in mid-April, Sanders struck a deal with Biden that allowed him to keep his fair share of delegates. Currently, Sanders has a little more than 1,000 delegates, while Biden clinched the nomination with more than 2,000 delegates.
On April 15, Sanders told his supporters not to vote for him in the general election and to vote for Biden because not following his plea would be “irresponsible” and would result in another four years of Trump. However, this message has not resonated with his supporters just yet.
Take it from me – you could search “vote for Sanders” on Twitter, and you will see countless daily tweets from millennials and first-time voters detailing their reasoning for not voting for Biden. “I do think some younger voters who may not understand that write-ins are part of why Hillary (Clinton) lost in 2016 will write in Bernie’s name,” said Aarushi Raghunathan of Santa Clarita, California.
According to election data from the 2016 presidential election, 10 percent of Sanders supporters still voted for him on November 8. Another 10 percent switched their votes to Trump. The majority of the write-in votes came from battleground states that Clinton lost.
Americans know that Biden is the riskier candidate because of his choice of words and phrases from his early days on the campaign trail. The infamous Comey bombshell that frightened Clinton voters was released two days before the general election. However, most of her supporters had decided to choose her as their candidate. But with Biden, this gives voters more time to think about who they want in office.
The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020
This exact plot has been on President Trump’s radar since Sanders hit the ground running during the height of the primary season. After Biden became the front-runner in early March, Trump tweeted, “The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!”
Trump, at the time, understood the value of gaining voters if Bernie Sanders walked across the stage of the DNC convention in Milwaukee with “Democratic Presidential Nominee” as his official title for the months ahead. He is scared to face Biden because he is a moderate and this will help him garner a number of disaffected Trump voters.
But this shouldn’t be the concern in June 2020. While focusing on ways to combat COVID-19, Biden should be strategizing ways to connect with America’s youth and young adults. As Raghunathan said, younger voters should be the primary election concern in November.
If Biden loses in November, it will be due to his lack of connecting with first-time voters and not focusing on ways to mobilize voters ahead of November 3rd.
For example, Biden struggled with getting the millennial vote in Texas’ primary on March 3rd. 55% of voters in the age group of 18 to 44 voted for Sanders while Biden earned 16%. Vice versa, 44% of voters older than 45 voted for Biden, while Sanders received 20%. Also, the older crowd made up almost two-thirds of voter turnout, which should signal to Biden’s campaign that it is crucial to make sure younger and first-time voters are registered to vote before election day.
The lack of education on how the voting system works in the United States will continue to haunt Democrats. In the early hours of November 4th, when you hear that Donald Trump will serve another four years, it will not be because of voter suppression, but instead, because younger voters saw an opportunity to protest the lesser of two evils by writing in Bernie Sanders’ name.