The chart above (from the most recent Economist / YouGov Poll) shows the current presidential preference of former Bernie Sanders supporters. It shows that 52% of them now support Hillary Clinton, while 13% support Jill Stein, 15% support Donald Trump, and 9% support Gar Johnson.
Frankly that blows me away. I can understand why 13% would opt for Jill Stein of the Green Party. They are ultra-progressives, and so is Stein. Most of them would probably have voted Stein anyway, if Bernie Sanders had never run. I don't begrudge them that. They are simply voting their conscience, and supporting someone with a very similar view as Sanders.
But the same can't be said of those who now say they will vote for Donald Trump or Gary Johnson.
I believe those supporting Trump are sour grapes voters. They are angry that their candidate didn't win, and they want to punish all other Democrats for voting for Clinton instead of Sanders. And they don't care if their punishment vote destroys the country. They are that angry -- angry enough to put an incompetent, racist, misogynist, bigoted, buffoon into the White House. There is no reasoning with these people, and I won't even try to do that.
It is the group supporting Gary Johnson that truly bothers me. They are evidently trying to find a candidate, any candidate other than Clinton, to vote for without voting for Trump. I have to wonder though -- do they realize that they have chosen a candidate that on almost every issue disagrees with Bernie Sanders?
Bernie understood the economic realities in this country. He knew that the current minimum wage was a poverty wage, and he supported raising it to $15 an hour -- a move that would not only lift millions out of poverty, but would spur the economy, increasing demand and job creation. Johnson doesn't want a higher minimum wage. In fact, as the meme above shows, he would be happy to eliminate the minimum wage altogether -- condemning the 43 million Americans currently in poverty (and most working full-time) to remain stuck in poverty.
Bernie also knew that the rich and the corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes -- and he wanted to raise taxes for both. Johnson wants to eliminate the income tax, and go with a regressive consumption Tax (i.e., sales tax) -- a regressive tax that would put the burden more on the working and middle classes, while the rich pay far less than they do now, and the corporations pay nothing at all.
Bernie also understood that business, financial, and environmental regulations protected the American public. Johnson doesn't. He follows the Libertarian and Republican belief that regulations should be eliminated. Johnson would move us back to a model of unregulated capitalism, and give corporations the right to abuse and steal from both workers and consumers.
The truth is that Johnson is just a "trickle-down" Republican in a Libertarian disguise. He (and Trump) disagree with Bernie Sanders on every important issue -- and supporting either of them is nothing less than a slap in the face to Bernie Sanders.
Bernie loves this country, and wants what is best for its citizens. That's why he is supporting Hillary Clinton and campaigning for her. He knows that Johnson or Trump would be disastrous for the country.
Here is what Bernie Sanders has to say to those supporters of his that are contemplating a third party vote:
“Look, I was a third-party candidate. I began my career running as a third party, getting 2 percent and then 1 percent. I'm the longest serving independent in the history of the U.S. Congress, but I think that before you cast a protest vote, because Clinton or Trump will be president, think hard about it. This is not a governor's race. It's not a state legislative race. This is the presidency of the United States.”
“And I would say to those people out there who are thinking of the protest vote, think about what the country looks like and whether you're comfortable with four years of a Trump presidency.”