Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the US President is well and truly launched. The media are now treating him as a serious challenger after he held Hillary Clinton to a draw in Iowa yesterday.
It’s now a two horse race. The radical versus the establishment candidate. Sanders funded by donations from 3 million Americans. Clinton campaigning on corporate money. Sanders addressing rallies of thousands of enthusiastic young voters. Clinton drawing support from a more conservative older age group.
Most commentators predict Sanders will win in New Hampshire and then stumble in states with a bigger Black and Latino population. But these pundits are missing a crucial thing. The more Black and Latino voters are exposed to Sanders’ message – as they will be now – the more they will see that he is the candidate best addressing their concerns. Free education, free health, a higher minimum wage, reducing the prison population: all these measures tend to benefit non-whites more than whites. Sanders already has a good voting base to build from. Last month’s
New York Times/CBS poll
showed Sanders with 27% of the non-white vote, compared with 59% for Clinton.
The media establishment has consistently under-estimated the momentum of the Sanders campaign. Last May he was
written off by the commentators
are a Quinipiac poll had him on 15% in Iowa, against Clinton’s 60%. By last night that had all changed.
The Sanders insurgency is having an effect around the world, inspiring people with its strong progressive message. It will help the left in New Zealand too, and erode support for our “Hillary Clinton”, Mr John Key.