Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s embattled campaign manager, told CNN on Friday that his candidate intends to flip-flop in whatever manner it takes to attempt to woo “Bernie or Bust” voters.
You have two candidates in Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders which have reignited a group of people who have been disenfranchised and disappointed with the way Washington, D.C. and career politicians have run the country. Bernie Sanders has large crowds – not as large as Mr. Trump’s, but large crowds – and so there is a level of excitement there for people about his messaging and we will bring those people in.
Trump has a radically different demographic than Sanders, meaning that actually WINNING most Sanders’ voters is probably not realistic. However, there is no doubt that Trump has no moral qualms with engaging in questionable and underhanded tactics, from flip-flopping to shock-jocking. He will do anything to try to win more than the paltry 10 percent of Bernie voters who already say they will vote for Trump over Clinton in the general election.
Considering how unpopular Trump is, getting some of Sanders’ voters seems like a desperate strategy to have a shot at winning:
Polling shows little evidence that Trump has a shot to win large pockets of Sanders voters in November, should Clinton maintain her lead and win the Democratic nomination. Among Democratic-leaning voters who want prefer Sanders to win the party nod, only 13 percent have a favorable view of Trump, compared to 86 unfavorable, according to a Washington Post-ABC News national poll earlier this month.
In a head-to-head match-up of Clinton versus Trump, 10 percent of Sanders backers say they’d support Trump, 77 percent Clinton, and the rest say they would vote for neither or not vote at all.
But let’s be really clear, it isn’t the fact that he isn’t going to win Bernie die-hards that we should be concentrating on here. It is the concrete reality that Trump doesn’t need those votes to win, he just needs to keep them from voting for Clinton.
Trump knows that a majority of Americans are going to vote against him, and all he has to do is split the opposition to win. It’s like that old joke: I don’t have to outrun the bear, I only have to outrun you.
What Lewandowski isn’t saying is that they really aren’t counting on Bernie or Busters to vote for Trump — they know we’d laugh our asses off. They just can’t even hope to get those kinds of numbers from the 25 percent of Bernie’s Supporters who say they will not support Hillary Clinton. This looks like a blatant attempt to agitate voters, encouraging a split in the Democratic vote large enough to assure himself a win.
You see, what Trump probably knows is that in the 2008 election, which the Democrats won handily, there was an even larger gulf between the supporters of the two leading Democrats, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But in the end, Democrats, who tend to think more logically than Republicans, came together to defeat John McCain:
That’s the situation that then-Senator Barack Obama found himself in during the 2008 presidential election, where May exit polls in Indiana had 50% of Hillary Clinton supporters saying they’d vote McCain or stay home. In March, Gallup had 28% of Clinton supporters voting for McCain instead of Obama. The same poll had 19% of Obama supporters who said they would vote for McCain over Hillary. By the time the primaries were over, CNN had 35% of Clinton supporters nationally saying they wouldn’t support Obama.
Democrats and progressives are really not that far apart ideologically, and although Trump’s campaign strategy at this point looks like “divide and conquer,” if the left can get its act together than he will be very disappointed. Even Elizabeth Warren, a highly respected progressive liberal congresswoman sees Hillary as a highly qualified choice for for the presidency, and Trump as a sexist joke.
In other words, Trump isn’t trying to win the Busters, and he knows it. All he has to do is to attempt to widen the gap forming in the Democratic Party and demonize Hillary Clinton enough to get them to stay home or vote third party. His aim is to assure himself a win, regardless of what is good for America. However, because a conservative in office would mean a conservative Supreme Court, and liberals love this country too much to do that to us, we can’t let that happen.
So, yes, there are going to be Bernie or Bust holdouts (and very possibly a resurgence of a third party), but if history holds true, even with Trump’s concentrated attempts to drive a wedge large enough to win most Democratic voters will unite to turn the White House Blue in November.
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