Saturday, September 5, 2015

Can Bernie beat Hillary in Iowa?

That's the question posed in this report from Dan Roberts, Washington Bureau chief for The Guardian (h/t TruthDig). Sanders now trails Clinton by just 7 points (30 to 37) and there is no sign that he will "flame out" or that his following is shrinking. Quite the contrary.

... despite the overwhelming consensus in Washington that his campaign will ultimately flame out much like that of [Howard] Dean, when Sanders talks about what he will do when he is in the White House, there is a feeling in the crowd that this is not such a laughable idea.

"When we stand together we win because there are a helluva lot more of us than there are of them," concludes the Vermont insurgent. "We have a very simple message to the billionaire class: you cannot have it all."

And working-class folks in Iowa are listening and responding positively to his message.

"More and more people are waking up to the fact that middle-class people are really struggling," says Tom Gross, a 58-year-old former power plant worker from nearby Amana who travelled to the Grinnell rally. "This is the middle of the country, you’d think it would be hardcore conservative, but he’s turning out the people."

His partner, Carmen Grimm, a 57-year-old pharmacy technician, also sums up the Sanders appeal to millennials and their parents.

"I have two sons and part of what Bernie speaks to me about is how concerned I am about their ability in today’s economy to pay off their student loans," she says. "How they will ever – not even really get ahead – but just do a little more than stay afloat."

"Bernie is Bernie, he’s down to earth and he’s not for special interests," explains Chris Uhlenhopp, a 67-year-old former labourer at the nearby Maytag appliances factory, which once employed 2,000 people. "I won’t go from Bernie to Hillary," he adds. "I’d stay in bed if we had Hillary [on general election day]."

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