2016 Democratic Primary 2016 Election 2020 Democratic Primary 2020 Election Bernie Sanders Fashion Hillary Clinton

How Bernie’s 2020 Map Might Change Without The #NeverHillary Vote

How Bernie’s 2020 Map Might Change Without The #NeverHillary Vote

Bernie Sanders picked up help in some uncommon locations throughout his 2016 marketing campaign to be the Democratic presidential nominee. The self-described democratic socialist gained states reminiscent of Oklahoma and Nebraska which might be sometimes related to right-of-center coverage views. He additionally did surprisingly properly with self-described conservative voters — granted, a small-ish a part of the Democratic main citizens — choosing up virtually a 3rd of their votes. Maybe much less surprisingly provided that Sanders isn’t technically a Democrat, he carried out rather well with unbiased voters, profitable them by roughly a 2:1 margin over Hillary Clinton.

In order Sanders launches his 2020 marketing campaign as a candidate with each formidable strengths and critical challenges, his largest drawback may appear to be that there’s extra competitors for his base this time round, with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others additionally competing for the leftmost a part of the Democratic citizens. An equally massive drawback for Sanders, nevertheless, is that voters this time round have extra options to Hillary Clinton — left, proper and middle — to select from.

Roughly one-quarter of Sanders’s help in Democratic primaries and caucuses in 2016 got here from #NeverHillary voters: individuals who didn’t vote for Clinton within the 2016 common election and who had no intention of doing so. (The #NeverHillary label is a bit of snarky, nevertheless it’s additionally fairly literal: These are individuals who by no means voted for Clinton regardless of being given two alternatives to take action, within the main and the overall election.) This discovering comes from the Cooperative Congressional Election Research, a ballot of greater than 50,000 voters carried out by YouGov at the side of Harvard College. The CCES requested voters who they voted for in each the primaries and the overall election; it additionally requested voters who didn’t vote within the common election who they might have chosen if that they had voted. Right here’s the general breakdown of what Sanders main voters did in November 2016.

What Bernie Sanders main voters did in November 2016
Voted for Hillary Clinton 74.three%

Voted for Donald Trump 12.zero

Voted for Gary Johnson three.2

Voted for Jill Stein four.5

Voted for different candidates or voted however didn’t recall 2.5

Didn’t vote however stated they might have voted for Clinton 1.6

Didn’t vote and didn’t say they might have voted Clinton 1.9

Voters in shaded classes are #NeverHillary voters.


About 74 % of Sanders’s main voters additionally voted for Clinton in November 2016. One other 2 % didn’t vote however stated on the CCES that they might have voted for Clinton if that they had voted; it doesn’t appear truthful to think about them anti-Clinton voters, so we gained’t embrace them within the #NeverHillary camp. The remaining 24 % of Sanders voters have been #NeverHillary within the common election, nevertheless. Of those, about half voted for Trump, whereas the remaining half voted for Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, one other third-party candidate or didn’t vote.

General, Sanders gained 43 % of the favored vote in Democratic primaries and caucuses in 2016. If 24 % of that 43 % have been #NeverHillary voters, meaning Sanders’s actual base was extra like 33 % of the general Democratic citizens. That isn’t nothing — it might simply carry the plurality in a divided area — and there have been loads of Clinton voters who appreciated Sanders, so he might decide up a few of their votes too. Nevertheless it does jibe with polls displaying that Sanders and Warren collectively have round 30 % of the Democratic main citizens in 2020 and never the 43 % that Sanders acquired in 2016.

You is perhaps tempted to assume that these #NeverHillary voters are leftists who thought Clinton was an excessive amount of of pro-corporate, warmongering centrist. However comparatively few of them have been. Lower than a fifth of them voted for Stein, for instance. As an alternative, these voters have been disproportionately more likely to describe themselves as average or conservative. Among the many 31 % of self-described conservatives who voted for Sanders within the Democratic primaries, greater than half have been #NeverHillary voters, for instance. A big minority of the independents and Republicans who supported Sanders have been #NeverHillary voters as nicely.

#NeverHillary voters have been conservative, not tremendous liberal

The ideological and partisan breakdown of #NeverHillary voters within the 2016 Democratic primaries

Sanders Voters
Group Clinton Sanders Professional-Sanders** #NeverHillary
Very liberal 45.2% 54.6% 46.9% 7.7%
Liberal 55.6 43.7 39.four four.three
Considerably liberal 59.four 40.2 32.7 7.5
Center-of-the-road 60.2 38.7 24.9 13.eight
Conservative* 66.5 31.three 14.9 16.four
Sanders Voters
Group Clinton Sanders Professional-Sanders #NeverHillary
Democrats 66.2% 32.9% 28.eight% four.1%
Independents and Republicans 33.6 65.zero 37.9 27.1

* Consists of voters who described themselves as “conservative,” “considerably conservative” or “very conservative.“
** Sanders voters who voted for Clinton within the basic election or didn’t vote however stated they might have voted for Clinton.


A extra difficult option to characterize the #NeverHillary vote is by way of regression evaluation. Utilizing the CCES — which allows pretty intricate regression mannequin designs due to its giant pattern measurement — I took all of Sanders’s main voters in 2016 and evaluated a number of variables to see what predicted whether or not they have been #NeverHillary within the basic election.

Probably the most vital variables have been, first, whether or not the voter was a Democrat, and second and third, two coverage questions which have confirmed to be extremely predictive of voter preferences up to now: whether or not the voter thinks that white individuals profit from their race and whether or not the voter needed to repeal the Reasonably priced Care Act. Non-Democrats, voters who didn’t assume whites benefited from their race, and voters who needed to repeal the ACA have been more likely to be #NeverHillary voters. Voters who have been rural, poor, who lived within the South or the Northeast, who have been born-again Christians, who have been conservatives, and who have been army veterans have been additionally considerably extra more likely to be #NeverHillary, different elements held equal. Black individuals, Hispanics, ladies, liberals, millennials, union members and voters with four-year school levels have been much less more likely to be #NeverHillary voters.

As well as, some elements associated to the first calendar affected the #NeverHillary vote. After Trump gained the Indiana main, successfully wrapping up the Republican nomination, extra anti-Clinton voters filtered into the Democratic primaries. And the #NeverHillary vote was decrease in states the place an open Republican main or caucus was held on the identical date because the Democratic one. This suggests that a truthful variety of #NeverHillary voters would even have prefered to vote within the Republican main. But when they couldn’t, as a result of the Republican main was closed or wasn’t held on the identical date, they voted within the Democratic main (for Sanders or one other Democrat and towards Clinton) as an alternative.

We will additionally consider the geographic breakdown of the #NeverHillary vote. In every state, we will estimate the anti-Clinton vote in two methods, both by instantly measuring it (e.g., 19 % of Sanders voters the CCES surveyed in Illinois have been #NeverHillary) or by way of the regression method that I used above (which is analogous to an MRP evaluation). With out getting an excessive amount of into the weeds, I used a mix of the 2 strategies in every state based mostly on the pattern measurement of Sanders voters there; the direct measurement is extra dependable in states with a big pattern, whereas the regression technique is best in states with a smaller one. The desk under exhibits the place the most important share of Sanders voters (in addition to voters who selected one other Democratic candidate aside from Clinton and Sanders) have been anti-Clinton voters:

Sanders benefited from #NeverHillary voters in pink states

The breakdown of Sanders and #NeverHillary voters within the 2016 Democratic primaries


The most important variety of #NeverHillary voters, as a share of the Democratic main citizens, have been in Alaska, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Vermont, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Kentucky. Aside from in Vermont, the place excessive loyalty to Sanders generated numerous write-in votes for Sanders and different candidates within the common election, these are clearly actually pink and largely rural states. Aside from Kentucky, they have been additionally all states gained by Sanders within the primaries.

Though there might have been one thing of a marketplace for a populist candidate in these states, it’s additionally possible that Sanders benefited from being the one various to Clinton. Actually, there are a number of states the place the #NeverHillary vote pushed Sanders excessive and the place the pro-Sanders vote alone wouldn’t have been sufficient for him to win. These are Indiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

The excellent news for Sanders is that the states the place he benefited probably the most from the #NeverHillary vote — particularly in Appalachia and within the Inside West — have comparatively low delegate tallies. In order that they’re locations that he can probably afford to lose. It does imply, nevertheless, that Sanders should hit his mark in his different robust areas, together with New England (the place Warren will present fierce competitors), the Higher Midwest (the place Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota might create issues in her residence state and Wisconsin) and the Pacific Northwest (the place Sanders would like that candidates like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper not enter the race).

It additionally signifies that Sanders gained’t simply be competing towards different progressives but in addition towards comparatively average candidates. If #NeverHillary voters from 2016 are once more on the lookout for an anti-establishment candidate, Sanders might nonetheless match the invoice. If they need a average as an alternative, nevertheless, they’ll have much more decisions than they did in 2016 within the type of candidates like Klobuchar and (in the event that they enter the race) Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke. It’s additionally potential that #NeverHillary voters have been principally motivated by sexism, during which case any of the male candidates might stand to profit.

None of this dooms Sanders by any means. On stability, he in all probability advantages from a divided subject, in truth, whereby his extraordinarily loyal base provides him a excessive flooring of help. However a multi-way race is means totally different than a two-way one, so Sanders’s coalition will not be all that just like what we noticed in 2016.

From ABC Information: