As the 2016 Democratic race has progressed over the past few months and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has begun to amass victories and delegates, a frequent refrain has been that Sanders just became a Democrat for political expedience. Some pundits have also suggested that those who support Sanders are not actually Democrats, either, but a collective fringe element that belongs to no identifiable party.
Those assumptions were on full display earlier today as MSNBC reporter Kasie Hunt was covering a Sanders rally in Syracuse, New York. Sanders was born in New York, but recent polls have him behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton by double digits to the former Secretary of State. So Hunt began by asking some Sanders supporters this:
“Here’s my question for you guys. And this is going to be Bernie Sanders’ main problem here in New York — are y’all registered Democrats?”
So Hunt began going down a line of supporters and asking each if they were registered Democrats. As she did so, she repeatedly got an affirmative answer. One man even bragged:
“I am registered.”
Hunt then had to retreat to a surrender mode, commenting on-air:
“Alright, there you go. I spent some time talking to people yesterday at another rally, and a lot of them are all set to go. But there is this issue with independent voters. If you didn’t change your voter registration earlier this year, you’re out of luck if you want to change it now and vote for Bernie Sanders.”
That’s a valid point, as New York has a very strict policy on their closed primary, and if you are not registered with a party–as two of Donald Trump’s children are not–then you will not be able to cast a ballot on April 19 by merely claiming your party affiliation on the day of the party.
Some have suggested that the tight rules for party affiliation may wind up harming Sanders in New York. MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald even warned somewhat ominously that:
“New York’s closed primary could be Bernie Sanders’ Achilles’ heel.”
Seitz-Wald also added:
‘There is no same-day registration in the state.Independents or members of third parties who want to vote as Democrats had to change their party registration by October 9.”
It remains to be seen if New York’s primary system does serve as a hindrance to Bernie Sanders. But for now, you can watch Kasie Hunt look a bit ridiculous when she asserts his supporters are not registered Democrats:
This article was originally published by the same author at BipartisanReport.com.