After meeting with President Barack Obama Thursday, Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suggested that his hard-fought campaign against Hillary Clinton might be coming to an end.
Sanders told reporters Thursday afternoon that he plans on competing in the final Democratic primary Tuesday in Washington, D.C. He added, however, that he ultimately plans on working with Clinton “to defeat Donald Trump.”
After Sanders’ comments, CNN asked supporters at a D.C. rally to reflect on the candidate’s campaign and the Democratic Party moving forward.
Jenn Fendrick, 32, of Fairfax, Virginia, told CNN that she isn’t sure how successful Sanders will be in uniting his supporters behind Clinton.
“A lot of friends that I know are not going to vote for Hillary and they’re Sanders supporters,” Frederick told CNN. “A few have even said they’ll vote for Trump, which I think is insane. I will vote for Hillary — not enthusiastically, but they’re aligned on most issues. So I’ll vote for her.“
When asked why her friends would vote for Republican candidate Donald Trump over Clinton, Frederick explained, “They all say she’s corrupt, she’s crooked, she’s beholden to Wall Street — that she lies. She changes her line according to what her banker donor friends tell her to do.”
Guy Gray, a 66-year-old retired AV technician who lives in Brazil and voted in Pennsylvania via an absentee ballot, told CNN that he will be “staying tuned” until the Democratic nominee is officially announced at the convention.
When asked if he thought there’s a chance Clinton won’t win the nomination, Gray responded, “Well, if she’s indicted.”
“There are so many negatives about Hillary that I can’t say I’ll support her,” Gray added. “But I will vote for her if it’s the best chance of defeating Trump. And I do like the idea of a woman president.”
Sam Mbulaiteye, a 50-year-old researcher from Silver Spring, Maryland, told CNN that he was “disappointed” when Obama endorsed Clinton Thursday. In his view, the president has much more in common with the socialist senator than the former secretary of state.
Mbulaiteye explained that Obama and Sanders are both “forward-looking, getting young people to be engaged in politics … using diplomacy instead of war.” He also noted that both Obama and Sanders bring a “message of change, hope and about the future.”
The youngest respondent, 18-year-old Carlos Rivera, of Woodbridge, Virginia, said he might vote for Clinton, but a few things would have to change in order for that to happen.
“If she changes the way she’s campaigning, I might vote for her,” the high school senior said. “She needs to stop saying things just to get votes. She needs to own up to what she’s saying and put her money where her mouth is.”
Claire Ryberg, a software engineer from Virginia, told CNN that though she’d never vote for Trump, she would like “to see what happens” with the FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server before she votes for the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“I think it would be nationally embarrassing to elect somebody who is then indicted,” Ryberg, 24, explained. “I think it would be pretty bad if we elected somebody who was either convicted of something, or something along those lines.”