Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is actively courting disillusioned Bernie Sanders backers, but politicos say she has a long way to go before she’ll play spoiler by siphoning off enough Democratic votes to threaten Hillary Clinton and launch Donald Trump into the White House.
In accepting her party’s nomination Saturday in Houston, Green told conventioneers it is “such an honor to be running in alliance with the Bernie Sanders movement,” coining the alliance “Bern-ing Green” — a play on Sanders’ popular “Feel the Bern” mantra.
Stein, a physician who lives in Lexington, received 3.5 percent of the vote in the 2010 Bay State governor’s race — doing no damage to Gov. Deval Patrick’s re-election — and 1.4 percent in her 2012 presidential campaign. She has hovered around 4 percent support in recent presidential polls, behind Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who has been polling between 7 percent and 8 percent.
GOP operative Ford O’Connell said that “obviously hurts Hillary more than Trump.” But he added, “If she really, truly wants to strike a blow with Hillary, she has to go on a debate stage, which means she has to get 15 percent. That’s not going to happen.”
But O’Connell said Stein’s small percentages could hurt in battleground states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, where Clinton’s lead over Trump is thin.
“If she really, truly pulls 4 or 5 percent in those states, she could be the game changer,” O’Connell said. “But we are not there yet.”