Quinn Johnson, Staff Writer
September 18, 2015
As the 2016 presidential campaign gets underway, many eyes are turning from expected Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to another candidate.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is climbing in the polls along with support for current Vice President Joe Biden, while Clinton’s support seems to be wavering.
But despite the rise in supporters for Sanders, polls taken in the first two weeks of September show him between 10 and 27 percent behind Clinton.
Sanders aims to spark a political revolution targeted against the one percent and billionaire class by demanding answers to questions regarding education systems, prison systems, college tuition and solving racial and economic disparities, to name a few.
“He (speaks) about domestic issues, mainly beating the drum for an increase in the efficiency and investment in the education system, the downsizing of the prison-system, (etc.),” said senior Noah McDonald in an email interview with The Guilfordian.
Sanders put his words into action on Sept. 4 when he joined a picket line with union workers outside of the Penford Products plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
“We are sick and tired of the war against working families,” said Sanders to workers in the picket line.
Workers at the plant, along with the union that represents them, have plunged into a rancorous contract dispute with the new out-of-state owner of the plant.
“(Sanders) is obviously appealing to the more liberal side of the Democratic Party,” said Morris Johnson, an AP U.S. History teacher for the Early College at Guilford.
“You’ve got to have labor unions on your side if you have a chance to win, so getting on a picket line helps build his credibility as a man of the people, and also build his credibility with labor unions.”
Sanders is continuing with his whistle-stop campaign in Greensboro.
The candidate joined with local leaders on Sunday, Sept. 13, in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to hold a rally and discuss the major issues facing our country.
“He proposed the creation of a massive public jobs program that will repair infrastructure on a national scale as well as taxing ‘Wall Street speculation,’” said McDonald. “He also emphasized the ‘grotesque’ income inequality in the United States more than a handful of times.
“His speech was notable lacking any discussion of the military industrial complex. He did not speak on foreign affairs a single time.”
There are many doubts as to whether Sanders’ recent campaign actions will bridge the gap in polls between him and Clinton.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Robert Duncan believes they will not.
“I like what he says, but he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance,” said Duncan. “He would have to have a lot of money, and they’ve already committed to Hillary and some of the other spenders.”
Concerns over the politeness and decency displayed in the political strategies of both Sanders and Biden also give Clinton the upper hand.
“Hillary is more of a political animal than a populist,” said Duncan. “She wants to do the same things that need to be done, but she’s got the savvy and the smarts to get it done. I don’t think Bernie does.”
Sanders’ reluctance to target other politicians may also hurt his chances of winning the Democratic nomination, according to Early College senior Pratham Chhabria.
“If Bernie Sanders really needs to succeed, he needs to target the failure of politicians, being honest,” said Chhabria.
Though nobody knows what will really happen in the remaining year before the election, sides are being chosen and voters influenced by who may be the next leader of this country.