By Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR
With all the attention being paid to the mess in the GOP with Donald Trump, it’s easy to forget there’s a war brewing on the Democrat side too. And this one may get ugly before it ends. While more delegates overall – and nearly all superdelegates – are currently committed to voting for Hillary Clinton, many Bernie Sanders delegates are refusing to back down, no matter what the overall vote count turns out to be.
The wide open groundswell of support for Sanders among disaffected DEM voters is reaching epic levels, and people are finally beginning to pay attention … and that attention is leading to proclamations and, it almost seems inevitable, battle lines. Basic math says there’s no hope for Bernie, but his Berners don’t much care about the math. They want their guy, and they won’t have it any other way.
Dissent, which once seemed like a Republican problem is fast becoming a real worry for Democrats too. Many Sanders supporters don’t see much more than a whisker’s difference between Clinton and Trump, and they are leading a growing “NeverHillary” brigade, a massively vocal contingent at rallies and on social media.
While most are saying they don’t intend violent protests, they do plan to get loud if the convention doesn’t do right and play fair where their candidate is concerned.
Regardless of the vote count, the DEMs have a major Public Relations issue on their hands. They need to bring disaffected Bernie fans back into the fold. They will need them on election day. With recent polls showing the race to be a dead heat when Clinton was a ten-point favorite just a month ago, Democratic leaders realize they may not be able to win if Berners vote for a 3rd party or choose to stay home.
And the stakes are not just about the presidential office. These elections will help determine multiple congressional seats and likely determine at least two seats on the Supreme Court. Both parties are desperate to see voting numbers up. For the primaries, they have been. But will that translate to the general election, when so many people are wondering what happened to their party, and feeling betrayed by their lack of choices.
Some Sanders delegates have come right out and declared they don’t care about “party unity.” They hate what they believe is being done to their candidate, and they’re okay with the party going down in flames if it sends that message loud and clear. This is the mountain DEM bigwigs must climb if they want their candidate to win in November. They have a long way to go until then.