By State Representative, Leon D. Young
It was supposed to be a presidential coronation, and the nomination an absolute certainty, but a funny thing happened on the way to the office: Bernie Sanders has been giving the prohibitive favorite, Hillary Clinton, a real run for her money.
To illustrate the point, just last weekend, Sanders continued his political insurgency by winning lopsided victories in three caucus contests: Washington State, Alaska and Hawaii.
While results in those western states barely dented Clinton’s sizable delegate lead and supremacy among super delegates, Sanders’ wins underscores her persistent vulnerabilities within her own political base, particularly with young voters and liberal activists who have been inspired by her rival’s unapologetically liberal message.
Interestingly enough, Candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest unfavorable ratings of any presidential race frontrunners since 1984, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll conducted March 17-20 via telephone.
Trump and Clinton’s unfavorable ratings currently hover at 57 percent and 52 percent, respectively.
The voters’ disaffection with Donald Trump is evident and understandable, but why are so many Democratic and Independent voters disinclined about Hillary Clinton’s candidacy?
That’s the real question. In truth, Clinton possesses a number liabilities that undermines her as a candidate.
For example, she usually comes across as stiff and inauthentic on the campaign stump. This, in turn, has made it difficult for her to connect with audiences and voters.
In addition, Clinton has been dogged for years with doubts about her authenticity, raising legitimate questions about whether she can be trusted. Perhaps, Clinton’s biggest shortcoming is her struggle to put forth an exciting vision about what she would stand for in the White House.
Voters, generally, thirst for signs of greatness when they pick their presidents.
Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, has no such problem connecting with voters.
If he were to win the general election, he would be the oldest person to be elected president.
And, unlike Hillary, his campaign events literally draw thousands of adoring voters and supporters.
Sanders has demonstrated the ability to inspire the individuals who come to hear him speak, and implores them repeatedly to join him in a political revolution.
On the campaign stump, he rails against Wall Street and billionaires who don’t pay their fair share. Moreover, he stands firmly committed to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and providing free college tuition. Initially given little to no chance of upsetting the Democratic juggernaut, Hillary Clinton, Sanders insists he’s in this presidential campaign for the long haul.
And remarkably, he has succeeded in raising over $140 million from small individual donations primarily.
It appears obvious that millions of voters are now Feeling the Bern. Wisconsin voters will have their chance to weigh in on April 5 and, according to the polls, it’s neck-and-neck between Bernie and Hillary.