As Sanders Draws 10,000 in Wisconsin, Support for 'Revolution' Doubles in Iowa
A crowd of approximately 10,000 people filled a sports arena to capacity in Wisconsin on Wednesday night in order to hear the person who has called for a “political revolution” in the United States explain why he should be the next president.
“Tonight we have made a little bit of history,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to those inside the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison. “Tonight we have more people at a meeting for a candidate for president of the United States than any other candidate has had in 2015.”
Such turnouts are becoming a trend for the candidate who has stepped forth from the left side of the political spectrum to challenge Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination. As MSNBC notes, Sanders has been attracting outsize crowds nearly everywhere he goes recently: “Five thousand came out for his kickoff rally in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont. Another 5,000 turned out in Denver, Colorado. In Minneapolis, a thousand listened from outside after the basketball arena where Sanders was speaking filled to capacity.”
Wednesday’s enormous turnout also arrives with good news for Sanders out of the key early-voting state of Iowa, where a new Quinnipiac poll released on Thursday morning shows his campaign continuing to close the gap with frontrunner Clinton. According to the survey, Sanders is now is receiving support from 33 percent of likely Democratic caucus participants compared to Clinton’s 55 percent. That distance is remarkably smaller now than it was in early May when Clinton enjoyed a 45-percentage point advantage.
“Sen. Sanders has more than doubled his showing and at 33 percent he certainly can’t be ignored, especially with seven months until the actual voting,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
Which is at least partly why the size of turnouts like one in Madison and elsewhere do matter for the Sanders campaign. “This campaign is not about Bernie Sanders. It is not about Hillary Clinton or anybody else. It is about you,” the candidate told the crowd. “It is about putting together a grassroots movement of millions of people to make sure the government works for all of us and not a handful of wealthy campaign contributors.”
In his overall remarks, Sanders spelled out his policy prescriptions, which aim to reverse the 40-year decline of the middle class and narrow the wealth and income gap that is greater today in the United States, he said, than at any time since before the Great Depression.
As the local Capitol Times newspaper reports:
And the energy and enthusiasm around Sanders and his message appears to be spreading.
“We have the rule of half that we teach our organizers: if 20 people say they’re going to show up, it’ll be 10,” said Pete D’Alessandro, the state coordinator for Sanders’ Iowa operation, to Time magazine this week. “But at Sen. Sanders’ events, we’ve been consistently over 100% of our RSVPs. Until it doesn’t happen, we feel confident our turnout is going to be higher.”
And, reporting from the rally in Madison, MSNBC added:
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