Sen. Bernie Sanders is likely to see a large show of support at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) which starts on Monday as protesters flock from all over the country to show that they are still "feeling the Bern."
Some of the policy changes the protesters are expected to be pushing for include reform of the superdelegate election system, removal of the DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schulz, and a law that would automatically register all Americans to vote when the turn 18.
City officials in Philadelphia are expecting anywhere from 35,000 to 50,000 demonstrators to be present throughout the week and for many of those to be Sanders supporters as nine of the 28 permits to hold official rallies during the convention were given to protesters inspired by the Vermont senator.
A Pew Research Center poll that was published earlier this month found that of the people who voted for Sanders in the primary election, 85 percent are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election, 9 percent for Donald Trump, and the remaining 6 percent were either for a third-party candidate or were undecided.
At this point, most of the Sanders supporters simply want to fight for the policy changes advocated by the candidate on the campaign trail and push the Democratic Party leftward.
But then there is the “Bernie or Bust” crowd, who were totally unswayed by the senator’s endorsement of Mrs. Clinton and who are waiting on an a superdelegate uprising at the convention.
“It’s ‘We the People’ who are going to continue to lead this revolution,” Billy Taylor, a pro-Sanders activist who was issued permits to hold rallies on each day of the convention, told USA Today. “We are not going to vote for the demon named Hillary just because you are threatening us with the devil named Trump.”
For others it is less about the hope that Sanders will make a miraculous comeback, but about making a public statement to the Democratic Party – that voters feel disrespected and that the party is going to have to work to win them over.
“I won’t say that I’d rather see Trump get in, but I want (the Clinton campaign) to squirm for the rest of the election season, wondering what’s going to happen,” Laurie Cestnick, a Sanders supporter who has been organizing protesters to come to Philadelphia through her Occupy DNC Convention July 2016 Facebook page, told USA Today. “I just want them to know that our votes matter and you can’t do that to the American people again.”
In addition to being disappointed with Sanders endorsement of Clinton, many Bernie supporters are unhappy with Clinton’s choice of Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. They are worried that the moderate will sway Clinton to change her mind on issues important to progressive liberals such as climate change and college tuition.
It "was a horrible pick," Angie Morelli, a Sanders delegate from Nevada, told the Associated Press. "In a time when she is trying to cater to Sanders supporters, it was more catering to conservative voters and she's not going to get any wave from it."
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report