If Bernie loses support among youth, what’s left?

Poll graph showing steady drop in support for Bernie Sanders among 18-29 year olds.

With Bernie Sanders at 19 points in this poll, he’s a far cry from the 30 percent or so he wants for his “force himself upon a brokered convention” scenario (understanding that the popular vote and delegate allocation aren’t a one-to-one calculation, but close enough). It’s been clear he’s been maxed out for a while—both his and his supporters’ ornery approach to politics don’t lend themselves to big-tent embrace of a broader coalition. Quite the opposite, in fact. 

He can’t grow, and if he can’t hold his most important supporters? His path to the nomination, already near-zero, becomes effectively zero. 

What’s funny is that Sanders isn’t even losing his supporters to some of the new, dynamic, exciting Democrats. Rather, they’re mostly going to Joe Biden. That feels a little sad. (My conjecture? Biden is a low-information-voter proxy for Barack Obama, and who doesn’t miss Obama?)

Will Biden hold that youth vote? I’m on that limb that says “no way,” but who knows. What is clear at this point is that if Sanders can’t even stop a significant portion of his youth support from defecting to Biden, what happens when more of them become aware of other alternatives?

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