Bernie Sanders Won the South Carolina Debate


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has always dominated the unscientific online polls and done well in many focus groups that have asked debate viewers who won the Democratic primary debates. However, the mainstream political pundits and talking heads have overwhelmingly declared Hillary Sanders the winner. Following last night’s debate in South Carolina, Sanders again won the online polls and a prominent focus group of undecided voters. One major difference this time around–many prominent commentators declared Bernie Sanders the winner.

While I have been unabashedly a big fan of Senator Sanders, I have had to acknowledge that Hillary Clinton’s debate performances have been extremely strong. Regardless of how you feel about the former First Lady, it is obvious that she is extremely smart, is very knowledgeable on every political issue and is a formidable debate opponent. Hillary Clinton has gone toe-to-toe with Barack Obama and has a ton of experience on the pressure-filled national stage.

Many Sanders’ supporters have complained about the limited number of debates and the fact that the debates have been scheduled during inconvenient times on weekends and around some holidays and major sporting events. I have come to believe that Hillary Clinton’s performances in debates were so strong that the Democratic establishment had made a mistake in scheduling very few debates as the debates accentuate the frontrunner’s strengths. To the contrary, the DNC may have had the feeling that the anti-establishment Sanders would gain confidence as he got more national debates under his belt.

Last night’s debate was certainly Sen. Sanders best showing yet and if he continues to improve in debates, he will only become a bigger danger to the so-called “inevitable” Democratic establishment candidate. Bernie Sanders has already captured the hearts and minds of the progressive base of the Democratic Party and has been climbing in the polls, especially in Iowa and New Hampshire, while being dismissed by many mainstream political pundits. If the mainstream media continues to acknowledge the strength of the Sanders campaign, he may just pull off one of the biggest political upsets of all time.


Anthony Johnson

Anthony, a longtime cannabis law reform advocate, was Chief Petitioner and co-author of Measure 91, Oregon's cannabis legalization effort. He served as director of both the New Approach Oregon and Vote Yes on 91 PACs, the political action committees responsible for the state's legalization campaign. As director of New Approach Oregon, Anthony continues to work towards effectively implementing the cannabis legalization system while protecting small business owners and the rights of patients. He sits on the Oregon Marijuana Rules Advisory Committee and fights for sensible rules at the legislature as well as city councils and county commissions across the state. Anthony helps cannabis business comply with Oregon's laws and advises advocates across the country. He also serves as content director of both the International Cannabis Business Conference and the Oregon Marijuana Business Conference, helping share the vision of moving the cannabis industry forward in a way that maintains the focus on keeping people out of prison and protecting patients. He was a member of the Oregon Health Authority Rules Advisory Committee, assisting the drafting of the administrative rules governing Oregon’s state-licensed medical marijuana facilities. He first co-authored and helped pass successful marijuana law reform measures while a law student at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. He passed the Oregon Bar in 2005 and practiced criminal defense for two years before transitioning to working full-time in the political advocacy realm. His blogs on Marijuana Politics are personal in nature and don't speak for or reflect the opinions of any group or organization.