Election 2016

Will Texas Sanders Supporters Unite Behind Clinton?

Younger followers of the Vermont senator are still lukewarm, at best, on the former secretary of state. But the mood at the Texas Democratic Convention suggests the bitterness of the primary season is fading.

Bernie for President booth
The Bernie Sanders presidential campaign booth at the Texas Democratic Convention.

The Texas Democratic Convention avoided the rancor that marked the party’s state convention in Nevada last month. But the split between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was still evident at the Alamodome.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

One of the most popular booths in the expo hall was that of the “Bernie for President” campaign. Delegates lined up to fill out signs, explaining why they are voting for the Vermont senator. Hillary Clinton may have a majority of pledged delegates, they say, but until the national convention in Philadelphia, nothing is certain.

So would Sanders supporters back Clinton after Philadelphia? Older voters seem inclined to endorse any Democrat over Donald Trump.

“I like both candidates. I will be happy with both. I’m just currently here as a Bernie delegate,” Lane Lewis, chair of the Harris County Democratic Party, says. 

Younger voters are another story.

“There’s some things with Hillary Clinton that I just can’t overlook,” says Ben Lowry, an 18-year-old delegate from Sealy. “The way she’s endangered national security and her questionable ethical resolve.”

It’s worth remembering how badly Texas Democrats were split in mid-2008, after Clinton lost the nomination to Barack Obama. The credentials committee at that year’s state convention heard 179 challenges to delegates’ credentials. This year, there was only one challenge.


Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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