Letter to the editor: Unaffiliated voters, moderate Democrats must participate in primary | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Unaffiliated voters, moderate Democrats must participate in primary

Debra Alexander

A Jan. 16 Gallup Poll questioned voters’ willingness to support a well-qualified presidential candidate if he/she also had 12 personal characteristics, including being black, Catholic, gay/lesbian, older than 70, atheist, etc. Encouragingly, 11 characteristics were supported by at least 60% of Americans. Only one identifier fell far below at 45%: Most voters simply won’t support a socialist candidate.

So why is Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist who also had a very recent heart attack, the clear and widening frontrunner of the Democratic ticket? Already envisioning the GOP attack ads, I feel like I’m in a four-year bad dream turned nightmare. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sanders in certain ways, and I’m an advocate of universal health care, but we’re in a constitutional crisis, and ousting our incumbent president requires ideological sacrifice from us all.

It’s clear that the March 3 primary needs a balanced voice. Studies confirm that only a small percentage of voters participate in primaries, and they tend to be ideologues and more interested in selecting a candidate who aligns with their beliefs over one who can win elections. Given the importance of this election, the unaffiliated voters and moderate Democrats can’t let the impassioned fringe decide who will go against Trump in November.

Fortuitously, this is the first presidential election where Colorado’s unaffiliated voters can vote in the Democratic primaries, delivering a giant microphone to our much-needed voice. This voice is much larger than most realize, with 38% of voters identified as independents, with Democrats 31% and Republicans only 26%. It’s critical that we use our strength in numbers to nominate a viable candidate on March 3 so we can “redact” these disastrous four years and hopefully begin restoring our greatly damaged but resilient democracy from its tarnished state. Sanders isn’t the answer.

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