The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

First Survey of Sanders Delegates: Potential Clash Ahead

First major survey of Sanders delegates points toward potential conflict over Clinton choice of running-mate


The first major survey of Bernie Sanders delegates reveals big concerns about Hillary Clinton's pending choice of a vice presidential candidate, with many delegates expressing their willingness to publicly denounce prospective running-mates and even protest on the convention floor.

The nationwide survey was conducted by the independent Bernie Delegates Network, an initiative launched by in partnership with Progressive Democrats of America. The results were released Saturday.

More than 250 Sanders delegates responded to the survey via email during the last two days. Asked how important Clinton's vice presidential choice would be to them, 70.6 percent said "very important" or "important." An additional 13.2 percent said "somewhat important."

Delegates were asked to respond with "Acceptable" or "Not Acceptable" or "Unsure" regarding six individuals who have been widely mentioned in recent news reports as potential Clinton running-mates. A paragraph on each individual summarized some of their positions on topics important to Sanders delegates, such as TPP, Keystone XL and Wall Street. The results follow:

Acceptable - 2.7 percent
Not Acceptable - 88.5 percent
Unsure - 8.8 percent

Acceptable - 8.0 percent
Not Acceptable - 79.8 percent
Unsure -- 12.2 percent

Acceptable - 1.9 percent
Not Acceptable - 91.6 percent
Unsure - 6.5 percent

Acceptable - 11.1 percent
Not Acceptable - 72.8 percent
Unsure - 16.1 percent

Acceptable - 1.5 percent
Not Acceptable - 88.5 percent
Unsure - 10.0 percent

Acceptable - 2.3 percent
Not Acceptable - 88.5 percent
Unsure - 12.2 percent

The vast majority of surveyed delegates said that -- if Clinton "selects as her vice presidential running-mate one of the individuals whom you've marked as unacceptable or someone politically similar" -- they would "seriously consider participating" in one or both of these actions:

--- "Denouncing the VP pick as a clear indication that Hillary Clinton does not intend to seek common ground with the progressive ideals and positions of the Bernie Sanders campaign."

--- "Nonviolently and emphatically protesting in the convention hall during Clinton's acceptance speech."

Norman Solomon, national coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network and a Sanders delegate, said: "We have every reason to believe that the lopsided numbers from this survey indicate it would be a risky proposition for Clinton to choose a running-mate who is supportive of corporate-friendly trade deals and cozy with Wall Street."

Karen Bernal, a delegate from Sacramento who was elected as co-representative of the Sanders delegation from California, commented: "We Sanders delegates represent millions of progressive voters and activists. This survey suggests that a large proportion of the base that delivered 23 states and 13 million votes for Senator Sanders would be repelled by the potential running-mates for Secretary Clinton who are now being most widely touted. Can any Democratic presidential candidate afford to do without solid support from this base in a general election? That is the question Secretary Clinton and her advisers should think long and hard about."

Donna Smith, director of PDA, said: "While Trump has moved to unify his party by selecting a running-mate who is trusted by the Republican activist base and who had endorsed his top opponent, we fear that Secretary Clinton is looking in the wrong direction for her running-mate. Democratic and independent voters throughout the nation could be lost if the party's presidential ticket fails to truly reflect strong progressive positions."

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