The Bernie Sanders Campaign

Can he overtake Hillary Clinton?

Giovan Soares

More stories from Giovan Soares

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(Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times/TNS with permission.)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addresses a crowd at the Avalon in Los Angeles for a fundraiser following the campaign’s first debate the prior night in Las Vegas.

The name Bernie Sanders, (U.S. Senator D-Vermont) became more well known once the upstart candidate started making waves in the Democratic primary polls last summer. Sanders has made stunning headway against Hillary Clinton, who many thought would run essentially unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

He stunned all when he made the taboo declaration that he was a socialist, a term typically affiliated with the former Soviet Union, aka the United Soviet Socialist Republic. Sander’s self-identification as a socialist, along with his stances on certain issues that oppose the mainstream Democratic Party, such as his opinion on gun control, which aligns most closely with Republican ideas, portrays him as a free thinker who is willing to compromise, drawing support from many Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

Which candidate do you favor as the Democratic Nominee for President

  • Bernie Sanders (75%, 6 Votes)
  • Hillary Clinton (13%, 1 Votes)
  • Martin O'Malley (13%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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For a while, it looked like Sanders was about to win it all with him sprinting past all other competition, when suddenly Clinton regained tremendous ground. Like many of Sanders’ competitors, Clinton did “feel the Bern,” but lately she has emerged like a Phoenix from the flames, rising in the polls.  As of November, Clinton is the Democratic front runner and has a big lead on Sanders.  According to a CBS poll, (November 12) Clinton leads with 52 percent of the vote and Sanders with 33 percent. Despite the tremendous support that Sanders had amassed, Clinton now has the upper hand.

Clinton’s rallies and speeches have helped her gain support. It seems that Clinton, has gotten out of the rough period that saw her campaign plagued with scandals relating to her handling of her personal email and attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi while she was Secretary of State.

People who support Sanders appreciate him because they see him as a strong willed candidate who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.”

— Giovan Soares

This doesn’t mean that Sanders is out of the race. There is still a chance that he could pull ahead. Despite his current slip in the polls, Sanders is still going strong and donor support has not ceased.

So far, he hasn’t been willing to take jabs at his fellow Democrats; he previously swore off negative campaigning, but now it seems things have changed. Sanders has defended himself against Clinton for her remarks against his stance on gun control, and her claim that he’s been sexist towards her. His campaign has not tolerated this. “If they’re going to have a campaign that attacks Bernie on gun safety, and imply that he engages in sexism, that’s unacceptable,” said Sander’s adviser Tad Devine in an interview with Politico. “We’re not going to stand for that. We’re going to have to talk about other things if they do that,” said Devine.

Duirng a CNN interview, Sanders claimed that Clinton changes her stance on key issues “just because it is politically expedient at a given time.” Despite adopting a more offensive posture, Sanders has also tried to remain civil. During the same interview Sanders said, “I believe in serious debates on serious issues. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. Maybe I shouldn’t say this: I like Hillary Clinton. I respect Hillary Clinton.” This shows that Sanders is a “nice guy” and while he wants to win, he would rather do it without tearing apart a friend.

Sanders wants to keep his campaign clean, but he knows what campaigns are about. People who support Sanders appreciate him because they see him as a strong willed candidate who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. It’s the same type of appeal that Donald Trump has benefited from. But, just as Trump has lost some of the wind in his sails, so has Sanders. Only time will tell who will become the Democratic nominee for president, but Sanders’s supporters hope more people will start to “Feel the Bern.”