Ariel Edwards-Levy, HuffPo polling director, has some good news for Democrats. In her HuffPo Politics post, “Even If Democrats Support Different Candidates, They Aren’t Divided: Democratic voters say they’re ready to support either Clinton or Sanders,” she explains, that despite tensions between both campaigns and some of their followers,
…Such animosity hasn’t taken much hold among the majority of party voters, who like both their candidates and are already largely willing to rally behind either in a general election.
Exit polls in South Carolina, like those in previous states, show that a strong majority of voters would be satisfied to see either candidate as the nominee. And a national HuffPost/YouGov poll, conducted before the primary, shows Democrats generally happy to accept either candidate.
According to that survey, 77 percent of Democratic primary voters nationwide would be at least satisfied with a Clinton nomination, and 63 percent would be at least satisfied with Sanders as the nominee. Fewer than a fifth would be angry about either outcome.
While Clinton, who continues to hold a small lead in national polls, has the edge, even those who’d be less than happy with a Sanders victory would support him over a Republican rival.
Democratic primary voters overwhelmingly say they’ll stay within party lines come November, with 76 percent saying they’d vote for Clinton and 77 percent that they’d vote for Sanders. The remainder are more likely to say they’re undecided or not planning to vote than that they’d turn out for a Republican.
In fact, the percentage who’ll eventually end up voting along partisan lines is likely even higher. In 2008, after a protracted battle that left some die-hard Clinton supporters vowing that they’d never support Obama, about 89 percent of Democrats ended up voting for their party’s nominee over John McCain.
And most Democratic primary voters have nothing but good feelings for their fellow party members, regardless of whom they’re backing. Seventy-three percent take a positive view of Clinton supporters, while 69 percent feel warmly toward Sanders’ supporters.
That’s very good news for Democrats. And if Dems can stoke the trend and increase solidarity between the followers of both Clinton and Sanders a little bit more, the possibility of a November landslide can become a reality.