‘Fear of Trump’ not enough for Clinton to win over some Sanders supporters

Hillary Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee for president, but the historic achievement doesn’t matter all that much to those who would rather have voted for Bernie Sanders this fall.

Speech after speech at the Democratic National Convention — even the one from Sanders — have aimed to unify the party behind Clinton.

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“The party came together as much as it can,” Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, told Global News on the convention floor at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. “I’ve talked to enough Sanders delegates here to realize that there is no way some of them will ever vote for Hillary Clinton.”

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Even though many may change their minds before the Nov. 8 election, Sabato expects only around 80 per cent of Sanders followers will get behind Clinton. And that’s even taking into consideration that not voting for Clinton could pave the way for Donald Trump to become president.

And trying to instill a fear of what a Trump presidency might look like isn’t enough to change some minds, Sabato suggested.

“Incredibly, I’ve actually had Bernie delegates say to me one term of Trump would be survivable — better than two terms of Hillary,” he told Global’s Jackson Proskow.

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Those people, he said, really can’t be reasoned with or wooed to Team Hillary.

But aside from trying to convince those hold-outs from the Sanders camp, the Democrats have a lot of work ahead of them to “humanize Hillary Clinton” on a much wider scale.

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“It’s a big job. They need more than a week to do it,” Sabato said. “That’s why they’re not stressing policy [at the convention].”

When it comes to popularity, some polls find she’s about as unpopular as her Republican rival.

A Gallup poll this week as the DNC kicked off Monday, suggested 57 per cent of Americans view her unfavourably. In fact, the poll showed Clinton had her lowest favourability rating in 24 years. Trump was seen as only slightly less favourable.

The same poll indicated 59 per cent of Americans view the billionaire businessman as unfavourable.

“Both Clinton’s and Trump’s unfavourable ratings are among the highest of any contemporary presidential candidates,” Gallup reported.

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But aside from the Sanders stalwarts, Sabato added, there’s another group Clinton faces a challenge to win over.

“That’s the white, non-college, mainly male, blue-collar workers,” he explained. “They’re what’s fuelling Trump’s rise in states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.”

And it’s one, very large group that her campaign appears to be making no effort to lure to Clinton’s side, he said.

“She has got to reduce his margin or … he might actually pull an upset.

Jackson Proskow contributed to this report.

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