Bernie Sanders: A Viable Threat Finally Recognized

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., lifts his arms in celebration as he speaks at a rally, Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015, at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Troy Wayrynen)

Bernie has been gaining in momentum for a while now, for anyone who has been tracking his campaign’s upward trend these past few months. That is why it was only a matter of time, as long as he and his supporters kept up, that he would soon enough be recognized as a potential threat to the “inevitable candidate,” as he called Hillary Cilnton, something that would appear shocking to those not closely following the campaign’s energy and momentum, carried heavily by millennials.

Bernie currently leads Clinton in New Hampshire and is within margin of error with Clinton in Iowa, two early and important indicators of the nation’s favorability to potentially electing the parties’ eventual nominees.

Despite refusing to take money from any super-PACs, political action committees that spend over $2,600 on influencing federal elections by helping fund campaigns, Sanders still has managed to receive a record-shattering 2.5-million contributions, finishing off the last year with $73 million, with the average donation being under $30. Comparing this to Hillary’s ties with establishment politics and frequent help from Wall Street, Sanders and his supporters have become increasingly vocal about their ability to stir the American populace without relying on big money donations. Contrast this with Clinton selling seats to large fundraising dinners for over $5,000 apiece.

These striking differences are going to become even more apparent in the coming weeks. Yet despite opportunities for personal attacks, whether they be over Hillary’s emails or Ted Cruz’s eligibility, Sanders has maintained a focus on policy-based remarks, something that appears refreshing to a generation simply saturated, desensitized, and honestly nauseated by obligatory and empty political jargon or ad hominem attacks.

One of the most striking aspects of this campaign was the lack of public visibility it is receiving, particularly by the corporate media. This has been heavily scrutinized, especially given the kind of coverage candidates are currently receiving (meaning constant Trump coverage, something that would almost inevitably help TV ratings). This has only been solidified by the fact that despite similarly impassioned (yet a bit kinder) rallies, Sanders has been able to rile up a momentum that is comparable to Trump’s empire; yet Trump continues to get 23 times the coverage Bernie currently gets.

It is refreshing, and bluntly about time, that major news coverage began taking the Sanders campaign the visibility that it deserves (looking at you The New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN). Despite record contributions and energetic rallies, one of the most important factors will ultimately be the voter turnout in the primaries, and it is finally time for the millennial voice to be heard.

This article was written by Amar Ojha, founder and writer at dusk magazine.

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