The day before yesterday, Suffolk University and The Boston Globe published a poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters, finding Hillary Clinton in a slight lead over Bernie Sanders, 37 to 35 percent. It was the first poll of New Hampshire since August that saw Clinton in the lead. Sanders supporters seem to have forgotten that.
If you look on the biggest platform for Sanders supporters, reddit’s BernieSanders sub forum, you will not find a mention of it on the front page. Or the second page. If, by some miracle, you are able to find the discussion on the BernieSanders forum, you will see it has 55 upvotes...400 less than a photograph a Bernie Sanders jack-o-lantern, and 150 less than a post criticizing the Florida Democratic Party’s chair for endorsing Hillary.
The post about the Suffolk University poll is filled with criticisms in the comments, from “undersampling 18-34 year olds” (though this was a poll of likely primary voters, so I wouldn’t expect a ton of 18-34 year olds in there) to “the last Suffolk poll showed Hillary well in the lead, why aren’t we talking about how much he’s closed the gap?!!” Because he’s been leading, strongly, in every poll of New Hampshire for two and a half months, that’s why.
It’s not the only post redditors are getting an Infectious Bern either; the current top post on the BernieSanders sub is a poll showing Clinton and Sanders in a statistical tie among Hispanic voters. It has nearly 5,000 upvotes. If you look on the comments for that post, you’ll see several hundred saying some version of “when people hear Bernie’s message, they like him!” That may well be true. That doesn’t change the fact that when they hear his supporters, they hear fringe lunatics.
In the immediate aftermath of the debate, Bernie supporters freaked out about CNN, NBC, Politico and other political websites declaring Clinton the victor. To prove it, they linked to several online polls showing Bernie winning with something like 80% of the vote. They seemed to forget that several of these online polls were posted on the front of the Sanders forum, with comments like “vote here!!” And “I voted five times.”
For the next 18 hours after the debate, the forum was inundated with allegations of Clintonian conspiracy. It required the moderators of the forum to make a post begging their users to stop going around and confusing everything of being a conspiracy. “You’re making us look like lunatics.”
Now, finally, the real polls are here. And they showed Clinton as the decisive winner, to the tune of roughly 55-37.
Nary a peep from Sanders supporters, which I guess is better than accusing everyone of being part of the Clinton Global Initiative.
But the lack of critical thinking about their own candidate and campaign is concerning. Many Sanders supporters will use reddit as their only source of news on the race, and reddit makes it seem like Sanders is walking away with the nomination. That is so far from the truth it’s like calling Sanders “the candidate of the billionaires.”
This is all without even mentioning the first indicator of the Ron Paulification of Bernie supporters: that these people attacked random BlackLivesMatter activists on Twitter after two BLM activists protested a Sanders event in Seattle, because maybe a senator from the second whitest state in the union might not have the best social justice bonafides (to Sanders’ credit, it’s led to him creating a detailed social justice policy). They also seem inexplicably vexed that endorsements from Deray McKesson and Dr. Cornel West hasn’t created a groundswell of black support. To paraphrase Token from South Park “Cornel West isn’t the king of all black people!” I doubt the average, lower middle class black Democratic voter knows who either are.
Reddit Sanders supporters represent the worst of the white liberal; incapability of seeing anything from any other points of view. Many of them see no reason to support Hillary Clinton under any circumstances, and that those who do have a lack of intelligence or empathy. They think those who criticize Sanders’ platform merely don’t understand it. They freak out over a Larry David joke about Sanders being Clinton’s running mate (today’s symbol of the vast Clinuminati), something much more likely than the Democratic Party allowing an independent to front its ticket. They have the potential to scare away anyone undecided between the two Democratic frontrunners. They can be his best asset, but right now, they are his worst enemy.