A few months ago I wrote an article stating that Hillary Clinton would lose the Democratic primary race and that Bernie Sanders would emerge the nominee. Since that time, unfortunately for me, there had been no new piece of evidence to support that theory: the polls were static, the debates proved a damp squib, and the Democratic National Committee remains firmly behind the Clinton campaign. However, recent surging poll numbers for Bernie Sanders have CNN and other news outlets stating that the Clinton campaign is in serious trouble and for the first time they have had to acknowledge that she is not, in fact, the inevitable nominee.
Despite the lack of media attention, recent polling has Bernie Sanders surging ahead of Hillary in the two earliest primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire and rapidly catching up with her in the national polls.
Bernie has been ahead in New Hampshire for a while but his success here has been dismissed as because Vermont, where the Senator serves, is a neighbouring state and so he would have greater favourability in this region. Iowa, the media believed, would be more representative of the American populace as a whole, and here Hillary was 11 points clear of her closest rival as recently as last month. Now, according to Quinnipiac, Sanders leads Clinton by five points. This, if true, is a remarkable swing of 16 points in just a month. These results are even replicated on a national stage. Last month in the New York Times/CBS poll Clinton led Sanders by 20 percentage points, that lead has been reduced to just seven a swing of 13 percentage points in a mere 30 days.
according to Quinnipiac, Sanders leads Clinton by five points
It seemed for a long time in this race that Hillary was going to win by default, not by any defining clash with Sanders over policy, or by superior marketing and branding (Bernie has been making history with the number of donations he has received) but by being protected. There have been just three Democratic debates so far, two of which have been on Saturday nights when they are likely to receive far fewer viewers, and one democratic forum which never pitted the candidates against each other. CNN even removed a poll on its website showing that Bernie Sanders won the first Democratic debate.
All the while, the American media has obstinately refused to give any more than cursory air time to the Democratic primary, preferring first to focus on Ben Carson’s surge and the insanity of his decline, and Donald Trump’s continuing and dangerous insanity. That Bernie Sanders has refused to take personal pot-shots or run negative advertisements has been ignored rather than heralded as how a campaign should be run. The in-depth policy speeches of Sanders on why he defines himself as a democratic socialist as opposed to a capitalist, a revolutionary statement in the American political sphere, have gone completely unnoticed.
that Bernie Sanders has refused to take personal pot-shots or run negative advertisements has been ignored
The race is still very close but the Sanders campaign has regained the momentum that has tailed off in recent months. With improving poll numbers though, and as he polls increasingly well against both Trump and Cruz, Bernie is looking once again like he could beat Clinton.
It looks like America is finally starting to ‘Feel the Bern’.
Featured image: Phil Roeder via flickr.com