Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner was one of Bernie Sanders' most well-known surrogates during the Democratic primaries. Previously a Clinton supporter, Turner spent months campaigning all across the country for Sanders. Recently, however, Turner has not followed the Vermont Senator's lead. Although Sanders endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after he didn't win the Democratic presidential nomination, Turner has not done the same, and it looks like she will not be doing so anytime soon. Instead, Turner may join the Green Party ticket as Dr. Jill Stein's running mate, according to Cleveland's The Plain Dealer.
According to The Washington Post, on Sunday, Turner announced Stein offered her the vice presidential nomination, and that she is still considering whether or not she will be joining the Green Party ticket. Many voters may be surprised that Turner would consider joining a third party. While Bernie Sanders has often identified as an independent, Turner has always run as a Democrat. However, The Washington Post reported that in June, Turner stated that she's not necessarily opposed to joining a third party, saying:
A third party might not be bad for this country. Let's shake it up. I'm a lifelong Democrat, but I want to see the Democratic Party live up to its principles. If we refuse to, if we are not able, then we do need to shake things up.
It's understandable why Turner may want to "shake it up" and join the Green Party, as well as why she may be disappointed with the Democrats. According to The Washington Post, Turner often speaks out against Clinton's previous approach to criminal justice reform. Furthermore, Vox reported that, although Sanders wanted Turner to begin the nominating process at the DNC on Tuesday, Clinton's campaign asked that Turner not speak at the convention because she had yet to follow Sanders' lead and endorse Clinton — Turner was told at the last minute that she would not be speaking at the DNC.
The Washington Post reported that the Green Party typically comes in fourth place in presidential elections, but with Turner on the ticket, it might attract a substantial number of Sanders' voters — which could be devastating for the Democrats, and even lead to GOP nominee, Donald Trump, winning the presidency.
While it's still unclear as to whether or not Turner will join Stein on the Green Party ticket, Sanders himself does not support voting for third-party candidates in this presidential election. The Washington Post reported that Sanders recently explained that a third-party candidate cannot win the presidency, and will only lead to a win for Trump:
I don't know the leadership of the Green Party, but I respect what they're trying to do. They're focusing on very, very important issues. But I think right now — what is it, three, four months before an election — you're going to end up having a choice. Either Hillary Clinton is going to become president, or Donald Trump.
The Green Party convention will be held in Houston next week, so Turner will soon have to decide whether or not she'll join Stein's ticket. Turner might please many die-hard Sanders supporters if she does so, but she could also help Trump win the presidency.