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What Clinton really needs from the Sanders endorsement

Bernie Sanders introduces presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Portsmouth High School July 12, 2016 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Sanders endorsed Clinton for president of the United States. Darren McCollester/Getty Images

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Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for President on Tuesday. Of course, she’d already racked up enough delegates weeks ago to clinch the nomination — technically, anyway.  

But that doesn’t mean Sanders doesn’t have something Clinton still needs.  

“She doesn’t have a money problem, she has more of an image problem,” said Ray La Raja, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts- Amherst. “She wants to show that she’s more grassroots. So she struggled a little bit more with getting small donors.”

Sanders’ donor and supporter lists are a hot commodity for Clinton and other Democratic campaigns because they contain the demographics everyone is after.

“Especially young people,” said La Raja.  “They’re hard to track down, and the Bernie campaign has tracked them down.”

Luis Calderin used to work for the Sanders campaign, but now is at non-partisan Rock the Vote, which encourages young people to get involved with politics and voting.

“I think that list contains a lot of people that were not your traditional democrats,” he said. “There were a lot of independents in that list, a lot of people that were coming in to the political process for the very first time.”

But not everyone on the lists of Sanders supporters wants their data handed over to the Clinton camp.

“I don’t believe information should be given out unless people want it to be given out,” said Karen Higgins, a co-President of National Nurses United. The group was an early and active supporter of Sanders’ campaign. “So unless you’re willing to call everybody on that donor list and ask them if they mind their name being given to somebody else, I personally don’t think you have the right to give it away to anybody else.”

We contacted both the Sanders and Clinton campaigns to ask if sharing donor and supporter information was part of the endorsement, but they did not immediately respond.

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