Bernie supporters say Clinton won't get their vote


Ruth Simcox, left, Jessica Martlage, and Shellie Martlage talk before the CNN Democratic debate begins Wednesday at the Nick's English Hut. Bloomington Bernie Supporters opened a group meeting to watch the debate and support Bernie Sanders. Tae-Gyun Kim and Tae-Gyun Kim

Eating biz fries in an empty room at Nick’s English Hut, three women clad in Bernie Sanders apparel make it clear that being a Sanders supporter — a true, full-blooded, Bern-feeling supporter — is about much more than checking a box on a ballot.

The media and the establishment politicians have scoffed. They’ve called him unelectable and called his policies unpassable. Hillary has the funding, the experience, the endorsements and the women. And if she wins the primaries, many have assumed she’ll have the Sanders supporters too.

Not necessarily, these women say as they wait for Wednesday’s Democratic debate to begin.

“I don’t care what happens,” said Ruth Simcox, one of the many Sanders supporters and also whom has never been involved with a political cause until this campaign. “I will not vote for her.”

The women said they don’t like how she takes money from Wall Street and the banks and they don’t like that she copies Sanders’ policies. They also said they dislike that she hasn’t called for a ban on fracking or that she hasn’t specified what she plans to do with trade deals.

Even if Clinton does win the nomination, these women predict she’ll only get half of Sanders’ supporters. They plan on voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein or not voting at all.

“Voting for her would, in a way, go against everything we’ve fought for,” said Jessica Martlage, the administrator of the Indiana for Bernie Sanders group.

They know that could mean giving Trump the presidency. If that day should come, they said they might start packing.

“I’m about to get a passport and move to a democratic, socialist nation,” Martlage said, adding that she’d start a GoFundMe to get her over the border and out.

“Canada’s not looking too bad,” Simcox said.

Up until two months ago, these two women were strangers. Now, Martlage says, she considers Simcox to be one of her closest friends.

“This campaign isn’t about Bernie Sanders,” Martlage said. “It’s about our friends, our family, our neighbors, all of us fighting for our rights. And that bond runs deep.”

Those bonds would carry on even if Sanders doesn’t get the presidency, Simcox said. His supporters would continue to fight to change the system and take down the Democratic National Committee.

But that won’t be necessary, Simcox said.

“Because it hasn’t been publicized, a lot of people don’t know how strong Bernie people are,” she said. “He’s gonna win. I’m gonna tell you, he’s gonna win.”

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