by Shawn Gay
Earth Advocacy News
July 12, 2012
Dr. Jill Stein and the Green Party may be having a veritable Christmas in July. An analysis of two Twitter hashtags shows support moving from the Democratic Party to the Green Party, spurred by Sanders’ endorsement of Clinton.
The great #DemExit
Earlier today, Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire. Analysis of the hashtag #DemExit shows a very large number of tweets on Twitter, up to 2,400 an hour. This indicates many Sanders supporters are considering exiting the Democratic Party. The result must surely be troubling to the Clinton campaign after long seeking a Sanders endorsement. The Clinton campaign and DNC (are they one and the same?) played hardball in the platform meetings earlier this week to essentially force Sanders into an endorsement before the Democratic Convention coming in a couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, as progressives exit the Democratic Party, Jill Sanders and the Green Party are the direct beneficiaries. An analysis of the hashtag #JillNotHill shows almost the same large uptick as the #DemExit hashtag. This is surely no coincidence as Bernie Sanders’ platform borrowed many ideas that originated in the progressive, grassroots-driven Green Party. Sanders’ supporters, who largely are issue-driven voters, may see Stein as a comparable, even superior, progressive candidate compared to Sen. Sanders, and without the baggage that comes along with the largely corporate compromised Democratic Party.
A progressive roadmap forming
Now that it seems clear that Sen. Bernie Sanders will not seek the Democratic presidential nomination and he has not indicated any inclination to break party ranks, Dr. Jill Stein is the only progressive, indeed the only candidate really on the left of the political spectrum, who remains in the race and has a numerical chance to win the presidency.
The question now is, what next for progressive voters in the 2016 election? Will they follow through and funnel grassroots support to Dr. Stein and the Green Party? Will they tire and sit on the sidelines? If Dr. Stein can consistently poll at 15% or higher, then she should win a spot in the nationally televised presidential debates alongside Clinton and Trump. To date, however, there has been a virtual media blackout on coverage of Jill Stein and the Green Party, so it will be an uphill battle to garner enough name recognition for Stein to poll at that level.
Showdown 2016: corporate influence vs grassroots democracy
The Green Party is the only one that does not accept corporate or PAC money and does not coordinate with Super PACs. This fact alone may attract more loyality from grassroots supporters who are tired of the undue influence that corporate money has in American elections. And so, perhaps more than ever, the US election of 2016 may amount to a showdown between the entrenched corporate powers that control politics-as-usual and grassroots, populist democracy.