April 15, 2016

Rocky Road Ahead For Democratic Unity In Colorado

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are locked in a heated primary contest, which could have enduring effects if Clinton becomes to Democratic nominee. Nationally, a recent McClatchy poll showed that 25% of Bernie Sanders supporters will not back Clinton in a general election. Now reports out of Colorado are showing similar signs of dissension in the Democratic ranks.

Colorado is a critical swing state in the general election, and as the Denver Post has reported today, many Sanders supporters will not support Clinton in November. For Rep. Joe Salazar, Clinton’s paid speech secrecy is pushing him to stay away from Clinton if she’s the nominee:

“One of the Sanders campaign’s most visible supporters in Colorado, state Rep. Joe Salazar, said in an interview this week that he may not support Clinton if she is his party’s nominee. ‘I haven’t decided at this point,’ he said, citing a host of issues regarding the secrecy surrounding her paid speeches.”

Another Sanders supporter went even further:

“‘I wouldn’t vote for her for dog catcher,’ said Audrey Franklin, a 77-year-old retiree from Brighton. ‘I will just vote for other things on the ballot, but I won’t vote for president.'”

A third Sanders supporter in Colorado even said that instead of voting for Clinton in November, he’d write in Sanders:

“In the audience, Dakota Cousineau, a 29-year-old tech worker from Lakewood, said he won’t vote for Clinton. He wants to write-in Sanders’ name on the November ballot. ‘It wouldn’t be a wasted vote in the sense that we are making our voice heard and we are not allowing the Democratic Party to push their candidate upon us,’ he said.”

These sentiments are coming on the heels of Democratic Party chairman Rick Palacio admission that the state party misreported caucus results to Sanders’ detriment and then tried to hide that from the public. The bad blood in Colorado is very real, and with these new reports it looks likely to linger well into the fall.