Months ago, there were a handful of polls circulating showing that 20-30% of Bernie Sanders supporters wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in a general election should Bernie not win the nomination.
Some had assumed these people were acting emotionally. Admittedly, I (The Analytical Economist) assumed that, like the “Never Trump” crowd, when actually presented with the choice between Hillary and Trump, reluctant Republicans would back Trump, and reluctant Democrats would back Hillary.
Trump’s approval among Republicans is trending upward, indicating that he’s converting “Never Trumpers” into Trump voters, but the same can’t be said about Hillary.
In fact, the share of Sanders diehards who refuse to back her has only increased over time. As Red Alert Politics is reporting:
The Economist/YouGov poll released on Tuesday showed that only 50 percent of Sanders supporters were willing to vote for the former First Lady, a five point decline from a poll taken earlier this month.
Support for Donald Trump among supporters of the Vermont senator has also declined slightly, from 15 percent to 11 percent, just outside the margin of error.
An independent candidate, not listed in the poll, won 25 percent of Sanders’ supporters’ votes — a seven point increase. Another 14 percent said they were unsure who they’d vote for or if they will vote at all.
The Vermont senator has received more than 10 million votes so far, meaning if these numbers hold up, nearly 5 million Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents will not be voting for Clinton, and nearly 1.2 million will support the Republican instead.
Now yes — the percentage of Sanders supporters backing Trump did decline too, but by slightly less than the percentage of Sanders supporters backing Hillary. As long as they’re not voting for Hillary, we can count it as a vote for Donald Trump regardless.