While the media are doing their best to cover for the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden, the more woke Bernie Sanders wing of the party may not be buying it. A new poll is out from which shows that nearly one out of every four Bernie voters is now saying they will not vote for Joe Biden.
This news comes via USA Today.
WASHINGTON – Bernie Sanders may have endorsed Joe Biden, but almost a quarter of the Vermont senator’s supporters aren’t jumping on board just yet, according to a new poll.
Nearly 1 in 4 Sanders supporters (22%) said they would vote for a third party candidate, vote for President Donald Trump, not vote in November or were undecided about who to vote for, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk Poll. When broken down, 2% said they would vote for Trump, 8% said they would vote for a third party candidate, 2% said they would skip voting and 8% are still undecided.
That’s up from 11% in the last poll that asked that question. What’s caused this shift? It could just be noise, but I suspect there’s more to it than that.
As a wrote earlier in the week (see Congrats, Bernie Bros, You Got Played), Bernie has completely abandoned his supporters. He bent the knee to Joe Biden, not even pressing him on Medicare for All, in a video endorsement. Everything the Sanders campaign had stood for was shoved aside for party politics. The DNC won the day again, having successfully ended Bernie’s campaign two presidential cycles in a row.
But worse, as Biden’s campaign has come under fire for from the Tara Reade allegation, Bernie has remained quiet. It’s in this moment that he could restart his campaign and put real pressure on the former VP. In fact, I posited in my previous article that Bernie is uniquely positioned to intervene here. He’s not doing that though. I don’t think that’s lost on his more hardcore followers.
While only 2% in the poll say they’ll vote for Trump, that’s largely an effect of having over 10% defect in 2016. Those voters never went back to Bernie. Any support Trump can draw is good, but having any significant number of Democrats sit home is almost just as useful. If 25% of Bernie voters don’t vote for Joe Biden, it could cost easily him the race.
There’s also the matter of the enthusiasm gap, which heavily favors Trump right now. Biden enthuses almost no one, much less the communist revolutionaries who love Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The leader in that metric has won each of the last four elections. Compound Biden’s deficiencies with the fractures going on in the party and his current polling leads could be very, very soft. People may answer a poll question over the phone in favor of Biden, but will they get out and vote? That’s very much in question.
What I do know is that Bernie himself seems to have much less control over his supporters than he may have thought. To have 22% not follow his lead in endorsing Biden is a big number. We’ll see if the Biden campaign can regain them or whether they remain disengaged.