Buoyed by a recent poll showing a ten point lead over Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator is making his case for the nomination in his stronghold of New Hampshire. Helped by a geographical proximity and a primary voting process that has a strong independent vote, Sanders has long led the polls in the Granite State. Without a doubt, Sanders’ bid depends upon a New Hampshire victory and, most likely, a victory in Iowa as well. Pulling off a slight upset in Iowa, followed by a strong New Hampshire victory, could make the Democratic nomination very interesting.
The National Journal reports:
With voting set to begin in just seven weeks, the senator from Vermont on Monday told several dozen students and faculty at Nashua Community College that he has a real shot against Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and that recent surveys prove it.
“We started with no money, no political organization. We started at 3, 4, 5 percent in the polls,” Sanders said. “I just came back from Iowa, which will hold the first caucus in the country. We’re in single digits behind Secretary Clinton. We can win Iowa, and I think we have a good chance to do that. Last poll out of here in New Hampshire had us in the lead. I think we stand a good chance to win here in New Hampshire. And if we can win in Iowa, and if can win in New Hampshire, we have a real path toward victory, to pulling off one of the major political upsets in the history of our country.”
He warned his audience that the elections will turn on how many young people show up at the polls. “I want you to tell your friends who are not voting, that that’s not very sensible,” he said. “People have fought and died to preserve American democracy. We owe it to them to seriously engage in the important issues facing our country.”
Turnout of young voters will certainly be key. Progressive change is less likely to occur if younger voters, really the voters with the most at stake, are energized and engaged. Young people feel the brunt of disastrous policies, such as the Drug War here at home and foreign wars abroad. The intrusion upon civil liberties are more likely to be felt by young people, particularly those of color and living in poverty. Bernie Sanders has called for the best policies regarding civil liberties in the Democratic primary, from marijuana legalization to criminal justice reform to avoiding unnecessary wars around the globe. Here’s hoping that people across the country start thinking like the independent-minded folks in New Hampshire, their motto is “Live Free or Die“.
(Featured photo credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)