Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 am - 12 pm

The Sanders Effect: Why more and more Democrats are feeling the ‘Bern’

A photo of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
A photo of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Listen to story

Download this story 8MB

While the news media continues to play “Guess what Donald Trump said this time?” Bernie Sanders has quietly been climbing the Democratic polls in the background.

Real Clear Politics’ average of all the polls still has him 25 percentage points behind Hillary Clinton, but the movement for and support behind the crazy-haired, sometimes crotchety Vermont Senator has been climbing slowly since last year.

A self-proclaimed socialist, Sanders has gained more than 16 percentage points since October of last year, more than any other Democratic candidate, and has been the most interesting in an otherwise unsurprising Democratic field.

Monday night, Sanders spoke at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and stuck to his platform, discussing economic reform and income inequality in front of a crowd of more than 27,000. He also spoke about immigration, and had an immigrants rights activist speak on the issue as well.

For many Democrats for whom Hillary Clinton is too moderate, Sanders is a refreshing  change from mainstream liberals.

What is ‘The Sanders Effect?’ That is to say, why is such an unorthodox candidate so popular among Democrats? What do you think has contributed to his rise in the polls? Does he stand a realistic chance of competing with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination?


Matt Dickinson, professor of political science at Middlebury College and author of the blog "Presidential Power"