BY CHRIS STEELE
Four years ago, Bernie Sanders surprised many people with his political success, now he is starting to turn many of those same heads again. The oldest presidential candidate is seizing the young heart of Iowans.
It became official today at 5:00 that Bernie Sanders has produced a strong showing at the Iowa Caucus and will now have a great deal of momentum going into the first primary in New Hampshire.
Sanders originally ran for the Democratic nominee in the 2016 election. He eventually fell short to the eventual nominee Hillary Clinton. Sanders has been affiliated with the Liberty Union, Independent and Democartic political parties since 1971. From 1971 to 1979 he was part of the Liberty Union, from 1979 to 2015 and again from 2016-2019 he was part of the Independent Party. In 2016, Sanders moved into the Democratic party and found a great deal of success. He left the party but returned in 2019 to announce that he’d be announcing his candidacy for the democratic nomination. Sanders has been the U.S. senator for Vermont since 2006, even throughout his changes in party affiliation.
In 2016, Sanders was a large advocate of many policies we see today have become mainstream in the democratic party. The policies of Medicare for all, an increase to a 15 dollar minimum wage and tuition. Many in the Democratic Party have now taken these policies and expanded upon them.
For many, they believe that it is time for Sanders to become the nominee and potentially beat President Trump. They also understand that just because he has won the caucuses, does not mean that the bid to get Sanders in office is over yet.
“We know that when we fight today to get Bernie Sanders to be our president that that fight doesn’t end there,” said representative Ilhan Omar at a Bernie Sanders Rally in Cedar Rapids on February 1st, 2020. “We have to make sure that we continue our mobilization in order to be able to implement many of the policies that [are] going to get us that better America.”
A large spike in support for Sanders for many is due to the fact that although he may not have received the highest office ranking between the candidates like Vice President Biden, he has potentially the most appealing plan to supporters.
“I only want someone to win the Democratic nomination if they can beat Donald Trump in the election,” said 22 year old Lancaster, Ohio native, Maya Cox. “I know that Joe (Biden) has been in office before, but Bernie is talking about how he will beat Trump and what he’s going to do after he wins the White House. Joe has mostly been talking about just beating Trump, that’s fine but I still want someone who is going to make change in there, not just win.”
A large part to the success Bernie has been exhibiting is due to his outreach to the younger generations. For many, he is appealing to them because of his new ideas that many consider to be “radical.”
“Coming out of high school I decided I was going to attend the University of Pittsburgh of tuition was so high and my student loan interest was so steep that at the end of graduation there was no way I was going to be able to pay it all off. I decided it was best to just drop out and work at home instead,” said Johnathan Kauffman of Arnold, Pennsylvania. “I’m supporting Bernie because he is going to erase all my debt and going to give people like me who can’t afford college to go back and finish their degrees without going broke.”
It is apparent that Senator Sanders had a very strong showing in Iowa for the Democratic Caucus and with his strong support from his friends, family and voters, he will continue to look forward to the rest of his campaign in search of becoming the Democratic nominee and future president of the United States.