POLITICS

Democrats In London Are 'Feeling The Bern' On Super Tuesday

01/03/2016 22:06 | Updated 01 March 2016
Frank Augstein/AP

With Big Ben providing a backing track, Americans in London chant "feel the Bern" as they make their way to a Super Tuesday polling station on Tuesday evening.

Today is a crucial day in the race for the White House. And Democrats living abroad also get a say in whether Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders ends up as their party's presidential nominee.

An ability to create noise may not translate into support, but Sanders supporters were in good voice in the shadow of the British Houses of Parliament.

Travis Mooney is clear why he will not vote for Clinton. "She's an untrustworthy person," he says. The 40-year-old does not like the "third way" centre-left politics of the Clintons and former Labour British prime minister Tony Blair which many on the left on both sides of the Atlantic see as Conservative-lite.

And if Clinton ends up as his party's nominee, Mooney would have to "think about" whether he would vote for her or not.

bernie sanders

Another Sanders fan, Matt, an artist from Philadelphia who has lived in London for five years adds that it is "obvious" why he did not support Clinton. "She's bought and sold. She's lobbiest, big money, she's the same cookie-cutter politician," he says. "Bernie's different, man. He's actually revolutionary. If you're not behind him you're behind the same old big money bullshit." If Clinton wins the nomination, he will vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

The line to vote in the Democrats Abroad primary in central-London, which stretches around the corner of a takeaway sushi restaurant frequented by British government officials, no doubt contains Clinton as well as Sanders voters. But it is the Sanders fans wearing badges, stickers and carrying an illuminated sign - much to the bafflement of British passers-by making their way home from work.

Michael, a 19-year-old, student, says he is voting for Sanders because the Vermont Senator "cares about getting money out of politics" and has thrust the issue of student debt into the limelight. "He sees the student loan debt crisis for what it is and nobody talked about it prior to him, maybe Elizabeth Warren," he says.

He is unimpressed with Clinton as the preordained frontrunner. "For someone who is supposed to be the inevitable candidate I think she should have came forward with these policies far before him," he adds.

Unlike some other Sanders supporters queuing to vote, Steven quickly adds he will vote for Clinton if she beats Sanders to the nomination. "If she got to the general election I most certainly will vote for her. Because it will most likely be against Donald Trump. And I will not vote for a fascist," he says.

His friend Michael, who has been studying healthcare abroad in London for two months and sees the British NHS as a model to emulated back home, agrees. "He really, really concerns me," he says of Trump.

"The moment I heard him talk about banning refugees and his disdain for Muslims, I was appalled and cringing extremely hard," he says.

He adds: "This is someone who is hoping to go on to represent our country and if other countries are going to view us by this man, that's not what America is and that's not what we should be viewed as."

Bernie Sanders Supporters In Lond

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