//Green Party’s Stein Offers Sanders Fans a Protest Vote vs. Clinton
Jill Stein Green Party Protest Vote

Green Party’s Stein Offers Sanders Fans a Protest Vote vs. Clinton

Stein, a physician, is expected to become the Green Party nominee on Aug. 6 at the party’s convention in Houston. When she ran in 2012, she won less than 0.4 percent of the popular vote—more, her Wikipedia page notes, than any other woman running for president has so far. “I’m not holding my breath that we’re going to win the White House, but I’m not ruling it out,” she says.

by Josh Eidelson

(Bloomberg) – On a sweaty Sunday afternoon in late July, John Griffin happened upon Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, in his North Philadelphia neighborhood. Joined by a couple dozen people, Stein was pointing out the economic inequality and environmental degradation in the area, which she referred to as an “open-air prison.” Griffin, 37, who works security and facilities maintenance at a church, had a Bernie Sanders button pinned to his white T-shirt. “I love Bernie,” he told Stein.

“I love Bernie,” Stein repeated. Then she ticked off areas where she was promising more than Sanders had: guaranteeing a living-wage job to every American who wants one; canceling all student debt; cutting military spending in half. “She’s awesome,” Griffin said afterward. “No one else is in the middle of the ghetto, in the middle of the ’hood, trying to campaign.”

Stein, a physician, is expected to become the Green Party nominee on Aug. 6 at the party’s convention in Houston. When she ran in 2012, she won less than 0.4 percent of the popular vote—more, her Wikipedia page notes, than any other woman running for president has so far. “I’m not holding my breath that we’re going to win the White House, but I’m not ruling it out,” she says.

She does, however, have other goals in mind.

Stein has yet to break 5 percent in national polling averages. She’ll have to get to 15 percent to secure a spot at the presidential debates alongside Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and possibly Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, whose polling averages lie south of 10 percent. The better Stein does in November, the more states will guarantee the Green Party’s 2020 nominee a spot on the ballot. If she reaches 5 percent of the national popular vote, the party will get millions in federal campaign funds in the next election. As of June 30, Stein’s presidential campaign had taken in $859,000.

The closest the Greens have come to reaching that 5 percent goal was in 2000, when Ralph Nader won 2.7 percent of the popular vote. That included more than 97,000 votes in Florida, where Republican George W. Bush was ultimately declared to have won by a few hundred ballots. Democrats worry about history repeating itself. “Vote for Jill Stein, you might as well get fitted for a Make America Great Again hat,” says John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a Sanders supporter who implored Sanders fans at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to get behind Clinton. “You’re helping elect Donald Trump.”

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