Looking at non-Hispanic whites (n = 57,196), Sanders obliterates Clinton among students who support a Democrat,84%-16% in a two-way race. Trump gets three times the support Cruz–who runs a distant second among Republicans–does.
Where this gets interesting is in the transition from the primaries to the general election, specifically with regards to what those Sanders supporters did once he was out. We’re doing algebra with two separate variables on each side of the equation, so we have to make an assumption about one of them. The results of a few of those possible assumptions follow.
If we assume students supporting a non-Trump Republican broke 25% for Clinton, 50% for Trump, and 25% either sitting out or voting third-party and 25% of Sanders supporters sitting out or voting third-party, we get Trump beating Clinton by an astounding 76%-24% among whites who supported Sanders in the primary.
If we assume students supporting a non-Trump Republican broke 10% for Clinton, 80% for Trump, and 10% either sitting out or voting third-party and 10% of Sanders supporters sitting out or voting third-party, we still get Trump beating Clinton 60%-40% among whites who supported Sanders in the primary.
Even if we assume every single non-Trump Republican backed Trump, we get Sanders supporters splitting almost exactly evenly between Trump and Clinton in the general election assuming corresponding full general election participation among Sanders supporters.
If we take it to a risible extreme and assume that every single non-Trump Republican backed Trump while half the Sanders supporters sat out the general election, we end up with a sizable minority of those former Sanders supporters who do vote in the general backing Trump, with Clinton winning them 70%-30% in this scenario.
No matter what assumptions are made, a staggering percentage of Sanders supporters end up going to Trump. Many of us, myself included, hoped we’d see more of that from the actual electorate but assumed–accurately, as it turned out–that most adults are too stuck in the partisan loyalty trap to crossover to someone with the wrong letter next to his name.
The left-right/Democrat-Republican/liberal-conservative paradigm (“boomer politics”) is on the way out. A cosmopolitan-identitarian/globalist-localist paradigm is the best bet to replace it. That transition will occur as the boomers die off and generation Z comes of age.
Alternatively–or more likely, simultaneously–it’s hard to overstate just how bad a candidate Hillary Clinton was, especially in the eyes of adolescents.
On one hand, an uncharismatic, scolding lesbian schoolmarm with the most unfashionable sartorial signature imaginable who spends half her time tsk-tsking about the forbidden things Trump has said and done.
On the other, a god-emperor catching nuclear bombs fired at him from the Vatican, the White House, Hollywood, and Brussels, mocking those who deployed them, and then throwing them back to detonate on the places from whence they came, while grabbing HBs by the pussy during his down time.