MIXED MESSAGES: HILLARY VS. BERNIE
Anti status quo sentiments also played out among some voters who were usually faithful to the Democratic party. During the primary the Clinton camp found much fiercer competition than they had expected coming from the left in the form of Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders had what Hillary Clinton did not. He spoke a populist message of stirring things up, getting rid of moneyed interests in politics and revisiting trade deals which hurt American workers. Throughout his campaign he consistently raised more money than Clinton from small donations that averaged only $26, while refusing to take money from corporate interests.
Many young people were attracted to Sanders message of hope for a progressive future and the crowds at his personal appearances where huge. But the reaction from the Clinton campaign about Bernie’s candidacy tended toward being dismissive if not sometimes disdainful. And quite often Clinton surrogates seemed to urge Sanders to simply get out of the way, since a Clinton candidacy was clearly inevitable.
In the end Hillary did prevail in the primaries, while Sanders gained leverage to convince the Democratic platform to adopt additional progressive positions. And while Sanders did then move to endorse Clinton, the whole primary process did leave a bad taste in some people’s mouth.
In a similar way that middle class Trump voters did not want the liberal elite telling them what to do, many potential Democratic voters may have stayed away from the polls or been less enthusiastic about Clinton’s candidacy because they resented the Democratic establishment presumptions in telling them what to do
LINKS: SIDEBAR 4: MIXED MESSAGES: HILLARY VS. BERNIE
$182 million: Bernie Sanders equals Hillary Clinton’s campaign fundraising
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