Hillary Clinton and convention organizers will have a tough time calming down the Sanders delegates – and Tim Kaine might pay the price Wednesday night.
On June 16, before Hillary Clinton selected the Virginia senator as her running mate, the Bernie Delegates Network surveyed delegates supporting the Vermont senator to how they felt about Kaine. Out of 285 who responded, 251 said Kaine was “unacceptable” (88 percent); 8 said he was acceptable (3 percent) and 26 said they were unsure (9 percent). It’s a small sample of the most diehard Bernie Sanders supporters, but a revealing figure and one that illuminates the headaches Democrats are feeling right now.
The Kaine pick obviously wasn’t meant to placate disgruntled Sanders voters. But Sanders’ most passionate supporters may be interpreting the selection as a rebuke.
Tuesday morning, Norman Solomon, a Sanders delegate from California and head of the Bernie Delegates Network, offered more survey results.
Out of 318 delegates that are members of this network, 55 percent say they are willing to participate in a non-violent protest during Tim Kaine’s speech; 26 percent said no, 18 percent said they weren’t sure.
Asked whether they would be willing to participate in a nonviolent protest during Hillary Clinton’s speech, 58 percent said “yes,” 24 percent said “no.”
Finally, the delegates were asked, “If a genuine progressive steps forward as an alternative to Tim Kaine, would you want to support that candidate?” They found 81 percent said yes, 8 percent said no. Putting another name before the convention as a vice-presidential nominee would require 300 delegate signatures, with no more than 50 from any one state, and a signature from the alternative candidate.
Solomon said his group had recruited a progressive alternative to Tim Kaine, but was not willing to name that figure. Their effort to put that name into consideration hit a wall when the DNC refused to give the group the proper forms to collect signatures and put a name into contention. Solomon said it was not a currently-elected official.