Michael Vadon, Flickr, Creative Commons
Election 2016: Bernie Sanders NYC Fundraiser Draws Campaign Supporters Who Are ‘Feelin’ The Bern’
By Isiah Holmes
As party warfare eclipses the presidential primary, candidates steel themselves for Battlefield: Wisconsin, on April 5th. Interestingly, a widely circulated straw poll toting Hillary as the winner, leaves out some very vital, and telling, data. May this piece serve as an equalizer for the very stagnant, one-sided, suspicious atmosphere created by this primary’s mainstream media coverage.
Bernie rally’s resounded with impunity yet again, this time in right-wing Governor Scott Walker’s home turf. Numerous sources, including CNN, reported on the nearly 10,000 supporters who gathered to hear Sanders speak in the liberal capital city Madison, Wisconsin. The impressive crowd swelled with “more people at a meeting for a candidate for president of the United States than any other candidate has.”
Such galvanization is not isolated to the college student choked city, it’s happened most everywhere the senator has gone. With many calling the Sanders campaign a political revolution, after enduring numerous trials against Clinton, it’s a wonder mainstream media has so relegated the phenomenon.
In fact, CNN reported Bernie’s Madison visit as “what has amounted to his standard stump speech–a liberal message” focused on healthcare, money in politics, and other topics synonymous with the senator. Although one might say CNN’s tone in the piece was slightly dismissively, that’s ultimately up to the reader’s interpretation.
During the event, Sanders took multiple shots both at political rivals and those whose propaganda brands him an “extremist.” “When you deny the right of workers to come together in collective bargaining”, Vermont’s senate decried, “that’s extremism.” “When you tell a woman that she can not control her own body, that’s extremism.” Each and every time Bernie so much as mentioned Governor Walker’s name, Guardian reports, the rally wailed with boo’s.
Despite this fact, Walker appears confident that “Wisconsinites have rejected his top-down, government knows best approach, three times in the last four years”, referencing his own wins. Scott’s victories, however, are certainly not without blemishes and accusations of electoral corruption .
One of those victories involved a recall election, catalyzed by public discontent and outrage over a suspicious initial win. Upon surviving the recall election, one of the Wisconsinite’s Scott speaks of declared, “democracy died today.” Despite this, Walker’s rhetoric holds that when it comes to drug reform, planned parenthood, rights against police searches, and others, “government knows best.”
Perhaps Governor Walker should consider such things before claiming to speak for a population well tired of his administration. “Bernie Sanders was right about one thing”, says Walker, Guardian reports, “we don’t need another Clinton in the White House.” Yet more attempts to redirect attention away from Sanders himself, and towards his already highly publicized opponent.
Going into April 5th, numerous outlets echoed a particular straw poll giving Hillary a cushioning lead. The poll, which surveyed 500 democratic voters, projects Sanders’ dairyland support as but 41% to Clinton’s 49%. According to the Nation, the poll was conducted and released by “the well regarded politics website wispolitics.com.” Many mainstream outlets then echoed the prediction’s collectively in a dismissive, slightly condescending tone which has come to dominate much Sanders coverage.
November 2015 polls, which surveyed much broader portions of likely Wisconsinite voters, disagree with the straw poll, however. According to Wisconsin Public Radio, a Marquette University Law School poll found Bernie blows out every republican candidate in a state widely regarded as conservative leaning. Here’s the smoking gun: while Sanders and Clinton both command wide democratic support, only Bernie does well amongst independents “and even a few republicans”, WPR reports. That’s incredibly important! Especially since the straw poll every outlet is using to call Wisconsin’s April 5th election only surveyed democrats.
If there’s one advantage Hillary commanded over Bernie even then, it’s name recognition. This will eventually erode as her overblown identity also attracts rightly owed criticism, and public condemnation. Support for the senator from Vermont, as well as offensive propaganda against his campaign, have only continued to swell since Marquette’s poll was released.
Following his 10,000 strong Madison rally Sanders will travel to Milwaukee, a city drowning in poverty, crime, and the governor’s neglectful choices. Walker’s comments regarding Bernie support in his state, coupled with polls, should highlight how disconnected he is with what Wisconsinites think and want. April 5th will lay all this to rest, however, and with Bernie’s momentum only further backing Clinton into a corner, it’ll certainly be a day to remember.