The Democrataic primary was largely anticipated by political analysts to be a coronation of sorts for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
No one informed Sen. Bernie Sanders, however, and the Vermont socialist made the election a tight horse race until the end thanks in large part to massive support among young voters.
Set to speak together today, it appears that Sanders is finally throwing in the towel and will announce his endorsement of Clinton. But the Clinton campaign has a big problem — not all Sanders supporters are willing to give up their political revolution for Clinton cronyism.
After weeks of stalling as he sought liberal policy concessions from Clinton and lobbied to push the party platform to the left, the Vermont senator is expected to appear with Clinton in New Hampshire Tuesday to endorse her as the Democratic Party presidential nominee.
Still, despite some major victories in the latest draft of the platform, many Sanders fans at a Democratic meeting in Orlando over the weekend had clear reservations about casting a ballot for Clinton.
Xavier Gaud, 26, of Orlando, said he would prefer that Sanders run as an independent. If Sanders isn’t on the ballot, he said it was “more likely I will support Jill Stein,” the leader of the minor Green Party.
That sentiment seems to echo among all the youth vote — and important demographic Clinton will have to capture if she wants to replicate President Barack Obama’s political voting collation and see the White House.
Clinton and Sanders will appear Tuesday at a high school in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the leadoff primary state where he trounced her last winter.
Tensions between the campaigns simmered throughout the platform meeting in a steamy hotel ballroom over two marathon days. Despite winning concessions on many issues, Sanders supporters booed angrily over losses, such as failing to get clear opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
Near the meeting’s end, Sanders backers angrily shouted down an effort to add Clinton’s name to the document in a number of places, which they took as an implication that she was already the official nominee.
Clinton needs to capture the liberals and young people who flocked to Sanders if she hopes to defeat presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Recently, she has also been campaigning with popular Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, and with President Obama.
But distrust of Clinton by Sanders supporters remains large.
Sanders supporters plan to take to the streets in Philadelphia. As of Monday, 10 permits have been issued by the city for rallies and marches during the convention, and six of those are for Sanders supporters. More applications are pending.
Laurie Cestnick is part of a group called Occupy DNC Convention and is organizing a march and rally on the first day in support of Sanders. She said members of her group will likely leave the Democratic Party if Sanders is not the nominee.
“We hope that Bernie might consider running on a third party,” said Cestnick. “For my group, its Bernie or bust.”
Sanders acolytes who have been swept up in by his lofty promises and pledges of “political revolution” said they wanted a candidate they connected with, expressing frustration with the idea that they should vote for Clinton simply to keep Trump out of the White House.
“Convince me to vote without using Trump in the sentence, or a lesser of two evils,” said Anthony Rogers-Wright, 40, a nonprofit policy director from Seattle. “I want to hear what she says to all of us when she gives that acceptance speech.”
If that sentiment continues to November, it could cost Clinton the White House.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.