The Growing Popularity of Bernie Sanders

By: Maggie Kovick

On September 13th, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of over 9,000 in Greensboro, North Carolina. The rally, originally organized to be held at a smaller location, had to move to the Greensboro Coliseum Complex due to massive crowd interest. The Coliseum is able to seat 5,000, and that it did. The crowd was so large, nearly 4,000 people had to be sent to the overflow room to watch a live broadcast of the Vermont Senator’s speech. Surprisingly, this separation had little effect on the energy of the diverse group. After each of Sander’s powerfully honest points about the state of the country, both the overflow room and main stadium erupted in uproarious symphonies of cheers and applause. Halfway through his address, Sanders paused to muse, “you’re a loud bunch, aren’t you!” The sentiment was met with yet another wave of clapping.

The majority of the attendees were young adults and college students, ranging from twenty to thirty years of age. The atmosphere of the crowd was youthful and passionate, and not once did the general opinion of the assembly disagree with Sanders. Seventy-four and still full of the same fiery activism he’s been known for throughout his political career, Sanders has caught the eye of the generation that will inherit its parent’s America, and all the turmoil that comes along with it. He speaks of solutions to problems that have eaten away at the country’s middle class, and the importance of human rights. For the young people anxious about cleaning up oil-stained money and a rapidly deteriorating environment, he is a breath of relief. Instead of begrudgingly voting for the lesser of two evils, millennials are now overjoyed to be presented with a candidate who isn't in it for the money or power: a“good” person. If fact, the vast majority of his campaign fund is made up of donations from real people (not large corporations or the Koch Brothers, such as other candidates’). Sanders attracts a specific demographic: those who have long term goals for America’s (hopefully) bright future.

As of late September, Sanders is being featured (and extremely well-received) on nationally recognized TV shows, such as the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He continues to attract lively crowds of thousands, and recent voting polls show that he is leading fellow Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in both New Hampshire and Iowa. Bernie Sanders’ following seems to be increasing exponentially, and through his popularity, American citizens are learning that the “American Dream” (you know, the one of equality, peace, uncompromised education, and subsequently, happiness) might not be so far out of reach.



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