Bernie Sanders debate watch-party attracts die-hard supporters

Photo by Gage Skidmore


Tangible grassroots campaign has supporters turning out to voice their endorsement for presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. Last Sunday’s Democratic Debate attracted a nearly a hundred Sanders advocates to The Local 662 bar in Saint Petersburg to watch the debate on a huge video screen.  Sanders supporters are eager to let it be known why he’s their man for the White House.


Going into the debate Secretary Clinton had a sizable lead on Senator Sanders in various polls. At the high end, the latest Gravis Marketing/One America News poll has the gap 65 to 26 percent in favor of Clinton. The IBD/TIPP poll shows a tighter race with Clinton leading at 43 percent to Sanders 39. The other Democratic candidate, Governor O’Malley, garners between 2 and 4 percent depending on the poll. Dana Andres, who was at the debate party, said he news outlets are the reason for low Sanders polling numbers

>“The media is not the free media; the free press as it used to be. Most of the media is owned by a handful of corporations. Corporations are backing every other candidate out there except for Bernie Sanders. I think; I strongly feel he’s not getting the attention for that reason. I feel once he actually wins. And if you look he’s actually getting some attention now that he’s leading in a couple of the polls. The media’s picking up. (But) it’s still small compared to the other ones and he’s not the circus (Donald) Trump is. And I’ll admit, I’m as fascinated to hear what Trump has to say next too.”

Sanders distinguished himself from frontrunner Clinton during the debate by noting he has no SuperPac, and is therefore, not beholden to special interests. He relies on relatively small, individual donations coming from a swell of grassroots supporters. Nearly all polls indicate that Sanders is trailing Clinton across the nation. But, Sanders does do better than Clinton among millennial women. He scores 50 percent compared to Clinton’s 31 percent; according to a recent USA Today/Rock the Vote poll. Torin King, who attended the debate watch party, said she knows why.

>“I think he’s appealing to the female vote. And I one thing I love about Bernie Sanders is the way he has voted now and stands for now as what he has in the past. He has always supported women’s rights and equal rights, for everyone. I think we obviously fall under that umbrella. To me it’s kinda a no-brainer. From what I’ve seen from Hillary (Clinton); I’ve gone online and checked her voting record on things like that; and where she’s stood in the past. I’m not sure that she’s been as solid of a candidate standing for women’s rights throughout all of her political career.”

The Iowa caucus, the first in 2016, is set for February 21.

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