Trailing Bernie: Sanders down big in upcoming states

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is trailing Democratic presidential primary rival Hillary Clinton by double-digits in 10 of the 12 states to hold nominating contests between March 1 and March 8.

Public Policy Polling released polling data Wednesday showing that Sanders, the Vermont senator, is ahead of the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady in Vermont and Massachusetts. In Vermont, Sanders leads by a whopping 76 percentage points — 86 percent to 10 percent — over Clinton.

But Clinton has the upper hand in the upcoming southern states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. In each of those states Clinton has a comfortable lead of at least 22 percentage points and as high as 34 percentage points.

Clinton also holds smaller leads in Michigan and Oklahoma.

The large leads are due, in part, to “overwhelming African American support.” According to poll results, Clinton leads Sanders by at least a 40 percent margin among black voters in nine of the states that have more black voters than the national average.

Voters also favor Clinton on a few key issues. Voters gave Clinton at least a 31 point advantage in every state except Vermont when asked who they trust most to be commander in chief. She had at least a 36 point advantage in every state except Vermont over Sanders on women’s issues. Sanders also trailed Clinton by double digits in every state except Vermont on improving race relations.

The two candidates will next face voters in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday and again on Feb. 27 in the South Carolina primary.

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The primary battle in South Carolina is focused on the African American vote. Both Sanders and Clinton have sought to shore up support with black voters, who make up a majority of the Democratic primary electorate there. Clinton has touted her endorsement from the Congressional Black Caucus, including Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon.

It was Lewis who said at the endorsement announcement that he did not remember Sanders from the civil rights struggle in the 1960s. But unearthed archival footage from Chicago in 1963 may help boost Sanders’ case with black voters.

WGNtv.com aired archival footage from a 1963 student protest of racism in schools and housing that appears to show the arrest of a young Bernie Sanders.

“It was definitely Bernie … though there’s a lot of talk about, ‘Is this Bernie or is this not Bernie?’” Jerry Temaner, the filmmaker who shot the video 53 years ago, told WGN.

The Sanders campaign has not commented on the video footage, but it could help burnish Sanders’ credentials among black voters.

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Citing a story in The New York Times Wednesday, the Sanders campaign on Thursday suggested Thursday that Wall Street donors are now running Clinton’s campaign.

The Times reported on a meeting Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook held with Clinton’s big donors at the Wall Street office of Marc Lasry, an investor and Clinton donor. The gathered donors were briefed on the state of the campaign and offered suggestions on how to run against Sanders.

Among the suggestions, according to The Times, is to attack Sanders’ “unrealistic proposals” and to note that all his positions are based on problems caused by “millionaires and billionaires.”

“Not surprisingly those are exactly the attacks that the Clinton campaign is now dutifully lobbing,” the Sanders campaign said in a press release Thursday.

Sanders’ campaign has repeatedly assailed Clinton for her close ties to Wall Street.

“One of the biggest differences between our campaigns is that Bernie’s campaign does not take its marching orders from Wall Street and big-money donors,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said. “It’s shameful that the Clinton campaign is parroting attacks at Sen. Sanders that The New York Times has documented come right from her big-money backers. Now we are beginning to get a glimpse into what goes on in all those closed door meetings with Wall Street interests.”

The Times also reported that Clinton’s donors at the meeting also wanted the Clinton campaign to highlight her support from small donors. Sanders’s campaign has been fueled by small donors, which accounted for about 74 percent of contributions last year. Meanwhile, about 17 percent of Clinton’s contributions came from small donations in 2015.

Sanders campaign noted that 60 percent of Clinton’s contributions came from donors who reached the $2,700 contribution limit.

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