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The Blue & Gray Press | October 23, 2017

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Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders rises in the polls

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders rises in the polls

By ANDY UNGER

A few months ago, the entire nation was under the assumption that
Hillary Clinton would be the next Democratic nominee for the 2016
election cycle. Today, that assumption no longer holds true.

For another candidate, the underdog as he is known, is surging upwards
in the polls and into the hearts of many liberals.

Bernie Sanders, while relatively unknown, has a long history in U.S.
politics. For instance, he was the mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s
largest city, from 1981 to 1989, where he served four terms before
claiming a seat in the House of Representatives in 1990. Further into
his career, in 2006, he became a member of the Senate.

These experiences led him to his announcement of his presidential run
as a member of the Democratic Party in April of 2015. This came as a
surprise to many, as he was registered as an independent during his
time in Congress.

Sanders bases his platform on economic reform and social equality,
which are causes he has championed since his political career began in
Vermont more than 30 years ago.

However, because Sanders did not take an official stance on police
brutality against minorities, a 2015 Gallop poll showed low support
from African American and Latino voters, while results for Clinton
showed high support from women.

In an attempt to challenge Sanders’ inability to represent minorities,
protesters from the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted his
campaign rally held on August 10 in Seattle, Washington.

During the rally the protesters asked for a 4 minute and 30 seconds
moment of silence for Michael Brown. Sanders left the rally quickly
after the protesters were finished, which made it seem as if he held
some disregard for what they had to say.

However, in response to these actions, not only did Sanders unveil a
new page on his website dedicated to talk about his stance on racial
inequality, but according to the International Business Times, he was
endorsed by black civil rights activist, Cornel West.

Another roadblock for Sanders is that the percentage of people
familiar with his campaign are significantly lower than that of
Clinton, which has led to a higher level of support for her in the
polls.

Sanders needs to get his name out there. His policies target
inequality in the system, but his message has not reached the very
people he would help.

I never thought I would find myself supporting a 73-year-old,
frazzle-haired white man for president in my first election, but here
I am.

Further, according to the Huffington Post, key swing states such as
Iowa, Virginia and New Hampshire are quickly turning his way.

Though back in April, Hilary led by 64 points, according to a CNN
poll. Now, only four months later, that lead is down to a third of
what it was, and the primaries are not for another six months.

In fact, a Quinnipiac poll pointed out that Hillary has “markedly
negative favorability ratings” in these states, which could result in
Sanders favor.

I personally support Bernie Sanders wholeheartedly because of his
positive stance towards women’s rights, and his ideas for economic
reform, such as putting a sales tax on stock and putting the tax money
towards free higher education.

His ideas look to me like some of the best changes we could implement
in America. But if this campaign has taught me anything, it is that
the status quo can change in a heartbeat.