Maybe it should be no surprise that Senator Bernie Sanders came in third place in his home state during a presidential election without campaigning.
Chaulk it up to voters’ support for a long-serving local public official or just simple star power, but Sanders collected 18,183 write-in votes on Election Day in Vermont, according to its secretary of state’s office. That was enough for Sanders to rank third, with nearly 5.7 percent of the vote, behind only Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.
During the primaries, Sanders became something of a celebrity for the left, collecting high-profile supporters along the way, as well as being credited with pulling Clinton’s campaign toward the Democrats’ liberal wing.
But despite Sanders’s success at the ballot box, he didn’t hurt Clinton in Vermont, who handily won the state on Election Day with more than 178,000 votes — more than 55 percent of the state’s vote. Trump came in second with nearly 95,400 votes — less than a third of votes cast in Vermont.
Even without campaigning for himself, Sanders handily beat the two highest-profile third-party candidates in the race. Libertarian Gary Johnson only collected 10,078 votes, or about 3.14 percent, while Green-Rainbow party candidate Jill Stein collected less than 6,800 votes.
But Sanders might have chipped away at Clinton’s narrow win in New Hampshire, where she carried the state by about 2,700 votes, according to the Associated Press. The win was so close that the Associated Press only officially called the state for Clinton on Nov. 14.
Sanders had 4,493 write-in votes in New Hampshire, the most of any write-in candidate in that state, according to its election data.
John Hilliard can be reached at email@example.com