Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump made a bold pitch to supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday.
"We’re asking Bernie Sanders voters to join our movement so together we can fix the system for all Americans," Trump said during a speech in New York City.
Sanders has not officially dropped out of the Democratic race, but his rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has secured enough delegates to effectively lock up the nomination. If and when the Vermont senator bows out, where his backers migrate could be a major factor in deciding the 2016 race.
In an interview with C-SPAN, Sanders indicated he didn't think his voters would back Trump.
"Well, I suspect he ain't gonna get too many of those [voters]," Sanders said. "I think the vast majority of people who voted for me understand that Donald Trump in a dozen different ways is literally unfit to be president of the United States."
The businessman has made "bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign," Sanders said.
A recent poll indicates that Trump — a brash, divisive figure — could already have the support of a sizable chunk of Sanders' base, should their preferred candidate exit the race. A Bloomberg Politics national poll released last week found that Trump pulled 22 percent of Sanders' supporters. Clinton still received the lion's share of her Democratic rival's backers, earning 55 percent. In perhaps a bit of a surprise, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson — who recently sat down for a one-on-one with International Business Times — got 18 percent. The Bloomberg poll talked with 1,000 adults, including 750 who said they're likely to vote in November's general election. The margin of error among likely voters was 3.6 percentage points, and 3.1 percentage points among all respondents.
The Vermont senator dominated the young demographic, earning more votes from people under 30 than Clinton and Trump combined, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (Circle). Trump earned about one-third of the youth vote in the Republican primaries, while more than 40 percent of his supporters were 45 years or older, according to Circle.
For his part, Sanders has said he would work to stop Trump. "The major political task that we face in the next five months is to make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly," Sanders told supporters in a recent video. "And I personally intend to begin my role in that process in a very short period of time."
He stopped short, however, of endorsing Clinton.