Bernie Sanders supporters may be “feeling the Bern” for their own candidate, but nearly half are planning to give Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton the cold shoulder in November.
A YouGov poll released on Wednesday showed that 45 percent of Democrats who preferred Sanders in the primary, do not plan on voting for Clinton in the general.
Supporters of the Vermont senator are extremely divided; 18 percent said they plan on voting for a third-party candidate like Jill Stein of the Green Party, 15 percent would support the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, 9 percent were unsure, and 3 percent do not plan on voting at all.
The split on the left comes after months of rising tension between Sanders, the Democratic establishment, and Clinton.
Countless times, the Democratic establishment has gone out of their way to make it easier for Clinton to win, from debate scheduling to endorsements, they’re all in against the Vermont senator.
At the same time, Sanders’ rhetoric against the former First Lady has grown more negative and more aggressive.
On April 7, Sanders even said Clinton was “not qualified” to be president because of her decision to vote for the Iraq War and her close relationship with Wall Street.
Trump should welcome Sanders supporters — the Republican nominee is more closely aligned with the Vermont senator than a traditional GOP candidate. The reality star and Sanders have had concurring criticisms on money in politics, American intervention, and free trade deals.
If Trump could somehow build a coalition of conservative Democrats in states like Pennsylvania, and progressive Democrats who feel disenfranchised in places like Washington, he may be able put Clinton on the defensive in blue states.