Bernie Sanders Tells Kids to ‘Drag’ Friends To Vote
Bernie Sanders made a final pitch to his biggest fans on a Saturday conference call telling them to get their friends out to vote.
With just three days before the election Hillary Clinton is pulling out all the stops to get millennial voters to go and vote, with events featuring Katy Perry, Jay Z and Beyonce.
But the biggest star she's got in her repertoire might still be Bernie Sanders.
Clinton and her former Democratic primary nemesis gathered on a conference call Saturday afternoon -- because,of course, there’s nothing young people love more than weekend conference calls -- to encourage millennials to head to the polls.
"Hillary Clinton's views are far, far, fare superior from anywhere Donald Trump is coming from," the self-described socialist argued.
Warning of an "oligarchy" in the United States that would mean young people lie "in a country where a handful of billionaires are in control of our economic and political life," Sanders said that the stakes were "enormously high" in this election.
"I hope all of you know that change never comes from the top on down,” Sanders told millennial voters on the call. “Any important change in America comes from the bottom on up."
Both Clinton and Sanders emphasized issues they hope will resonate with younger voters: ending voter suppression, addressing Climate change, limiting the role of money in politics, and challenging systemic racism by reforming the criminal justice system.
"In our country, as all of you know, we have struggled for hundreds of years with racism, with sexism, with discrimination of all forms,” Sanders said. “It is hard to believe that in the year 2016, there is a candidate for a major political party, Mr. Trump, who has made a cornerstone of his campaign trying to divide us up and running a campaign based on bigotry."
The former Secretary of State has struggled with galvanizing young voters over the course of the campaign. During the primaries, more people under 30 voted for Sanders than Clinton and Trump combined -- with plenty of room to spare. He received more than 2 million votes, while Trump and Clinton won less than 30 million votes from this voting block .
"He has fought for progressive values, and I can't wait to work with him in the years to come,” Clinton said, of the Vermont senator.
A Harvard Institute of Politics poll of millennials found that favorability of Clinton has improved since the Democratic National Convention, with all the tumultuousness of the Democratic primary behind her. In July, Clinton was viewed unfavorably by 60 percent of young voters, and favorably by only 31 percent. Last month, she was viewed favorably by 48 percent of young voters and unfavorably by 51 percent.
Last month, emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were leaked onto the web, threatening to disrupt coordination between the Sanders and Clinton wings of the party. The leaked emails showed statements Clinton made behind closed doors to big banks and Wall Street firms -- a major issue during the primary campaign. She praised bankers, supported open markets and said that politicians needed a "public and private position" during negotiations -- in many ways validating Sanders' critiques of Clinton and the American political system.
But a Democratic Party divide has failed to materialize, in part because many Democrats view the Republican nominee as such an odious character they put less stock into it.
So on Saturday afternoon, Clinton went with her primary argument of the campaign: at least she’s not Trump.
“Our vision of America is so different from that of Donald Trump,” Clinton said. “His is dark and divisive. Ours is hopeful and inclusive.”
Ultimately, the views of young voters towards Hillary Clinton will matter. As she notes, more young voters have registered to vote in 2016 than ever before. With so many people in this demographic having supported Sanders, his endorsement carries heavy weight.
“Drag your friends out… to get out the vote,” Sanders urged. “The future of the planet is at stake.”