Courting Bernie's Supporters by Nelson LewisDespite clinching the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton’s still got plenty of hurdles to face if she wants all Democrats to back her.  Bernie’s supporters seem reluctant to back her, viewing her as just as bad as Trump.  Every time Bernie mentioned her name at a California rally last week, his supporters booed.  But that doesn’t mean Hillary isn’t going to try to court their support (she sure needs it), and has praised his candidacy as a way to improve her own campaign.  

It seems only likely that Hillary will offer her former foe more olive branches in the weeks to come, such as compromises on social issues and reforms in a Democratic primary process that Bernie said was rigged.  Nonetheless, it will be a bitter pill for many of Bernie’s supporters to swallow, especially as many of them helped the aging Vermont senator go from political obscurity to a major figure.  If you were to say a year ago that he would end up earning nearly 10 million votes and winning over 20 states during the primaries, few people would believe you.  According to a poll by Reuters, Bernie supporters have become increasingly reluctant to support Hillary, and less than half of them have said that they’d vote for her if she becomes the nominee.  Only 41 percent of his supporters said last month that they’d vote for Clinton over Trump, down from 50 percent in April.  

The best way for Hillary to win over the voters that once backed Bernie would be to show that she’ll still stand behind her more progressive decisions, such as opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Keystone oil pipeline from Canada, supporting a higher minimum wage and reducing income inequality.  In the next couple weeks, she needs to make her position on these issues clear if she wants to court Bernie’s supporters.  Yet more than anything else, it seems likely that they’ll support her if only to not support Trump, as if for both the Democratic and Republican candidates, much of their support seems to come from members of their party wanting to choose the “lesser of two evils”.