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Bernie Sanders' Surprise Performance in Wisconsin Straw Poll Shows True Strength

Updated on June 8, 2015

Bernie Sanders is Gaining Ground on Hillary Clinton

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is gaining ground on the presidential campaign trail with a better-than-expected straw poll showing in Wisconsin.
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is gaining ground on the presidential campaign trail with a better-than-expected straw poll showing in Wisconsin. | Source

Americans Liking Bernie Sanders' Message

I'm sure many fans of Hillary Clinton are still rolling their eyes about Bernie Sanders. Sure, the old coot from Vermont has gotten off to a better-than-expected start in his presidential campaign. Sure, a bunch of wild-eyes leftists are gaga over a real Democratic Socialist running for the White House. We get it - he's a cute grandfatherly-figure who tells it like it is and sticks to his guns. The mainstream media, which still patronizes Sanders despite his surging popularity, continues to harp on how far behind Hillary Clinton he is.

Well, until now. Now, Sanders has finally gotten close to Clinton in a poll. In the Wisconsin straw poll, Sanders won 40 percent of the votes to Clinton's 49 percent, bringing him within nine percentage points of the previously-unstoppable frontrunner. While many pro-Clinton reporters have turned up their noses at this poll, claiming that it is far from representative of anything, I am excited. I am a die-hard Bernie Sanders fan, and I know that his words are winning over voters.

Voters are liking Sanders' laser-focus on the economy. While Clinton will likely win on social issues, largely due to her strong support from women voters, economic issues will carry the day. A desire for a president focused on helping the working- and middle-classes is what is causing Sanders' increasing popularity. Critics can no longer roll their eyes and pretend that Sanders' initial popularity was due to his novelty.

Sanders' campaign is not a glamour project, a bit of political novelty, or a gimmick. It is real. Sanders wants to improve the economy, help America's workers, and shift government taxing and spending to spend more on what matters - health care, child care, and education. While many voters might be excited by the prospect of voting for the first woman president, they know that Sanders' policies will actually better their lives.

Publicly-funded health care, child care, and higher education will save consumers billions of dollars a year. That is real. That is money you can use to complete home repairs, purchase new capital, and invest in our economy. The media needs to stop pretending that these possibilities are not powerful. I am won over by them, and I am from Midland, Texas.

Want to know how likely it is for someone from Midland, Texas to get behind a Democrat, let alone a Democratic Socialist? Just Google it. For those who don't know, Midland is the proclaimed hometown of George W. Bush. And as soon as my Bernie Sanders T-shirt arrives in the mail, I'm going to wear it around. I'm going to put up yard signs. I'm going to talk to people. Bernie Sanders as won me over, and it looks like he's doing so in Wisconsin as well.

The media needs to acknowledge that Sanders' popularity is not temporary. It is not a fluke. It is not based on his grandfatherly, old coot image or his political novelty. Sanders is real, the realest person running for president, and his popularity is also real. Voters are buying what Sanders is selling. Woe to those who fail to respect that.

And, finally, for all those who continue to patronize Sanders...what happened to frontrunner Hillary Clinton in 2008 after some nerdy-looking black guy, a rookie U.S. Senator from Chicago, was brazen enough to throw his hat into the presidential ring? Plenty of journalists had egg on their face after the '08 Democratic primaries, and I hope they don't want a second helping.


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    • cathylynn99 profile image

      cathylynn99 2 years ago from northeastern US

      sanders is a moderate. his views align well with those of the majority of americans. he just needs to get his platform heard and understood.

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

      While I don't doubt Sanders' commitment to his beliefs, straw polls are notriously unreliable in predicting the eventual nominee, particularly on the GOP side (not sure if the Dems have even done straw polls before). The most extreme candidates (or the ones further away from the political middle) tend to do very well in these events. Wisconsin's democrats tend to be very left-leaning anyway. If Texas Dems had a straw poll and Sanders won, then I would take notice. The real quesiton for the Democrats is whether Hillary will have to "go left" during the primaries. She may end up looking like the more palatable moderate in any case.