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Sorry if the title is too vague. First off, I'm a permanent resident from Wisconsin going to college in California, and I've never been able to vote, only observe. And not necessarily always closely, so I apologize in advance if I'm getting things wrong. Basically, the 2016 loss to Trump did not at all surprise me, although it shocked my friends from the coasts. Bernie won over Hillary in Wisconsin, and I feel like a large part of that was due to people who were more undecided (and anti-establishment), not people who were already liberal/Democrats. And also a lot of people just did not want to vote Hillary, no matter what.
I don't know if it's okay to say this, but I just feel like if Bernie had won the primaries and ran as the Democratic candidate, there is a much better chance Trump would have been defeated based not on support for Bernie necessarily, but more like numbers. I could be totally off the mark on this, but I thought most Hillary supporters would surely vote for Bernie in addition to existing Bernie supporters (many of whom it seems did not vote Hillary), so the numbers made more sense to me if Bernie was the contender against Trump than Hillary in 2016 in order to more likely secure a Democratic President. It just seemed that simple. So I guess for me, what should have been more important to voters on the left than getting the BEST (personal) choice for President, was to defeat Trump.
I guess I'm wondering if anyone has any opinions or facts to support or challenge this thought. And also, what is more important to you this time around? Voting for the candidate of your choice for the primaries, or voting for the candidate most likely to defeat Trump? How important is it to appeal to the undecided voter (when it comes time to vote for President)?
I think this time, the political climate is pretty different. I think there is a little less division/tension regarding the Democratic candidates now than in 2016, and also more unity in everyone on the left wanting to oppose Trump. So maybe what (I think) happened in 2016 won't apply as much this time around.