Young Voters Felt The Bern But Are They Thrilled By Jill?
Many Bernie Sanders voters were emotionally devastated when Hillary Clinton won the election. They cried, they thought the primaries were rigged and they promised never to vote for Clinton. Now the Green Party’s Jill Stein is hoping she can convince disaffected Sanders supporters to vote for her in November.
Stein has positioned herself as Sanders’ natural successor in the fight against old fashioned politics. First she offered Sanders her place on the Green Party presidential ticket, now she’s trying to win his primary voters. Her policies on college loans, environmental issues and political elites are similar to Sanders.
“We are ‘Bern-ing Green’ together!” Stein has said as part of an attempt to actively seek Sanders’ voters. Stein has accused the Democratic National Committee of stealing the nomination from Sanders and she is critical of Hillary Clinton. One third of Sanders’ supporters will not vote for Clinton, according to polling website FiveThirtyEight. That number of voters could have a serious affect on the election in certain states.
However, Stein holds some unorthodox beliefs that could damage her standing among voters. She recently claimed that Wi-Fi signals could be harmful to children in widely reported and widely mocked remarks. A number of commentators criticized her as ‘the pseudo-science’ candidate, a label that will not impress many left-leaning voters. The Green Party’s reputation for weirdness and Stein’s lack of governing experience are also major problems for the campaign.
Though there is a significant #JillNotHill presence on social media, Stein is not polling as well as Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson. Johnson has a good chance of making it into the presidential debates if he continues polling around 15%, as he has in several recent polls. Most disaffected Sanders supporters will probably stay away from the polls in November despite Stein’s efforts to take up his progressive mantle.