I wonder though who defines the “base” of the Democratic party now and whether it is in fact the loosely defined Obama coalition: minorities, women, union voters, LGBT community, Millennials. Hard-hat unionists no no longer seem to be the core of the party. I don’t see the progressive and Obama base voting for Trump, but as Maggie wrote earlier in the week, I do worry about people sitting out the election. That seems to me the bigger threat than people voting for the Green Party or voting for Trump. Obama turned out lots of people who ordinarily did not vote in large enough numbers, and he won the 2008 election by a landslide, and I worry that Clinton does not have the ability to do that.
Also, what’s a little different about this election, I think, than past ones about the VP selection is that progressives are looking to Clinton right now for signs that she is going to shift ideologically their way. She has in recent days made public statements about key progressive issues that are surely meant to entice progressives to her: Medicare for More program, campaign finance reform, living wage hikes along Sanders’s lines, free community college tuition for low-income families, etc.. Many progressives are viewing the VP selection this time as an indication of Clinton’s ideological trajectory and is she really means what she is claiming. If she chooses a conservative Democrat like Kaine or Vilsack , I worry there will be genuine unhappiness with the base, and all at the time of the convention when Clinton needs excitement for her ticket. I’m voting for Clinton regardless of who she chooses, but I’m pretty sure that not all feel this way this year. Portland is a very lefty city though and so I’m surrounded by people who are organizing around these issues, including Millennials.
So, in the end I worry most about apathy with the very groups Clinton really needs to turn out in full force.