Huge Crowd Expected in Madison as Wisconsin Voters Feel the Bern

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Huge Crowd Expected in Madison as Wisconsin Voters Feel the Bern

New poll from CBS News shows Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton, 49-47 percent

Bernie Sanders is holding onto his lead in Wisconsin, which has its presidential primary on Tuesday, according to a new poll out Sunday. 

And he continues to spark enthusiasm, drawing 1,800 people to an event at a 1,200-capacity theater in Wausau Sunday morning, and hoping to attract almost 10 times that to a rally Sunday evening in Madison. 

Supporting the findings of other recent surveys, the CBS News Battleground Tracker poll shows Sanders with the support of 49 percent of likely Democratic voters in Wisconsin, compared to Hillary Clinton's 47 percent. The poll of 1,501 registered voters was conducted March 29-April 1, with a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points. 

CBS News reports: "Wisconsin Democrats by a wide margin would like to see the next president follow more progressive policies than President Obama, and are more inclined to believe that trade takes away U.S. jobs, both sentiments that appear to be helping Sanders, even as he trails Clinton on the measure of being prepared to be president."

As political correspondent James Hohmann noted at the Washington Post this week, "The state has a long tradition of embracing radical/revolutionary progressives like Bernie." 

Furthermore, Hohmann wrote, "Sanders benefits from Scott Walker backlash."

Indeed, Mother Jones reports that Sanders tore into the Republican governor, and his assault on voting rights, at a dinner with Wisconsin's Democratic elite on Saturday night. 

"I have contempt, absolute contempt, for those Republican governors who do not have the guts to support free, open, and fair elections," Sanders said. "I say to Gov. Walker, and all of the other Republican governors who are trying to make it harder to vote for poor people and old people and people of color and young people—trying to make it harder for them to participate in the political process—I say to them, if you don't have to guts to participate in a free and fair election, get out of politics and get another job."

He also cited his recent fundraising record, telling attendees at the Wisconsin Democratic Founders Day Gala in Milwaukee that the small-donation model embraced by his campaign "is the future of the Democratic Party." 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's Kohl Center is "expecting a capacity crowd of 17,000" for Sanders' rally there Sunday night. 

In New York, which votes April 19, the CBS News poll finds Clinton leading Sanders by 10 points. 

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