Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gestures during the first round of the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by CNN at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan on July 30, 2019.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) gestures during the first round of the second Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season hosted by CNN at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan on July 30, 2019. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

'Bernie Blackout' Strikes Again? Despite Iowa Poll Average Showing Sanders in Solid 2nd, CNN Uses Old Poll to Show Him in 4th

"Looking forward to winning this thing without the assist."

Eoin Higgins

After CNN on Monday reportedly twice displayed a six-week-old poll from Iowa showing Bernie Sanders in fourth-place among hopefuls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination to viewers, ignoring more recent polling showing the Vermont senator climbing to a strong second behind South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, progressives struck back. 

CNN, which brands itself as "the most trusted name in news," used a CNN/Des Moines Register survey from mid-November showing Sanders in fourth place with 15% of Iowans backing his bid. Real Clear Politics shows the senator with support of 22% and 21%, second to South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, in more recent polling. 

Sanders rival Julián Castro was among those who took to Twitter to decry the choice, saying that just because it was CNN's poll, that didn't justify presenting the old information to viewers in late December. 

"Publish a timely poll instead," Castro added. "Journalistic integrity shouldn't be sacrificed for corporate interests."

Sanders press secretary Briahna Joy Gray pointed to recent troubles for other top-line campaigns as a possible motivation for the use of the poll and said that Sanders would happily soldier on without the help of the corporate media.

"Honestly, this is just embarrassing for the campaigns that need this kind of boost to appear competitive after having a bad week," said Gray. "Looking forward to winning this thing without the assist."

The CNN poll wasn't the only instance of perceived bias against the Sanders campaign from the mainstream media, dubbed the "Bernie Blackout" by the senator's supporters.

As Common Dreams reported over the weekend, Sanders held a 14,000-person-strong rally in Los Angeles Saturday with supporters including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), professor and activist Cornel West, actor Tim Robbins, and others. 

But the Los Angeles Times did not do much in the eyes of observers to cover the event, despite the size and Sanders' top-place polling in California.

"This is irresponsible, and will help Trump get re-elected," tweeted Sanders supporter Eric Erdman. "Bernie is the best candidate to take on Trump."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Donziger Slams Criminal Contempt Ruling as 'Message of Intimidation' to Human Rights Lawyers

"The United States has now become one of those countries where environmental advocates are attacked, put in jail, or even murdered for doing their jobs successfully."

Jake Johnson ·


Tributes Pour in for Civil Rights Activist Bob Moses, Dead at 86

"May his light continue to guide us as we face another wave of Jim Crow laws."

Brett Wilkins ·


Advocates Condemn Biden Plan to Send 4,000 Inmates Back to Prison After Pandemic

"As a candidate, Mr. Biden said he recognized the problems and injustices of mass incarceration, and he promised to reduce the federal prison population," wrote the Washington Post editorial board. "Here is a chance for him to keep that promise."

Julia Conley ·


As Climate Emergency Batters World, Scientists Meet to Finalize Key Report Ahead of COP26

"The decisions nations make in the next few months will likely determine whether we will or will not ultimately limit global temperature rise at 1.5°C," said the U.N.'s climate chief.

Kenny Stancil ·


'A Race Against Time': Doctors Without Borders Implores Rich Nations to Stop Stalling Patent Waiver

"As the virus continues to claim millions of lives around the world, we cannot afford to lose more precious time."

Jake Johnson ·