Some die-hard Bernie Sanders delegates from North Carolina have thrown their support to Hillary Clinton.
Despite their hopes that Clinton will adopt more of Sanders’ progressive ideas, the prospect of Republican nominee Donald Trump as president is enough to sway some North Carolina delegates traveling to Philadelphia for the Democratic Party national convention.
Jeff DeLuca, a 25-year-old Sanders delegate from Chapel Hill and former chairman of the Young Democrats of North Carolina LGBT caucus, decided to follow Sanders’ lead in endorsing Clinton. DeLuca said he is encouraged to see Sanders supporters warming to Clinton.
“I think 80 percent of us are already there,” DeLuca said. “I would certainly encourage everyone else to get on board by the end of this convention … We’ve really got to be thinking about the future and how we can come together to make changes.”
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DeLuca said he doesn’t expect to see the division that was on display at last week’s Republican convention, where GOP leaders rejected an effort to change the convention’s rules to favor Trump critics and where delegates booed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for refusing to endorse Trump.
“What I would say to other millennials who were strong Bernie Sanders supporters and are disappointed with how things have gone – and I’m one of them – is that at the end of the day, North Carolina is a swing state that could be very pivotal to the election,” DeLuca said.
“When I look at Hillary Clinton, who I may have some pretty severe disagreements with, particularly on foreign policy, and when I contrast that with what I would see in the world under a Donald Trump presidency, the choice just becomes very, very clear.”
Clinton adopted a more progressive tone over the course of the Democratic primary campaign, but she hasn’t gone far enough to satisfy some.
Isra Allison, a Sanders delegate upset with the outcome of the primaries, said she is not prepared to support Clinton at this time.
“I’m still a little bit stubborn and I refuse to vote for someone I don’t actually believe in,” Allison said.
To believe in Clinton, Allison said she would need to see her in a more humble and sincere form at the Democratic National Convention.
Allison, 35, doesn’t see the same passion in Clinton supporters as she does in Sanders supporters. She said she traveled about 20,000 miles and knocked on hundreds of doors since volunteering with the campaign in August 2015.
She added that she recently decided to quit her training-coordinator position at Duke Energy to begin working as a full-time volunteer for Brand New Congress – an organization working to eliminate political corruption by replacing Congress all at once in 2018.
“When I talk to Hillary supporters (at the convention), I would just like to find out for myself what is it about her that you love and that you feel like she would be a good president for this country,” Allison said. “I have not been able to get a distinct response. Many people have told me because she’s a woman, she deserves it ... That’s not an acceptable answer.”
Noah Gabriel Cartagena, an 18-year-old Sanders delegate from Gaston County, wishes Clinton would come out in support of full socialization of health care and education but predicts she would build on progress made by President Barack Obama.
“If anything, Hillary Clinton will maintain the progress that we have so that eventually after her second term, we could elect a more progressive leader,” Cartagena said.