Harry Enten at FiveThrityEight reports that, according to poll data, Hillary Clinton has the support of only two-thirds of Bernie Sanders voters in a race that provides more than two options. In such a race, Clinton wins 69 percent of Sanders supporters in CNN’s latest poll and 65 percent in Marist’s ( YouGov has Clinton doing much worse with the Sanders crowd, but this looks like an outlier).
Clinton did improve her position with Sanders supporters as a result of the Democratic convention. This is not surprising given Sanders’ fairly strong speech urging support for Clinton. However, there are still plenty of holdouts.
The good news for Clinton is that few of the holdouts intend to vote for Donald Trump. Instead, they favor Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, or “none of the above.”
When the options are just Clinton and Trump, Hillary is the choice of 91 percent of Sanders supporters in the CNN poll and 75 percent in the Marist survey.
It’s not surprising that Sanders supporters aren’t fond of Trump. We don’t really know where Trump stands on the ideological spectrum, but we can be confident that he’s not a socialist and fairly sure he’s not a left-liberal. (Unfortunately, we can also be fairly sure he’s not a true conservative).
Clinton may improve her position with Trump supporters as we approach Election Day. Third party candidates tend to fade at crunch time, though we don’t have any precedent when the two major parties put forth candidates as flawed as Clinton and Trump. It’s also quite possible that Trump’s bizarre pronouncements (both real and imagined by the media) will induce Sanders holdouts to vote for Clinton.
Enten concludes that Clinton doesn’t need to improve her status with Sanders supporters to win the election, provided she retains her present lead of at least 6 points. This suggests that Clinton can tack a bit to the center, which might help her solidify that lead.