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Can Clinton win over Bernie voters?

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Hillary Clinton, even if she can secure the Democratic nomination in the coming weeks, will have to do more than just make peace with Bernie Sanders’ supporters. She’ll need to persuade his true believers they share the same goals — and to go out and vote for her.

Exit polls consistently show swaths of the Sanders base, at least right now, are uneasy about the idea of supporting Clinton in November. 

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, in an interview with Fox News’ “Hannity,” went so far Monday as to claim Sanders’ young supporters “are going to come over to my side because they want jobs.” Trump cited common ground with Sanders on trade. 

Whether anti-Clinton supporters of the democratic socialist senator really would gravitate toward the billionaire businessman — or simply stay home — is an open question. But anticipating some bad blood, Clinton has taken the first steps toward reconciliation with Sanders supporters in recent weeks.

“Whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us,” Clinton said last week after winning four out of five state primaries.

The front-running Clinton devoted nearly half her victory speech to highlighting such shared goals as increasing wages, expanding Social Security and defending the rights of women and minorities.

So in this election, we will work together and work hard to prevail against candidates on the other side who would threaten those rights,” said Clinton, who will try to add to her wins Tuesday in Indiana, one of 11 remaining state contests.

The extent to which Clinton can break through with Sanders’ devoted supporters, though, may depend on Sanders.  

“He needs to set the tone. If he backs her like Clinton backed Obama in their 2008 race, then it will be more than enough to tip the scales,” said Democratic strategist Douglas Smith, a partner at Kent Strategies.


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