Article originally published in the Philadelphia Business Journal on July 26, 2016
Watching the Democratic National Convention this week, one wonders whether the supporters of Bernie Sanders recognize how dangerous it is for them to show such strong support for their doctrinaire views that they risk alienating undecided Republican, Democratic and independent voters, pushing them to vote for Donald Trump.
There are a significant number of undecided voters who are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Neither of the major political parties represent their views. They are up for grabs.
When Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary Clinton at the convention, he was booed by his supporters. What were they thinking? Would Sanders’ supporters rather have Trump or Clinton as president?
The supporters of Bernie Sanders embrace his socialist views, which are not embraced by many undecided voters. As Clinton and the Democratic party move to the left in an attempt to win over Sanders’ supporters, she risks losing their support, which she cannot afford to do. For some reason, the supporters of Sanders don’t recognize this, or perhaps they don’t care.
The Republicans face the same issue. Trump’s views and his values are an anathema to many undecided voters as well as members of the Republican party, who have refused to support him.
It is said that people vote for the least objectionable candidate. This approach may be more true than ever come November. Both parties are far apart in their vision of the future path of America. The key to winning is to attract the undecided voter. Neither party is doing an effective job at attracting these voters, to their peril.
Stan Silverman is the founder and CEO of Silverman Leadership. He is a writer, speaker and advisor to C-suite executives on business issues and on cultivating a leadership culture within their organizations. Stan is Vice Chairman of the Board of Drexel University and a director of Friends Select School and Faith in the Future. He is the former President and CEO of PQ Corporation. Follow: @StanSilverman. Connect: Stan@SilvermanLeadership.com. Website: www.SilvermanLeadership.com