Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders may have asked his supporters to get behind Democratic presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, but not everyone is listening. Instead, Bernie’s young supporters, who were so important to his astounding performance during the primary season, are flocking to another female presidential candidate, and her name is Jill Stein.
Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton at a joint rally in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Tuesday, saying that she is the best candidate to defeat Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump for the White House. During his 30-minute speech at the rally, Sanders made an appeal to his supporters, some of whom have expressly refused to vote for Clinton in the past under any circumstances, to rally behind the former Secretary of State in the presidential race.
While the Huffington Post reports that a host of Berniecrats are already taking his advice seriously and are indeed turning towards Hillary Clinton, it appears Bernie’s millennial supporters are not at all pleased with his endorsement. Having already made clear that they would not side with Donald Trump either, what option has been left to these young voters, who were hoping that Sanders’ entry into the presidential race would unleash a genuine “political revolution?”
Bernie Sanders endorsing Hillary Clinton feels so much like when the girl you love starts dating the guy you hate most.
— Dan LaMorte (@DanLaMorte) July 12, 2016
We didnt donate $230M
to vote for a warmonger
with 4 superPACs
who sabotaged your campaign
— #BUST #NeverHillary (@MalyndaNyc) July 13, 2016
According to recent reports, Bernie Sanders’ young supporters are turning to a presidential candidate who might not have a strong chance of winning against the likes of Clinton and Trump, but someone who fights for many of the same things that attracted millennials to the Vermont Senator in the first place.
Jill Stein, Green Party’s probable presidential candidate, who has previously gained the moniker of Bernie’s ‘political twin’ because of the similarities of her political agenda with Sanders’ election promises, is steadily gaining the support of these young voters.
In an op-ed Stein wrote for the Hill recently, she offered a new ray of hope for the disillusioned young Sanders supporters, in effect laying out a “Plan B” for the Bernie movement.
Arguing that her campaign offers a real chance at salvaging the American economy from the hands of the billionaires and Wall Street giants, she pointed out that the only remaining prospect for Democrats rooting for Bernie Sanders earlier because of his pro-people policies is to leave the Democratic Party and instead take a bold step forward.
“Though Bernie urged his supporters to forget the past and focus on the future, we forget the past at our peril. We cannot forget the triumph of Bernie’s campaign, and the hunger of the public for an economy that works for working people, not just the billionaires.
“My campaign offers real hope for such an economy. Our Green New Deal would create 20 million living wage jobs while solving the climate crisis. Our call to abolish student debt provides relief to tens millions of young people trapped by debt for education that failed to produce the jobs they promised. We can finally make health care a human right.”
It sounds like the only good thing Bernie can say about Hillary is that she's not Donald. That's what most of her supporters like about her.
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) July 12, 2016
It appears her arguments have struck a chord with the millennials too, with more and more young voters reportedly flocking to Jill Stein’s underdog campaign. Stein maintains that her near term viable goal is to reach 15 percent in national polling, which would give her the chance to stand alongside Clinton and Trump in national televised debates.
“Within hours of Bernie’s endorsement, thousands of supporters have joined us on Facebook and $27 contributions have surged, as Sanders supporters refuse to be ‘berned’ by a Democratic Party that hopes to absorb their revolution into a campaign that represents the opposite of what they and Bernie Sanders have fought for.
“I call on the tens of millions inspired by the Sanders mobilization, the 60% of Americans who want a new major party, and the independents who outnumber both Democrats and Republicans to reject the self-defeating strategy of voting for the lesser evil and join our fight for the greater good.
“Let’s keep the revolution going and build it into the powerful force for transformative change that it is becoming. Together we are unstoppable.”
It remains to be seen if Green Party’s Jill Stein could have a major impact this autumn, but if there was ever a presidential race where the two leading candidates could be defeated on the wave of an incredible third party run, this could be it.
[Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]