Why these young Florida voters are refusing to abandon Bernie

Fusion’s Alicia Menendez recently sat down with a group of young Democrats who are well prepared to cast a ballot—just not behind their party’s presumptive nominee. The only exception to this, they told Menendez, is if Hillary Clinton were to make Bernie Sanders her running mate.

But that idea happens to be the one thing Clinton apparently is not considering these days. According to the eight Democrats with whom Menendez spoke—all staunch Sanders supporters—the former Secretary of State will have a very tough time winning over her primary rival’s supporters without making him vice president. And if these young voters’ attitude is even mildly indicative of Sanders’ young base, Clinton’s decision could cost her a powerful and large voting bloc.

“She’s like a Nascar driver,” Matt, one of the eight young Democrats, said about Clinton. “She’s got the corporations written all over her.”

Seven of the Democrats ultimately said they would be writing in Sanders’ name on the ballot come November, regardless of his chances.

They would rather vote for Bernie in the general election (6 of them voted for Sanders in Florida’s primary)—the candidate they believe in—than vote for their party’s candidate, even if it means giving Trump an edge in the election.

“At least I tried for what I believe in,” said Destiny. They agreed it was better to vote with a clear conscious for someone they really support than for a candidate they don’t.

Billy, the only Democrat who by the end of the conversation was 100% committed to voting for Clinton in the general election, warned that this could lead to a Trump presidency.

But his fellow Democrats disagreed with this approach.

“I see where [Billy is] coming from completely about throwing your vote away, but I believe in Bernie Sanders’ political revolution, and I stand by it,” said Maria. “And I think it’s time for young people to stand behind him and actually go out and vote.”

Anthony also disagreed with Billy. “I would write in Bernie Sanders or I would vote for a third party, but I sure as shit ain’t sitting it out.”

Note: A random list of eight registered Republican and eight registered Democrat voters ages 18 to 34 were sourced by Bendixen & Amandi International from around the Miami, Florida area. Prospective respondents were contacted randomly, and a diverse sampling of voters were screened to qualify for this research study.

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