While much of the media attention has focused on Republicans following their first debate, Democratic 2016 contender Bernie Sanders continues rolling along drawing huge crowds of enthusiastic supporters. At this point in the cycle, drawing 27,000 people plus an overflow room is a big deal for any candidate not named Donald Trump.
Report from The Hill:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) attracted another huge crowd at a rally for his presidential campaign in Los Angeles on Monday night.
The Sanders campaign, citing Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena officials, said 27,500 people were inside the venue or in an overflow area outside to hear Sanders speak.
Actress and comedienne Sarah Silverman introduced Sanders at the event.
“I give you, if we’re all very smart and a little bit lucky, the next president of the United States,” she said, according to remarks provided by the campaign.
Monday night’s event caps a three-day West Coast swing for Sanders that saw him pull record crowds.
On Sunday night, 28,000 people attended a Sanders rally in Portland, the largest crowd so far for any political event in the 2016 cycle.
On Saturday, an estimated 15,000 people turned out to see Sanders in Seattle.
Sanders also landed his first major union endorsement on the trip, with National Nurses United announcing Monday they would back his Democratic bid for the White House.
Hillary Clinton maintains a huge lead over Sanders in national polls and remains the heavy favorite to win the party’s nomination.
In national polls, Sanders still trails by some 25 points on average. However, when you examine the state polls, he has made some meaningful inroads, especially in New Hampshire where is only behind Hillary Clinton by seven points on average.
Crowds and enthusiasm can bring media attention, but they don’t always translate into votes. Just ask President Ron Paul. That is by no means a slam against Senator Sanders, it’s just that the enthusiasm among his supporters hasn’t yet been matched by his support in the polls. As the summer continues, he may hit a ceiling or he may break through into the top tier to make a serious run against Hillary Clinton. Only time will tell.