No, Bernie Supporters Won’t Matter In The Minnesota Governor’s Race

Many Bernie supporters ended up voting for Trump. Both parties would do well to understand the reasons why.

Supporters cheer for Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders as he speaks at a campaign stop at the Grand Theatre on Sunday, April 3, 2016, in Wausau, Wis. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

In another in-kind donation to Democrats, MinnPost is out today with a story suggesting that Bernie Sanders supporters matter a great deal in the upcoming Minnesota governor’s race. They don’t in the sense they’re written about, although this was the framing the reporter choose. They do but not for the reasons set out in the story.

In the article, the reader never learns that the Democratic National Committee rigged the primary system against Sanders and for Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election. Likewise, the reader never learns about two far left groups mentioned in the piece: “Our Revolution” and “Indivisible.” Both are funded by extreme leftist concerns and are responsible, in part, for the continuing separation of Democrats from mainstream voters. This is true even in Minnesota.

Our Revolution was formed with the remaining funds of the Sanders presidential campaign. The Twin Cities chapter is on the extreme left, despite MinnPost’s dishonest statement that its track record “mostly supports Democrats.” It supports them exclusively.

Indivisible is the fascist left on steroids. Formed in the Regressive Left’s enormous tantrum when last year’s election didn’t go according to their desires, Indivisible seeks to foment civil unrest and engage in any and all tactics to discredit the duly elected President. You won’t learn any of this from reading MinnPost, of course.

DFL Chair Ken Martin is interviewed but only for a banal statement that the party is unifying, especially because of President Trump. Even this, though, is demonstrably untrue as anyone who has followed the political factions in the Democratic Party since the election would know. Add to that a stark lack of message and Democrats heading into the 2018 election find themselves in real trouble.

As if pretending there is unity where little exists wasn’t bad enough, Minnpost says “Many activists assumed Trump would never win and many liberals stayed home in the last election, partially because of divisions withing [sic] the party.”

Not only is there no evidence for this, the data from last November showed the opposite: a record turnout on both sides, especially in swing states. Perhaps this is a case of a liberal reporting on her own party and buying into comforting narratives about the loss that stings them deeply to this day, instead of facing reality in order to learn from it. In any case, Donald Trump didn’t become the 45th President of the United States because liberals were asleep at the switch.

While Sanders carried Minnesota in the caucuses during the primary, Clinton almost lost it to Trump in the general. The idea espoused in the MinnPost article that more of the far left is what is needed to chart a path to the governor’s mansion on Summit Avenue is just so much wishful thinking.

To everyone’s surprise, Sanders won the Michigan primary despite an avalanche of polls and a mountain of conventional wisdom that Hillary would prevail. Minnesota Democrats misread that lesson if they think his win was more about single payer and less about trade and jobs. How many Sanders voters went with Trump, giving a Republican a victory there for the first time since 1988? We’ll never likely know the precise number but clearly enough to lose the state for Hillary. Many Minnesotans who voted for Trump had previously voted once or twice for Obama.

The fatal flaw in MinnPost’s story is the assumption that simply by talking to self-selected “Bernie leaders” the reporter captures what’s going on. Nowhere is the premise challenged that economic populism, which energized Sanders supporters, can be transferred to left and far left candidates and social causes.

This is a danger sign for Democrats and an opportunity for Republicans, if only the latter will realize it.

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In addition to Alpha News, John Gilmore is also a contributor to The Hill. He is the founder and executive director of Minnesota Media Monitor.™ He blogs at and is on Twitter under @Shabbosgoy.

John Gilmore

John Gilmore is an author, freelance writer & former opinion columnist for Alpha News. He blogs at & is @Shabbosgoy on Twitter