Berned out: One supporter’s thoughts on the democratic nomination


Sen. Bernie Sanders arrives at his campaign rally in Santa Monica, Calif., on Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

I’ve seen the numbers, read the articles and watched the news. I know Bernie Sanders’s chance of being president at this point is almost zero percent. My dreams of watching the 74 year old political dragonslayer make it to the White House have been cut down faster than you can say “democratic socialist”.

Before we move on, here’s the math I’m talking about: In order to get the democratic nomination, candidates need to secure 2,383 delegates (people who are elected on a local level to represent their state at the Democratic Convention). The democratic party uses a proportional method, meaning that in theory, candidates will get the same percent of delegates as they do votes per state. At this point, less than a month before the Democratic Convention, with no more primary elections to go, Clinton has 2,220 delegates, and Sanders has 1,831. There are “superdelegates”, who do not have to vote proportionally with what states decide, and can vote for whoever they want. However, the vast majority of the 600 delegates who have already pledged their support to Hillary would have to change their mind at the July 25 convention, when they cast their vote.

Flashback to me 5 months ago, when I was having my mom pull over on a side street so I could take a Bernie sign from an overgrown abandoned lot scattered with campaign posters. That blue sign was promptly hung in my room, left of an art print and above a band poster. At this point, I was still optimistic. After all, the Super Tuesday had just passed, and although Clinton had won the majority of the states, there was still a chance Sanders could make it. But as the primaries kept happening, each victory was soon ruined with statistics, numbers, percentages, likelihoods – as the chances of a Sanders presidency went down, so did my hope. But, I have to admit: even as it became increasingly mathematically impossible, a small percentage of me still believed it was possible.

But now, I know it’s not going to happen. However I still support Sanders, in the sense that I believe he ran a solid campaign, and I will support Clinton, who Sanders has pledged his support to. I’m happy that he was fair in his campaigning – instead of dwelling on Clinton’s email scandal, he told everyone he’d rather focus on the issues. Instead of accepting money from large investors intent on controlling politics, Sanders accepted money from the everyman, with a reported 99% of his donations coming from individual contributions. Sanders highlighted issues that many people already face – issues that I will face within the next 10 years – such as racial inequality, costly college tuition, and disparities in access to healthcare. I’m proud to have supported a candidate who was adamant on being fair, both in theory and in practice. 
And even though I’ll support whoever the democratic nominee is (that is, as much as an underage 16 year old can), it still feels weird to see the blue sign hanging, and know that it’s not going to happen. But it feels too outlandish to take it down – my support for Sanders has become a part of me. He was – and still is – a representative figure for the issues I cared most about and the beliefs I have. And even though he may be out of the race, no polls, statistics, or news stories can win over my beliefs.