Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

By Matthew Rusling

A deepening split within the U.S. Democratic Party amid front-runner Hillary Clinton’s ongoing battle with rival Bernie Sanders could be problematic for Clinton in her race to the White House.


Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Tempers roared earlier this week as some of Senator Sanders’ supporters threw chairs at the Nevada Democratic Convention and later made death threats on the internet aimed at Nevada Democratic Chairwoman Roberta Lange.

This demonstrated a deepening split in the Democratic Party between supporters of establishment candidate Clinton and anti-Washington firebrand Sanders.

“Things have turned nasty within the Democratic Party,” Brookings Institution’s senior fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.

Sanders’ delegates are threatening to disrupt the Democratic National Convention to be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this summer unless new selection rules are adopted.

“This could make the Democratic convention more unruly than the Republican one, which would be problematic for Clinton in the fall,” West said.

Indeed, some analysts said the fact that Sanders — just several months ago a no-name in the party — is creating such an uphill climb for Clinton speaks volumes about her strength as a candidate.

While the Clinton brand is known worldwide, many Americans dislike the former secretary of state and first lady, and critics have billed her as a weak candidate who is having trouble galvanizing her party.

But while Clinton has high negative rates — the rate at which a candidate is disliked by the public — Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump’s are slightly higher.

Analysts said that Clinton’s best bet to unify her party is to make Trump a common enemy.

“Clinton’s best unity card is Trump. His divisive rhetoric brings Democrats together and he will help Clinton and Sanders overcome their differences,” West said.

While Clinton is still likely to clinch her party’s nomination, Sanders will use his people power to influence her and to get concessions as he wants changes in policy and party rules.

“He is upset about the 15 percent of seats set aside for super-delegates so that number may get scaled back. He also will want her help for the middle class and being tougher on Wall Street. She may have to move to the left on some of those issues,” West said.

Sanders is riding on a wave of strong anti-establishment fervor in the United States, as millions of Americans continue to feel the sting of the 2008 economic nosedive, even seven years after it supposedly recovered.

Millennials especially are feeling the brunt of the weak economy, and that group comprises Sanders’ main support bloc.

While Sanders just months ago was dismissed by pundits, columnists and the Washington elite, he has shown himself to be a fierce competitor in the face of international celebrity Hillary Clinton.

“It has been surprisingly difficult for Clinton to dispatch Sanders. He has deep support among the party base, especially among young people. She has to do much better with that group in order to win in November,” said West, referring to the general election.

Sanders has a strong appeal to the millennials, who are burdened by high student loans, by repeatedly pounding Clinton for her close ties with the Wall Street and promising to make college tuition free if elected. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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