A raucous Democratic National Convention last night — rife with chants of, "Bernie! Bernie!" "War hawk!" and "Goldman Sachs!" — had many Democrats sweating over a lack of party unity.
For some time, there has been a prevailing fear that Bernie Sanders supporters will become Donald Trump converts, or turn to anti-establishment candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, instead of backing Hillary Clinton.
But according to new data from the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of the most ardent Sanders supporters — that is, those who have consistently stuck with him since the beginning of the election — will support Clinton in the general election.
Sanders had some committed supporters — but the vast majority seem open to supporting Clinton
Sanders did have committed supporters through the primary: Pew found that 20 percent supported Sanders from December 2015 to April 2016 (close to the end of the primaries).
But now that Sanders’s hopes for a 2016 nomination have been dashed, his supporters have mostly gravitated toward Clinton.
The Pew study, which surveyed 2,353 Democratic voters, found that of this 20 percent, 90 percent now endorse Hillary Clinton. Only 8 percent support Donald Trump, and the remaining 2 percent are undecided.
FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver aptly points out a few flaws with this Pew study: For example, it doesn't allow voters to choose a third-party candidate like Stein or Johnson, which they will be able to do come November: "90% is what you get if you *force* Sanders voters to choose between Clinton and Trump," he writes.
Still, these numbers are a reminder that the "Bernie or bust" dissenters who vocally expressed their discontent at the DNC last night are a minority.
Most Bernie supporters can at least foresee a world in which they would rather vote for Clinton than not vote at all.