#NativeVote16 – On social media people #FeelTheBern but do they vote?

Screenshot 2016-02-27 19.33.57
Hillary Clinton giving her victory speech in South Carolina (campaign photo)


Sen. Bernie Sanders seems to own social media. Write anything with a #feelthebern hashtag and those tweets have a ready audience ready to affirm (or challenge) what is said. It’s similar on Facebook. There are active Sanders supporters who show Sanders love in pictures, reposting favorable articles and polls, and use social media to send a clear message of support.

But I have been wondering: Do they vote?

I watched and listened to a couple of Native millennials in Nevada make a compelling case for Sanders. I later learned that neither of them made it to the caucus. And that, it seems to me, is a huge problem for the Sanders campaign. It’s not enough to post on Facebook. You gotta show up at a local caucus or on election day.

South Carolina is a great example. As ABC News reported: Clinton won black voters younger than 45. Clinton won that group by 3 to 1. Clinton won whites who were 45 and older by a narrow margin. Feel the Bern? Likely. But did those voices go to the polls?

The flip side of this phenomena is older voters. Older voters tend to “over perform” that is they show up in a higher percentage than other age groups. And in South Carolina black older voters were virtually unanimous for Clinton. And the turnout of black voters was significant, higher than even what Obama.

These trends ought to worry both Clinton supporters and Sanders’ supporters. A high turnout of black voters is helpful, but not enough to win in November.

Exit polls from The New York Times.

(I have been looking to see if I can  come up with numbers for the South Carolina’s only tribal nation. Once precinct reports are posted I’ll check the geography and then post.)

— Mark

Screenshot 2016-02-27 19.33.57
Hillary Clinton giving her victory speech in South Carolina (campaign photo)

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Mark Trahant

Mark Trahant is an independent journalist. He currently serves as the Charles R. Johnson Professor at the University of North Dakota.

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