Jill Stein, the presumptive Green Party presidential nominee, is seeing an unprecedented surge of energy for her campaign in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
Stein, who is running her second presidential campaign in four years, said donations to her campaign have increased tenfold in just over 24 hours, obviously due to Bernie Sanders’ endorsement of Hillary Clinton and a resulting fallout from the Democratic Party.
Since Tuesday morning, the Green Party has received over $80,000 in contributions, over half of which comes from first-time donors, and half of which comes in the form of contributions under $50. Tellingly, about 615 of those contributions totalled $27, the exact number commonly trumpeted and solicited by the Sanders campaign during his revolutionary grassroots funding movement.
“There’s been an explosion of Berners coming in through every portal of the campaign, and it’s really exciting,” Stein told US Uncut in a phone interview. “There is so much courage out there to stand up to the marching orders handed down by the usual suspects.”
Stein’s social media accounts have also seen tremendous growth and engagement in the past 24 hours. A recent livestream posted to the Stein campaign’s Facebook page has been viewed over 300,000 times in less than a day. Her page itself has added approximately 44,000 new likes in the past week. Her Twitter account has over 145,000 followers as of this writing, increasing by the tens of thousands just this week, with 5.6 million impressions on July 12-13 alone. There have also been 10,000 new signups for her email list since yesterday.
And according to web traffic ranking site Alexa, Jill2016.com has been climbing steadily in popularity since January, with rapid monthly growth since March. The search term “Jill Stein” has also seen a hockey-stick increase on Google Trends since the endorsement:
According to Stein, her campaign platform goes even further than Sanders on several key issues, like cutting military spending by 50 percent, proposing emergency measures to curb the effects of climate change, abolishing nuclear weapons, and cancelling student debt.
“In the last campaign, we were very ahead of the curve in calling for free public higher education. And this time, we’re the only ones calling for cancelling debt in the same way that we did it for the crooks on Wall Street,” Stein said. “This is a life-changing issue for a generation that’s been hung out to dry and who hasn’t even had the courtesy of acknowledgement that this is an issue.”
Stein, a physician, activist, and mother, said the primary reason she’s running for president is out of a desire to prevent the millennial generation and future generations from sliding further into poverty and war.
“Our goal is actually survival against a ticking clock,” Stein said. “It’s not only climate, but the new nuclear arms race… My kids’ days are numbered, and they’re not going to be rescued unless their generation can rescue themselves and work to rescue the next generation.”
Dr. Stein believes that the momentum behind the Sanders campaign was a deeper reflection of “discontent and chagrin” with the current political system.
“Donald [Trump] and Hillary [Clinton] are not a mistake,” Stein said. “As big money has become more concentrated, the political establishment has become all the more corrupt and really not capable of offering real candidates.”
Throughout her campaign, Stein has run as a third-party alternative to the left of Sen. Sanders, carefully toeing the line between driving a wedge between Sanders’ followers and the Green Party, and gently reaching out to bring them over to her campaign. She added that the Greens are the only national party not “poisoned by corporate money, lobbyists, and Super PACs.”
Other Sanders supporters seem to be preparing a mass exodus from the Democratic Party to help Stein reach her goal of 15 percent in national polls, which would secure a spot for her on the general election debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the presumptive nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties. Many influential Sanders supporters and pro-Sanders accounts with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers have already announced their intent to vote for Stein in November.
“Bernie gave them a run for their money. As deep of a challenge that could possibly be made, he made it,” Stein told US Uncut. “He broke every tradition and every record in the best way possible and developed a whole system of small-donor funding that’s never existed before… He challenged this system to the root, and it proved itself incapable of responding to the politics of integrity and a mass social movement.”
According to Stein’s website, her campaign has secured ballot access in 23 states and Washington, DC, and petition signatures are currently being collected for ballot access in 27 others. Stein said her campaign has “many irons in the fire” and will be on “90 to 95 percent” of ballots after petitions are delivered to various Secretaries of State.
In the end, despite being labeled as a “spoiler” candidate by Clinton supporters and staunch Democrats in a winner-take-all political system, Stein is optimistic about her chances if she’s able to communicate her message to a national TV audience at the general election debates.
“There are 43 million young people and not-so-young people who are locked into predatory student loan debt,” Stein said. “The birth rate is plummeting in this country because we have a generation that’s basically become indentured servants. They don’t have a place to live, they don’t have relationships, they don’t have a future, they don’t have families, they don’t have a job. We really have a generational crisis right now that we’re in the midst of. And there’s one way that crisis can be solved with the stroke of a pen. That debt can be cancelled, and I’m the only candidate who will do that. Those 43 million votes have only one place to go.”
“If that word gets out, that can be a very powerful motivator for those people to vote for my campaign, and that’s a plurality of votes.” Stein continued. “In the words of Alice Walker, ‘The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.’”