Could Bernie Sanders Determine Who Wins In November?

The war between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz is over.

The former has unofficially clinched the Republican nomination, and Cruz is back in the Senate, preparing his 2018 bid for re-election. However, as one war ends, another one begins.

No, I am not speaking about the war between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who is very likely to be the Democratic nominee.

I’m speaking about the war between Hillary Clinton and a still-defiant Bernie Sanders, who is fighting to the death to gain the upper hand as the last few primaries, notably the critical California primary, emerges.

This war has reached levels as to where Sanders has now officially endorsed Tim Canova, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s opponent in the Democratic primary for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District, in response to Schultz’s perceived bias in favor of the Clinton campaign.

However, it is not the Debbie Wasserman Schultz issue that should be of concern if you are a Democrat and/or a liberal.

What should be of concern, in this case, is if Bernie Sanders could end up giving the White House to Donald Trump, because some of his supporters declined to vote for Clinton out of spite.

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This does not seem like a far-fetched scenario here.

According to a poll jointly conducted by the Washington Post and ABC News that was published on Tuesday, 31% of Sanders supporters say they may not or will not support Clinton in the general election. 64.5% of that 31% (or 20% of all Sanders supporters) say that they will vote for Trump.

When you take into account that 43.4% of all Democrats support Sanders (according to the latest RealClearPolitics average), this translates into 13.5% of all Democrats refusing to vote for Clinton, and 8.7% of all Democrats voting for Trump.

And remember, this poll was taken before the convention, whose outcome is now going to be determined by superdelegates, because of how close the race has been.

Many Democrats may not know this, so if they see the convention fight play out on national television, these numbers are likely to go up.

In response to this development, I ran a theoretical scenario where Trump manages to unite the Republicans, but the disgruntled Sanders supporters carry out their threats at the above rates in every state.

Here’s what plays out, based on the latest RCP averages in individual states (and assuming that the RCP averages assume that Clinton unites the party):

-Trump wins every swing state, except possibly Nevada (which has no recent poll data on the site).

He also wins Connecticut, a state that is normally considered to be a Democratic-leaning one, and comes within two points of winning New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin, three other Democratic-leaning states.

He may also win New Mexico, another Democratic-leaning state that could come into play in this scenario, but does not have recent poll data on RCP.

This leaves him with as many as 349 electoral votes (assuming he wins Nevada and New Mexico), and Clinton with as few as 189.

In the process, New Hampshire votes Republican for the first time since 2000; Connecticut, Michigan, and Pennsylvania vote Republican for the first time since 1988; and Minnesota votes Republican for the first time since 1972.

In other words, Clinton would be blown out of the water.

If you are a Democrat and/or a liberal, this should be a wake up call for you.

If you are a Republican and/or a conservative, this should be a wake up call for you.

Sanders is becoming the spoiler that may determine the election. It is time for the candidates who want to win to go after his voters.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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About the Author
James Kardys is a fourth year student at the University of Miami. He majors in political science and international relations. He has written articles for RISE NEWS since May 2016, and for Turning Point USA since November 2014.
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