Bolstered by Polls, Fundraising Haul, Sanders Surges Forward into Wis. Primary

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Bolstered by Polls, Fundraising Haul, Sanders Surges Forward into Wis. Primary

Sanders is 'in tune with the mood of the American public.'

A Bernie supporter holds a sign during a January 2016 march in New York City.  (Photo: Estelle Walton/flickr/cc)

With boosts from a massive fundraising haul and new poll results, Bernie Sanders is harnessing energy with the Wisconsin primary days ahead.

A Public Policy Polling survey in Wisconsin released Thursday found Sanders with a 6-point lead—49-43 percent—over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. He had a particularly strong lead—65-28—with voters under 45, while the only group with whom Clinton claimed a significant lead was seniors at 63-30 percent.

A Fox Business Network Poll also released Thursday showed Sanders with a similar lead—48-43 percent—over Clinton in Wisconsin.

And on Friday, the Sanders campaign boasted that it had reached its goal of beating February's record fundraising haul by raising $44 million dollars in March.  "Working people standing together are going to propel this campaign to the Democratic nomination and then the White House," Sanders stated. 

As for the Clinton campaign, Seth Abramson, an assistant professor of English at University of New Hampshire, wrote at the Huffington Post that it "is in the midst of an historic collapse—much of it due to the unraveling of support for Clinton among nonwhite voters—and the national media has yet to take any notice."

"In short," he continued:

there simply is no evidence available to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s robust coalition of nonwhite voters still exists — certainly not in anything like the form it was just four weeks ago. How else to explain an 82-point margin among nonwhite voters in Alabama, and similar margins in every other Southern state, on March 1st, and just a 6-point lead among all Southern Democrats (who are, depending upon the state, between 27 percent and 71 percent African-American) on March 26th?

[...]

The Clinton-Sanders tilt remains at a stage in which nearly all the real-time data favors Sanders, and all the television and print coverage favors Clinton because of a delegate lead she built up during Deep-South voting a month ago. The race as it is being reported therefore bears no relation to the race as it is.

There's also the fact that polls continue to show Sanders as the most electable candidate, which Charles Reid, Jr., Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas, argued Thursday "is related to the issues upon which he is campaigning," such as making college education affordable, raising the minimum wage, and reforming the campaign finance system.

"Why is Bernie Sanders the most electable presidential candidate in America?" Reid asked. "It might be that he is not only right on the issues, but in tune with the mood of the American public."

Wisconsin, which holds its primary Tuesday, "has devastated its unions," MSBNC notes, and "rank-and-file union members are rallying behind [Sanders], creating a potential split with union leadership when it comes to which candidate to back." Speaking in Kenosha on Wednesday, Sanders decried decades of "trade policies in this country written by corporate America," and said, "They don’t want to deal with unions." He also touted his own opposition to such policies, in contrast to "Secretary Clinton [who] has supported virtually all of these disastrous trade agreements."

Sanders spoke in New York, which holds its primary April 19, on Thursday, telling a South Bronx crowd that it looks like it "wants to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the 1 percent." 

"Anyone paying attention on the ground will tell you Bernie's momentum is real," said Bill Lipton, the New York State director for the Working Families Party, which has been organizing for Sanders.

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