The recent happenings at the Nevada State Democratic Convention have made abundantly clear that a significant portion of Bernie Sanders followers will never fall in line and support Clinton if she's the Democratic nominee. Even though Sanders has stated to his followers that nothing could be worse than a Trump presidency, a sizable chunk of his following are solely passionate about Sanders, not the Democratic Party, or the alternative. At first, it might seem outlandish that Sanders supporters wouldn't support Clinton, because of Trump. But a large percentage of the Sanders crowd were never even interested in politics before, have never voted, or are Independents. These voters are not indebted to any party and are certainly not indebted to vote for Clinton just because she could be the nominee. If Sanders doesn't win the nomination, some of his supporters will pull for Trump, some will go to Clinton, but I have to assume many will stick behind Sanders, even if that means staying home on voting day, which is against Sanders' wishes.
This predicament puts Bernie Sanders in a dilemma in the eyes of the public. He can roll over and back the presumptive nominee. But why would he? Sanders has already made history with his $27 donations and how he's been raising money without Super PACs. He's been fighting the system his entire life, has given up his retirement, has received significant amounts of money from the middle and lower class. And we assume he's going to roll over and surrender to Clinton? Sanders has made clear the DNC simply hasn't been fair to his campaign, while Debbie Wasserman Schultz has stated she and the DNC have been neutral throughout the process.
The more time goes on, the more I believe the Sanders campaign has been playing a strategy that is overwhelmingly intelligent. Sanders has been an Independent for most of his life and is for the first time running as a Democrat during this presidential race. He simply wouldn't have gotten enough attention from the media if he ran as an Independent. The media would have blown him off, he wouldn't have been allowed to debate, his message would not have gotten out, and we probably wouldn't have even heard of Bernie Sanders. But after watching this process play out, it makes sense that he would run as a Democrat. This way, his message would get out, the media would have to pay attention even if they didn't want to, he could build his massive grassroots support of people and donations, and would have a shot at the nomination as well. But if he didn't win the nomination, he still has millions of stubborn, idealist supporters that can be used as leverage. We all know Clinton has been perhaps the most well-known figure to run for president in quite some time. So why would a no-name Senator from Vermont think he could take on everyone and win? Lots of Sanders supporters are people who have never voted before or have abstained from the political process, and don't owe their allegiance to anyone.
Perhaps the Sanders campaign strategy now is dependent upon a potential right-winger getting into the race as an Independent alternative to Donald Trump. While the ever seeing eyes of the media are shining their spotlights on headline-grabbing Donald Trump and the potential indictment of Clinton, Sanders could emerge as the dark horse, riding in on an Independent steed. As of now, Sanders has stated he would not be a spoiler to the Democratic party by running as an Independent because it would split the vote. But if the Republican vote was split as well, Sanders could very well run as an Independent without acting as a Ralph Nader. In that case, it's very possible we could see a four-way race between Clinton, Trump, Sanders and another right-wing Independent. This situation is very appealing to Sanders, as he's done extremely well in the polls against Trump, and Clinton wouldn't have the same benefit of closed primaries, as anyone can vote in the general election including the vast amount of Independent voters.
While it's fairly safe to say Sanders will not win the Democratic nomination unless Clinton is suddenly indicted, the presidential race is not even close to being over. We're witnessing just the very beginning of the craziness that will occur throughout the next six months before the election. The boiling point has not been reached yet, but the volcano of presidential politics is certainly bubbling.