Twitter turns on third-party candidates in search for Clinton scapegoat
Reeling from their preferred candidate’s shock defeat and ignoring any weaknesses in Clinton’s own campaign, many of her supporters have taken to social media to lash out at Johnson and Stein, blaming them for enabling Trump to secure the White House.
One tweet claiming that “If you voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, you voted for Trump” received more than 58,000 retweets within a matter of hours.
The numbers don't lie: If you voted for Gary Johnson or Jill Stein, you voted for Trump. You were told. Don't ever tell yourself different.— Rachelle Lefevre (@RachelleLefevre) November 9, 2016
Much of the online abuse directed at Green Party candidate Stein alleged that she helped a climate change denier become the most powerful man in America.
Looking at the key swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania, where a total of 49 electoral college votes were up for grabs, Johnson and Stein have become a lightening rod for Democrats’ opprobrium.
If you could have voted but didn't, if you chose third party over Clinton, I want you to be very aware that you contributed to this.— ✨ (@feminizza) November 9, 2016
In Florida Trump secured 1.4 percent more of the vote than Clinton (49.1 percent – 47.7 percent) while Johnson and Stein picked up 2.2 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.
So the Johnson-Stein vote could have swung Arizona, Florida, Michigan, NH, PA, and Wisconsin to Hillary.— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) November 9, 2016
The result has yet to be finalized in Pennsylvania but Trump is set to win by around 1 percent, with Johnson and Stein accumulating around 3.6 percent of the vote.
Was your third party vote worth it?— Jenny Smart (@JennySmart) November 9, 2016
Your children won't care that you voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. They'll ask why you didn't help stop Donald Trump.— Matt Redmond (@mattredmond22) November 9, 2016
Had Florida and Pennsylvania gone Clinton’s way then she, and not Trump, would be the one waiting to become the 45th president of the United States.
Congrats third party voters - you literally sent no message to anyone and you're helping Trump win Florida -even though you didn't want him.— Jen Nasty Kirkwoman (@JenKirkman) November 9, 2016
@DrJillStein Feel good about yourself now? Proud you chose worst time in US politics to push Green agenda + grab swing votes? For shame!— HamsterCake (@ComedyHamster) November 9, 2016
Obviously these claims rely on the unfounded argument that all Johnson and Stein voters would have otherwise voted for Clinton, despite the candidates each having substantially different political views.
The tirade against Johnson and Stein voters also crucially ignores the electorate’s right to vote for whomever they see fit, as other social media users quickly pointed out.
The Clinton loyalist crowd will blame everyone but Hillary -- Putin, Sanders, the media, Jill Stein, James Comey, the voters themselves.— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 9, 2016
Everyone's assuming all the Stein / Johnson votes would just magically go to Clinton if third parties didn't exist. Why?— Kit O'Connell (@KitOConnell) November 9, 2016
3rd party was a bad move this year, but leave Johnson & Stein out of it – this election was about 58.8 million people voting for a racist— Tim Shermer (@timshermer) November 9, 2016