Sanders has created another national grassroots campaign, but this time Iowa is his to lose.
There’s a candidate with a lot of momentum right now. It’s not Mayor Pete, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and it’s certainly not Joe “Nothing Will Fundamentally Change” Biden. It’s Bernie Sanders. Several polls from viable pollsters have Sanders surging in Iowa (and New Hampshire), pulling into virtual ties with Joe “Whywhywhywhywhy” Biden in multiple polls from Monmouth University. Now you’re probably saying, “Well, Brett, a tie in a few polls doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll win.” Fair point, but Sanders has a factor working in his favor. Back in the 2016 primary, Sanders consistently outperformed his polling numbers leading up to primaries. Two notable examples of this in 2016 came in Michigan and … Iowa. In fact, all but one poll leading up to the 2016 Iowa caucus saw Sanders losing to Hillary Clinton by as much as nine percentage points. Clinton only won the caucus by 0.25 percent. In Michigan, Sanders was down in the polls by as many as 20 percentage points. He won that primary by 1 percent.
Sanders seems to have the support of a group that pollsters don’t account for: young people. This election cycle, a young base seems energized enough to want to get Trump ousted out of the Oval Office. According to Emerson College Polling, 45 percent of people age 18–29 favor Sanders. The next closest is Elizabeth Warren at 22 percent, and Biden dwells near the cellar at 9 percent.
Even though the Senators in the race — Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar — have had to return to Capitol Hill for Trump’s impeachment trial, Sanders’s ground game is still rock solid. It’s also worth mentioning that Sanders reached 5,000,000 individual donations at the beginning of the year. No one else comes close to touching that number.
But that’s enough about momentum and polling numbers and overwhelming grassroots support, let’s talk about who’s getting attacked the most from mainstream media and popular figures. Spoiler alert: it’s still Sanders. Just last week, Hillary Clinton gave Sanders an anti-endorsement of sorts, saying, “Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney, and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.” Appropriately, #ilikeBernie trended on Twitter once that news broke. There was also the Warren-Sanders feud CNN tried to manufacture a couple weeks ago. Then on Thursday, Jan. 6, Biden said that Sanders “isn’t a registered Democrat.” I’ve never understood this critique because that basically means Biden said, “Bernie’s not willing to hide behind farcical partisan lines in the sand. He needs to fall in line with the rest of the herd.”
Bernie isn’t one to follow a herd. He never has. In 1991, he talked about the dangerous implications of the Gulf War to an empty House of Representatives. He’s the only presidential candidate to get arrested for fighting for Civil Rights in the ‘60s. He’s the only one to take Americans to Canada by bus to buy cheaper insulin. Is he flawless? I’m sure he’s not, but he’s always believed and fought for his principles in earnest. That’s why he’ll win Iowa.