July 12, 2016 (PORTSMOUTH, NJ) In an event earlier this morning Bernie Sanders (I-VT) endorsed Secreatary Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. Sanders said: “I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president. Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and I congratulate her for that.”
This is also in a search for party unity, since the Republcians will likely nominate their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. Sanders, a 74 year old self described Democratic Socialist added: “intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.” There is a fear in democratic ranks that Trump could pull it off, and now there is a clear effort to unify the party behind their now presumptive nominee. That be Clinton.
During the joint rally she said: “We are joining forces to defeat Donald Trump! Ican’t help but say how much more enjoyable this election is going to be when we are on the same side. You know what? We are stronger together!” Sanders excited the liberal and much younger base. The same base that Clinton has been having trouble reaching. There is thinking that Sanders will help to deliver those voters in November. This is part of the strategy at play in this election.
When looking at this season, while on a normal year Trump should have a demographic bomb that he should have trouble overcoming, the reality is that both Trump and Clinton are highly unpopular. This will mean turnout will be critical in November. Sanders might be able to excite that part of the base that would otherwise stay home. He has a tough road to hoe, since many of his supporters are not happy about Clinton and have vowed to not vote for her. Polling data though revels that most of Sanders voters will in the end hold their noses and vote for Clinton. Though polling reveals numbers ranging from 25 percent to half that will not, but this is July, and November is a few months away.
There was als0 a lot of work behind the scenes, between the two campaigns to get to this moment, and started after the June meeting in DC after the primary. So time will tell, but Sanders did remind Clinton that he got 13 million voters and will take to the Convention 1900 delegates to Philadelphia. The battle these days has been at the platform committee. Sanders’ people have been trying to carve out the most progressive platform in modern history. They have succeeded in some ways, but obviously not in others. For example, they did manage a commitment for a minimum wage, but not a commitment to marry it to the rate of inflation. Nor did they manage to get a statement against the Transpacific Partnership or for that matter, Medicare for All.
Time will tell how much healing the Democratic Party manages to do, but the same has to be said about the Republican Party. This has been an all but normal, or boring, race to the White House.