Here's How Bernie Sanders Diehards Are Plotting To Keep Donald Trump Out Of The White House

They may not have embraced Hillary Clinton, but they loathe Trump.
Joshua Roberts / Reuters

WASHINGTON ― Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) staunchest supporters are still feeling torn about voting for Hillary Clinton, who defeated the progressive rock star in this year’s bitter Democratic primary. But they’re acutely aware of the consequences of strategic voting that would help ensure GOP nominee Donald Trump can’t win the White House.

Norman Solomon, a former Sanders delegate and a coordinator of the Bernie Delegates Network, a group that claimed to represent two-thirds of Sanders’ delegates at the Democratic National Convention, said the decision of whether to vote for Clinton may ultimately rest on the margin between Clinton and Trump in hotly contested battleground states.

“I heard a number of delegates say, ‘I’m going to keep my eyes on the polls, and if it’s close I’ll vote for Clinton,’” Solomon told The Huffington Post on Thursday.

“Speaking for myself, I live in California, and I have no intention of voting for Clinton,” he added, referring to the overwhelming Democratic advantage there. “If I lived in Ohio or Florida, I would vote for Hillary in a heartbeat. To me the rational political choice for progressives is to vote for Clinton in swing states and don’t worry about it anywhere else.”

Clinton in recent weeks has redoubled her outreach to young voters, who comprised a large portion of Sanders’ support. But she still has more work to do. A nationwide straw poll of 461 Sanders delegates, released Thursday by the Bernie Delegates Network, found that only 37 percent plan for vote for Clinton in November.

In sign of a thaw, however some of Sanders’ most devoted followers, who unleashed nasty, sexist attacks against a top Democratic official in Nevada earlier this year, are giving the former secretary of state another look.

“At this point in time, she’s the only option that we have that wouldn’t completely destroy ― at least in my opinion ― completely destroy our way of living,” Atlanta field organizer Austin Gates told The Huffington Post this week.

Gates, 22, angry with what he saw as a “rigged” primary system, joined other Sanders supporters in May attacking Nevada Democratic Party chairwoman Roberta Lange. Gates called Lange a “corrupt bitch” and a “pussy” in text messages.

Gates said this week he didn’t want to re-litigate the past. His only goal now, he said, is making sure Trump doesn’t win.

“She showed an extraordinary amount of reservation and patience,” Gates said of Clinton’s performance at the debate last week. “Donald Trump, on the other hand, he just interrupted, wanted to basically be a yelling match between the two of them.”

At issue in Nevada was an attempt by the Sanders’ campaign to change the rules in order to seat additional delegates at the state party convention in Las Vegas. After dozens of potential delegates were deemed ineligible, a “near-riot” broke out, forcing local authorities to shut down the event. Sanders supporters blamed Lange for heading off their efforts and accused the Democratic Party of rigging the process in favor of Clinton.

The state chairwoman was deluged with other threatening text messages and sexist, profane voicemails. One caller told Lange to commit suicide.

Another Sanders supporter, who also attacked Lange in May, brusquely summed up the attitude among young voters toward both parties’ nominees.

“I think that the country can basically choose whatever the fuck it wants,” the person, who declined to be identified, told HuffPost earlier this week. “Companies will make their decision. If voting was helpful, it would be illegal. I haven’t decided either. It’s pretty crazy.”

The Sanders supporter, who called Lange a “criminal,” “un-American,” and a “threat to the nation” in a text message, said the country had to “choose between two evils” come November. The Dallas resident added that he was put off by Clinton’s email practices, including allegations made recently by the website WikiLeaks.

“If you can address the WikiLeaks stuff, and just table it for me, I might” reconsider voting for Clinton, the Sanders supporter said.

But he quickly reversed, lamenting, “You just can’t address that. It’s unaddressable.”

What’s happening in your state or district? The Huffington Post wants to know about all the campaign ads, mailers, robocalls, candidate appearances and other interesting campaign news happening by you. Email any tips, videos, audio files or photos to

Correction: This article incorrectly spelled the last name of a Bernie Sanders delegate. It is Norman Solomon, not Norman Soloman.

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