Math shows leaked audio of Clinton trashing Bernie Sanders supporters could flip battleground states
With her poll numbers surging and all signs pointing to an Election Day win, the last thing Hillary Clinton needs right now is a self-inflicted mistake.
But she just can’t help herself.
Leaked audio has surfaced of Clinton, while speaking at a high-dollar fundraiser, describing supporters of Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders as entitled brats who live in their parent’s basements.
Clinton told donors that Sanders’ supporters have,
“a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare, that what we’ve done hasn’t gone far enough, and that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel.”
According to Clinton, Sanders supporters are both clueless and entitled.
“They’re children of the Great Recession. And they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves,” said Clinton.
It took 68 years, but Hillary Clinton finally told the truth.
It would be easy to believe her comments can’t hurt her in the general election, given her easy victory over Sanders in the primary.
But a closer look at the raw numbers reveals it could be a problem.
They may be spoiled, nasty and whiny, but next to her own primary election supporters, Sanders supporters should be the second-easiest votes for her to pick up.
While Clinton enjoys a wide lead over Donald Trump in the projected Electoral College vote, in several key states, that lead is razor-thin.
Even a slight downturn in support in certain states could flip large numbers of Electoral College votes to Trump.
In Florida, for example, Clinton leads Trump by an average of just 1.2 percent.
Based on 2012 turnout, that’s a lead of only about 84,000 votes.
Clinton easily defeated Sanders in Florida’s Democratic primary, but Sanders still attracted 568,839 votes.
That means the projected gap between Clinton and Trump could be completely wiped out if 15 percent of Sanders’ supporters decide to stay home Election Day, or vote for another candidate.
That would be 29 electoral votes wiped from Clinton’s column.
In Pennsylvania, Clinton leads Trump by an average of just 1.8 percent.
Based on 2012 turnout, that’s a lead of only about 100,000 votes.
It’s another state where Clinton handily beat Sanders in the primary, but Sanders still won 731,881 votes.
If even 14 percent of Sanders’ supporters stay home or vote for another candidate, suddenly Clinton’s hold on Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes vanishes – which is actually easier said than done.
While voters like to tell pollsters they’ll vote against the candidate they’d be more likely to support, history shows most voters act as predicted when actually in the voting booth.
Still, if progressive activists make a deliberate effort to convince Sanders’ supporters to stay home, it wouldn’t take an unobtainable number of them to erase Clinton’s lead in battleground states.