Clinton better realize she’ll need Sanders supporters eventually

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ABC NEWS 12/19/15 (ABC/Ida Mae Astute)

I hope I’m wrong, but even as a Sanders supporter, I have to admit: he’s going to have a hard time winning the Democratic nomination. While Iowa was an incredible result against the “inevitable” candidate – and Sanders is polling well in New Hampshire – it will be a very tough fight.

That’s fine. Anything worth doing usually is. And no matter what, I believe Sanders already has a few accomplishments:

  • He’s awoken and organized important elements in the Democratic party that are specifically opposed to plutocratic rule by the rich over our democratic republic.
  • He’s begun to de-stigmatize the word “socialist”, which will hopefully lead to a fuller political conversation in the U.S.
  • He has pushed Clinton far to the left of where she otherwise would have positioned herself in the primary.
  • He’s brought many youthful voters and activists to politics.

All good. But it might not be enough to become the nominee – which means Clinton will be. And I will say this to Clinton and her supporters: make no mistake, you will need Sanders supporters in the general election.

Clinton’s electability is not assured. She is not well liked by the American public (partly because of decades of unfair accusations), and polls that match her against likely Republican nominees are not altogether comforting.

So as this primary contest winds on, she and her supporters had better be careful with how they treat Sanders supporters. Every percent of the electorate will matter this time, as it has so often. And she can’t afford to give anyone an excuse to stay home on Election Day.

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