Presidential candidate for 2016, Bernie Sanders, recently scored a seemingly major win for his campaign, as he came within eight points of Hillary Clinton in a Wisconsin Democratic Convention straw poll. However, he has a tough road ahead of him if he’s going to win the Democratic nomination, because while many Americans agree with his message, Clinton is a Goliath of an opponent and it may be difficult to claim a victory over her.
A piece by Harry Enten, a senior political writer and analyst for the website FiveThirtyEight, explains the problems with Sanders’ recent victory perfectly in saying that, “A few more highly motivated Democrats in Wisconsin cast their lot with Clinton than with Sanders. That’s it. Conventions by their nature attract the truly hard-core party faithful, so this is the perfect environment for a very liberal candidate like Sanders to do well. In addition, less than 40 percent of the more than 1,300 delegates who attended the convention even voted. We’re talking about a sliver of a sliver. It was in no way a random sample — or even a particularly meaningful sample.”
The straw poll was conducted on Democratic convention goers, who, traditionally, are the party’s faithful and most committed members – who also tend to lean far to the left of typical Democratic voters – so, it was already common knowledge that Sanders would have the support of a significant part of the super-liberal base for the Democratic Party.
According to the website Real Clear Politics, Sanders still trails significantly behind Clinton in most of the nation. Polls in Iowa show him trailing by an average of 46 points and, in New Hampshire, Clinton has an average lead of 28 points.
If Sanders is going to win the nomination, and eventually the presidency, he is going to need a strong grassroots campaign effort to put a meaningful dent in the lead Hillary Clinton has on him. Either the message Sanders is putting forth has to capture the attention of everyday voters, or he’ll go the way of Herman Cain and just become another short-term “fad” candidate.