As the primary elections and caucuses started taking place this year, many noticed that Democrats have had issues with consistent turnout.
Of course, some of the states that have held caucuses no Democrat should remotely harbor interest in winning, so turnout in those states may not really matter for the General Election, barring huge upsets. But undoubtedly, there have been some trends in turnout that are being analyzed and reported on, and is it turns out, if Democrats really want high turnout this year, they should really consider backing Bernie Sanders.
The Huffington Post reported something very striking about the states that Sanders has won versus the states he has lost.
In Colorado, Kansas and Maine, Democrats have actually surpassed the turnout of the 2008 primary contests, while the caucuses in Minnesota and Nebraska only narrowly missed. Sanders won all five states. (source)
No one should be surprised by this. My pal Manny has written before about how Sanders is firing up the youth vote in the same way Obama did, and I’ve written about the striking similarities between 2008’s primary map and this year’s. Many have taken note of the poll that showed 30% of Sanders fans saying that they would not jump over to Team Hillary if she’s the nominee, and while I understand why many people think that’s shortsighted and dangerous with an idiot like Trump and a religious kook like Cruz leading the other side, the simple fact of the matter is that if the Democratic Party doesn’t start opening their ears, things will get really squirrely for them.
That’s not a threat; I’m not one who is Bernie or Bust — no matter how much I can sympathize with those who are. It’s just simple reality.
If the DNC ignores Bernie supporters, they are doing so at their own peril. If they simply call us all sexists or pie-in-the-sky dreamers and alienate enough of us, no matter the human dumpster fire that the Republican run up there, they could seriously win it. Politics, believe it or not, is a game first and foremost to get the most amount of votes. The numbers from the Sanders wins versus losses shows that embracing him, not running scared from him, would go a long way toward showing voters that their concerns and views are being respected.
Further, these numbers reported by HuffPo help us dispel a really stupid stereotype — Sanders supporters, particularly young ones, actually do vote, and they vote in droves when they’re driven to. They don’t just sit at home. But you have to inspire them to come out, and treating them like garbage is not a good way to start.
Hopefully in November cooler heads prevail and everyone realizes that a turd in an empty burlap sack would be preferable to turds in empty suits, and they don’t vote a Republican into office. There are parts of me that think the DNC would sort of deserve it for so nakedly ignoring the will of the voters to push Clinton so hard. But ultimately, it’s got to be the adults in the room that at the very least keep the country out of the hands of the people who put profits over people in such a way as to demonize those who need help and marginalize those that need hope.
For my money, Sanders is the guy who best represents our desire to change the country’s direction in a positive way. In the states that he’s winning the same holds true. So does that mean the Democrats absolutely have no choice and must select Sanders or all is lost? No, of course not. Maybe, just maybe, if instead of being derisive, dismissive, and arrogantly condescending to Bernie supporters Hillary supporters are inclusive, and respectful, drop the pretense we’re all just Bernie Bros, and come to us with mutual admiration for not letting the GOP win, we can deliver a truly crushing blow to the modern day segregationist party.
Or you know, everyone can take us for granted and a whole bunch will sit at home. I won’t, but when you’re not respected by an organization, it’s really difficult to give them support and I really can’t blame people who want to punish the party for their disrespect; the problem is that we’re all the collateral damage.
So what’s my point in all of this? Simple.
Bernie’s drawing huge support. The Democrats better pay attention and not take them for granted. And hopefully these Bernie supporters will do the right thing and at the very least help us keep the Republicans from controlling all three branches of government, but it starts with everyone coming to the table realizing that Sanders has a huge amount of sway in this election, and his supporters should not be minimized.