In the aftermath of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, it is apparent that Hillary Clinton’s attempts to win the support of Sanders voters have been extremely successful. In the months leading to the DNC, polls indicated that only 25% of Sanders supporters1 planned on voting for Clinton if she became the nominee. However, after the DNC, about 91% of them2 plan on voting for Clinton in the general election. The support of these three million3 Sanders supporters boosted Clinton’s lead over Trump and will play a key role in November.
The spike in support for Clinton after the DNC can be attributed to several recent developments in the political climate – most notably the “Never Trump” movement. Although Clinton represents the Democratic platform – the adversary of Sanders’s political revolution – Sanders supporters and undecided voters still believe that Trump’s disregard for minority groups and volatile behavior justifies a vote for Clinton. Many believed the “Never Trump” movement existed within the RNC to prevent Trump from getting the nomination, but it has now embraced a new role: prevent a Trump presidency in 2016. Many have used the “Never Trump” movement to justify only voting for Clinton (as opposed to third party alternatives) because it can decrease the possibility of both Clinton and Trump reaching the required 270 electoral votes; if this happens, the president is chosen by the Republican dominated House of Representatives. Movements like “Never Trump” have resulted in a decrease in Trump’s support from both undecided voters and major Republican figureheads.
The conclusion of the presidential debates hasn’t swayed the polls in any significant manner. Partly because most voters have made-up their minds during the debates, and, in the context of this election, the debates have served very little purpose in revealing new insight about either candidates’ political stances. Despite this, recent developments (such as recordings of his attitude towards women) that bring to question Trump’s sense of ethics have also proven effective in discounting his prior endorsements. Organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police have decided not to participate in his recent rallies. Despite isolated incidents of loyalty amongst his supporters, events like these are warranting a general shift away from supporting Trump, and thanks to anti-Trump organizations mentioned earlier, a majority of that support is moving to the Clinton campaign rather than third party alternatives.
November 8th is nearing. As it comes, Trump’s options are odds of winning the presidency are dwindling. Both Senator Sanders’s endorsement from the DNC and the “Never Trump” movement have resulted in support for Clinton over other candidates. With an over 10-point lead over Trump5, Clinton has gained a momentum after the DNC that Trump’s campaign can’t mitigate. This spike in Clinton’s support and growth of anti-Trump movements hint that the likelihood of a Trump presidency is drastically decreasing. With this, most are pondering an essential question: How will the Republican Party be able to maintain its place in politics with a loss in the White House and potential loss in the Senate? Despite its intriguing policy implications, the answer must wait until after Election Day.
References: Gass, Nick. “Poll: 1 in 4 Sanders Supporters Won’t Vote for Clinton.” POLITICO. N.p., 6 Apr. 2016. Web. 07 Aug. 2016.  Easley, Jason. “Republican Dreams Shattered As 91% Of Bernie Sanders Backers Support Hillary Clinton.” Politicus USA. N.p., 01 Aug. 2016. Web. 07 Aug. 2016.  “RealClearPolitics – 2016 Democratic Popular Vote.” RealClearPolitics – 2016 Democratic Popular Vote. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.  Hartig, Hannah, John Lapinski, and Stephanie Psyllos. “Poll: Clinton Opens Up Double-Digit Lead Over Trump.” NBC News. N.p., 9 Aug. 2016. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.  Bradner, Eric. “New Poll Shows Clinton over Trump by Double-digits.” CNN. Cable News Network, 23 Oct. 2016. Web.