Yang, Sanders Supporters Least Likely to Support Any Other Democratic Presidential Nominee, Poll Says

MSNBC pundits and Democrats questioned party unity Saturday in response to a recent poll that revealed only about half of Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders' supporters would back any other Democratic presidential nominee.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman sought to temper MSNBC host Joy Reid's shock at an Emerson College/7 News poll that found 42 percent of Yang's supporters would not consider backing any other Democratic candidate if he loses the nomination. Overall, the same polling data showed that 72 percent of Democratic primary voters plan on voting for the party's nominee even if their first choice doesn't prevail in the primaries.

But only about half of both Sanders and Yang's supporters agreed that they would support any second choice.

Small percentages of Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren's supporters said they'd refuse to support another candidate. The poll compares that to the nearly 50 percent of Yang and Sanders backers who said they would not fall in line in November. An overwhelming majority of all other Democratic hopefuls, including former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said they would gladly throw their support behind whoever the Democratic National Committee nominates in July.

MSNBC host Joy Reid scoffed at the "alarmingly high" number of Sanders and Yang supporters who are rejecting the "vote blue no matter who" movement to ultimately unify Democrats. She cautioned viewers Saturday that a second Trump term would be disastrous since Senate Republicans told him "he can do anything he wants." Krugman agreed it would be "deeply irresponsible" for left-leaning or moderate voters to stay home if their first choice candidate doesn't secure the nomination. "Trump will savage Social Security and Medicare" with a second term, he noted.

"The idea that a Biden presidency would make no difference compared with a second Trump term" is completely misguided, Krugman said in response to the divided Democratic primary poll.

Reid relayed an anecdote about voters telling her Sanders is "too radical" and fears he will lose badly to Trump -- a suggestion not backed up by a majority of hypothetical head-to-head match-ups between the two. Yang openly touts the fact he is trying to unify all political parties, not just the Democrats. The "Yang Gang" campaign uses the bipartisan slogan: "Not left, not right, forward."

"We don't know" how Sanders will perform come Election Day, Krugman replied. "But it doesn't matter. Democrats should back him if he's the nominee."

Lingering cracks in the Democratic Party were exacerbated by recent comments made by Hillary Clinton in which she accused Sanders of preventing the party from unifying. Speaking with the Your Primary Playlist program last week, Clinton touted her primary vote lead over Sanders, who ultimately conceded and openly endorsed her campaign at the July 26 DNC convention.

"I won by four million votes. I won overwhelming in delegates. There was no question about who was going to be the nominee. But unfortunately, you know his campaign and his principal supporters were just very difficult and really constantly not just attacking me but my supporters. We get to the convention and they're booing Michelle Obama and John Lewis, I mean it was very distressing," Clinton said.

One of Sanders' most outspoken supporters, Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, appeared to respond Saturday as she encouraged Iowa voters to boo Clinton's name. She has since apologized.

"In this instance, I allowed my disappointment with Secretary Clinton's latest comments about Senator Sanders and his supporters get the best of me. You all, my sisters-in-service on stage, and our movement deserve better," she said in a statement.

But the overall Emerson College polling data still reveals that the large majority of Democrats plan to get behind any Democratic candidate. Seventy-five percent of Iowa voters said they will vote for a Democratic nominee in November no matter who wins.

democrat unity sanders yang supporters
Democrats questioned party unity Saturday in response to a recent poll which found only about half of Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders' supporters would back any other nominee. Screenshot: MSNBC | YouTube