As Clinton clinches nomination, many of her supporters tiptoe out of the shadows

As Clinton clinches nomination, many of her supporters tiptoe out of the shadows

There has been a change these past few days, a shift in the conversation as many who have kept quiet about their views in this presidential election have, for a variety of reasons, become vocal about their support of Hillary Clinton.

You can see it in the same places you might have noticed its absence before – in public online comments, lawn signs, bumper stickers.

One of the conundrums of this campaign has been how Clinton has amassed nearly 4 million more votes than Bernie Sanders while generating strikingly less visible support. It was Sanders who held the huge rallies, generated the trending tweets, had the cooler #feelthebern hashtag. Yet Clinton kept winning. As Michelle Goldberg noted in Slate the day after April’s New York primary, which Clinton won by 16 points:

I had assumed that my neighborhood, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, was overwhelmingly supporting Bernie Sanders. Sanders bumper stickers and T-shirts outnumbered those for Hillary Clinton by what seemed like 20 to 1. When I looked up Cobble Hill on the nifty New York Times tool providing neighborhood-by-neighborhood results, however, it turned out that Clinton won the immediate area around my apartment by 59.4 percent. A block over, she won by 72.5 percent. She won all around me. A lot of Clinton supporters, evidently, have been keeping quiet about their allegiances.

Or, as Joanna Castle Miller, a television producer (and, not incidentally the daughter of an independent fringe party presidential candidate), wrote on Facebook earlier this week of the challenge of getting Clinton supporters to appear on camera: “Trump and Bernie supporters … were mostly eager to get in front of a camera … Almost all of Hillary’s volunteers … got quiet and asked questions like ‘Will my name be used?’ ‘Where will this be seen?’ and ‘Can I wear my sunglasses?’”

When pressed, their reasons were that “they were terrified of the online threats they might receive, and in some cases had already received. Even lead organizers admitted they hadn’t put up a yard sign or a bumper sticker for fear of retaliation. When women walked in to volunteer for the phone bank, they were assured they wouldn’t have to give their names if they were afraid.” READ MORE