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14 Percent of Democrats Will Not Support Hillary Clinton. Only Bernie Sanders Prevents Low Voter Turnout

12/02/2015 09:35 am ET | Updated Dec 02, 2015
  • H. A. Goodman Columnist published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Baltimore Sun, The Hill, Salon, The Jerusalem Post www.hagoodman.com
Darren McCollester via Getty Images

The memo must have circulated throughout America's political establishment that Hillary Clinton is once again inevitable, even though a September NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll had Bernie Sanders just 7 points behind the former Secretary of State nationally. Since then, Biden voters who value honesty have miraculously flocked to Clinton, even though a CNN/ORC poll found that 57% of voters "say she is not honest and trustworthy." I explain in this YouTube segment and this article why Clinton is unelectable with negative favorability numbers, however there are bigger issues with choosing Clinton over Sanders.

If the DNC wants to risk future Supreme Court nominees or a neon-lit Trump sign atop the White House in 2016, then ignoring negative favorability ratings, in addition to an expanding FBI investigation, will result in defeat. In reality, even the prospect of a Trump victory, or a conservative Supreme Court, aren't enough to make many progressives support someone with a "neocon" foreign policy (advised by neoconservatives) also funded by prison lobbyists.

It's difficult to hate Dick Cheney, and drive to the polls and vote for Hillary Clinton, when both pushed for Iraq. Also, when VOX writes Hillary Clinton will pull the Democrats -- and the country -- in a hawkish direction, many Democrats simply won't vote for a Republican on foreign policy.

Democrats will lose in 2016 with low voter turnout, and only Bernie Sanders ensures that progressive voters in aggregate don't struggle to get to the polls. First, Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure, even for progressives. Thus far, 25,000 progressives have already pledged to write in Bernie Sanders if he's not the nominee. This number could grow exponentially, especially with questions about the DNC's handling of debates and the validity of polls dominated by landlines. I heard the next debate is at 3:00 am in the morning, on a Sunday, but again, I need to check the latest revised schedule from the DNC.

Most importantly, CBS News explains in a piece ironically titled Poll: Hillary Clinton still leads Democratic race, that among Democrats, "Fourteen percent would not support her in a general election" and "under half" would enthusiastically support Clinton:

Just under half of Democratic primary voters nationwide say they would enthusiastically support Clinton if she became the party's nominee. Twenty-seven percent would support her with some reservations and another 11 percent would only back her because she is the nominee. Fourteen percent would not support her in a general election.

Democratic voters currently backing Clinton are especially likely to be enthusiastic about her. Those not supporting Clinton are less fervent- only about a quarter would enthusiastically support her if she became the party's nominee.

In addition to the 14% of Democrats who won't support Clinton, 27% would "support her with some reservations" and 11% would "only back her because she is the nominee."

Based on the CBS News findings, around 52% of Democrats will either stay home or reluctantly drive to the polls. Not the recipe to beat a Republican, who if Clinton is the nominee, will have millions of new conservatives/independents doing everything possible in order to ensure Hillary Clinton doesn't get elected.

Sadly, I've been disparaged by critics for hating Clinton, but this couldn't be further from the truth. I respect Hillary Clinton a great deal, especially for her courage in battling New Gingrich and the GOP in the early 90's over healthcare reform. I honestly feel that without Hillary Clinton, we don't have Obama's Affordable Care Act.

However, people change with time and Hillary Clinton has leaned to the right (all the way to neoconservative territory) on a number of issues, especially foreign policy. I wouldn't vote for Dick Cheney, therefore I'm not voting for Hillary Clinton.

As for her appeal to Democrats, even the Iowa Caucus isn't safe from a controversy. According to a recent NBC News article titled Did Hillary Clinton Diss the Iowa Caucuses in Private Email?, Clinton stated the caucuses were "creatures of the parties' extremes" to a confidant:

The latest State Department release of Hillary Clinton emails contained this message from Clinton to friend Sidney Blumenthal: "If Mittens [Mitt Romney] can't beat Grinch [Gingrich] in Florida, there will be pressure on state Republican parties to reopen or liberalize ballot access especially in the caucuses, which as we know are creatures of the parties' extremes."

Clinton's remark shouldn't be too surprising given that she lost caucuses contests -- including Iowa's -- to Barack Obama in 2008.

While some might not think the email scandal is an issue, an email from Clinton referring to the Iowa Caucus as part of the Democratic Party's "extremes" hurts a candidate's ability to generate enthusiasm.

Voters don't want their candidate to be cynical of the electorate, much less discuss political matters with a person who isn't a government employee.

Regarding the notion of Clinton defeating Sanders, it would be a Pyrrhic victory in the long run; the only way Trump wins is with low voter turnout.

As for my recent Huffington Post and Salon articles, and video, on why I'll only vote for Bernie and won't support Clinton, other progressives agree. Walker Bragman in a brilliant Salon piece titled More like Reagan than FDR: I'm a millennial and I'll never vote for Hillary Clinton writes that "Choosing Hillary threatens the future of the Democratic Party."

Ultimately, Hillary Clinton would move the Democratic Party so far to the right that it might eventually be renamed the Moderate Republican Party.

There's a reason the former Secretary of State waited almost three weeks to address Ferguson and dodged questions about Keystone XL. A genuine Democratic candidate would have been at the forefront of both issues. While Bernie Sanders has a comprehensive Racial Justice Platform (and the only Democrat to mention Sandra Bland at the debate), Clinton's record on racial justice is referred to as "abysmal" by the President of Boston's Black Lives Matter.

Also, look closer within polls stating Clinton leads Sanders and you'll find that voters don't admire Clinton. The same NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll in October showing Clinton with a commanding 31 point lead over Bernie Sanders also finds that many Democrats view Clinton in an unfavorable manner. In this poll, 26 percent of respondents gave Hillary Clinton a 1 out of 5 (the lowest rating, titled "Very Poor Rating") and 11 percent gave her a 2 out of 5 pertaining to "Having the right temperament."

Sorry, but if around 37 percent of respondents (in a poll that's supposed to be favorable) don't feel Clinton has the "right temperament," low voter turnout is a logical consequence if Clinton becomes the nominee.

As for "Being compassionate enough to understand average people," the October NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 30 percent of voters gave Hillary Clinton the worst rating, or a 1 out of 5.

Interestingly, when voters in this poll respond to "Having high personal standards that set the proper moral tone for the country," 37 percent of respondents give Hillary Clinton a "Very Poor Rating" of 1 out of 5.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders has been able to generate the enthusiasm and energy lacking in the Clinton campaign. This momentum has resulted in a campaign financed by the American people, not special interest. An October Huffington Post article titled This Is The Most Eye-Popping Stat In Bernie Sanders' Latest Fundraising Report highlights a unique achievement of the Sanders campaign:

Only .039 percent of Sanders' donors have given the maximum amount allowed.

According to data provided by the campaign, just 270 of Sanders' 680,959 campaign donors gave the maximum $2,700 they're allowed to give during the primary.

The amazing number of small donors means that Sanders' fundraising will more than likely maintain its pace. The senator raised more than $27 million in the third quarter. According to the campaign, the average donation was $30.

His campaign hit 1 million individual donations in September, becoming the first 2016 campaign to reach that milestone.

While Clinton has prison lobbyists and Wall Street donating money, and even Donald Trump at one point, Sanders relies primarily on an energized electorate.

Finally, when asked during the last debate about Wall Street donors, Clinton evoked 9/11. This alone explains why only Bernie Sanders can prevent abysmal voter turnout on Election Day. Thus, there's simply too much at stake for Democrats in 2016 not to elect Bernie Sanders.

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