A new poll released Sunday shows that the “Bernie or Bust” movement is falling apart, with fewer Bernie Sanders voters now saying they would vote for Donald Trump than the number of Hillary Clinton supporters in 2008 who said they would vote for John McCain.
In a bitterly contested campaign eight years ago, Hillary Clinton, at the time a senator from New York, lost the Democratic primary to then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama. A hard corps of Clinton supporters, known as “PUMAs,” an acronym reportedly for “Party Unity My A**,” swore they would never vote for Obama and that, instead, they would vote for McCain.
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 22, 2016
In June of 2008, polls showed a full 20 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters declaring their intention to vote for John McCain rather than Barack Obama.
By the end of October, just before the election, that number had dropped to 14 percent.
But as of June 23, 2016, with Hillary Clinton herself now the presumptive Democratic nominee to succeed Obama in the presidency, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that only 8 percent of Bernie Sanders’ supporters now say they intend to cast their November ballots for Donald Trump, Clinton’s prospective Republican opponent.
Just one month earlier, the same polling organization showed that 20 percent of Sanders’ supporters said they would vote for Trump.
Perhaps as a result, the WaPo/ABC poll now puts Clinton out in front of Trump with a double-digit lead — 51 percent to 39 percent.
As seen in the video below, Bernie Sanders recently said that he would probably vote for Hillary Clinton himself in November, but he stopped short of giving Clinton his full endorsement.
The new poll, however, is based on interviews conducted before Sanders said that he would vote for Clinton. Whether even more Sanders’ supporters will now be influenced by their candidate’s intention to vote for her rather than Trump, whom Sanders referred to as a “bigot,” would be reflected in upcoming polls.
Trump himself has been issuing pleas to backers of Bernie Sanders to vote for him, rather than for Clinton, but Trump’s pleas appear to have had the opposite effect from what he intended, the new poll would suggest.
— CNN (@CNN) June 22, 2016
“The insiders wrote the rules of the game to keep themselves in power and in money,” Trump said in a speech this week.
“That’s why we’re asking Bernie Sanders voters to join our movement so together we can fix the system for all Americans. This includes fixing all of our many disastrous trade deals, and they are disastrous and destroying our country.”
Sanders, like Trump, has railed against free trade agreements throughout his primary campaign.
In addition to the single-digit share of Sanders’ supporters who say they will vote for Trump, according to the Post report on the new poll, “the 81 percent of Sanders backers who are now behind Clinton is a higher number than in any poll of 2008 Clinton backers who rallied to Obama. The high that year was 74 percent, in October.”
The poll falls in line with other recent polls that show Hillary Clinton pulling away from Donald Trump in the national race for the presidency.
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A Bloomberg News poll last week also showed Clinton with a 12-point lead over Trump, while an Ipsos/Reuters five-day tracking poll released June 22 placed Clinton in the lead by 10 points over Trump.
In the Huffington Post Pollster.com average of all polls, Clinton maintains a lead of 6.8 percentage points over Trump, 45.8 percent to 39 percent, with 9 percent remaining undecided and another 6.2 percent saying they will vote another candidate who is not Clinton or Trump.
But even taking into account the two most popular “third party” candidates — Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party — Hillary Clinton still holds a healthy lead over Donald Trump and the rest of the field. Clinton had led in all nine four-candidate polls since May, with an average lead, according to Real Clear Politics, of 5.6 percentage points.
[Featured Photos By Mary Altaffer/Dennis Van Tine/Associated Press]