I don’t have to tell you this is an odd election year. Nearly all the interest is on the GOP side, and nearly all that interest is either pro- or anti-Trump. But we do have other candidates. OH, and a whole other party!
The news this weekend is that Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders is also participating in the year’s oddness. Not only is he not really a Democrat, but he’s not acting like one, either. That is, he’s going to typically Republican strongholds.
Tonight, he went to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Those of us from Michigan will tell you, it’s been a Dutch Reformed, very conservative area. Yet, there he is.
The reason is that Bernie does best with young voters, and Grand Valley State University is just west of Grand Rapids, according to MLive:
Tonight, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will make a rare primary-season stop in West Michigan – rallying supporters right in the heart of one of Michigan’s most politically conservative counties.
“He’s picking his venue pretty carefully,” said Erika King, a political science professor at Grand Valley State University, where Sanders is scheduled to hold a 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, rally in the fieldhouse on the school’s Allendale campus. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
“He’s looking for particular demographic groupings rather than geography. He understands that college students are a wonderful source of potential voters, and also a guaranteed large throng to show up. It’s a wonderful media backdrop.”
Sixteen months ago, Ottawa voters favored Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder by a 3-to-1 margin over the Democratic nominee Mark Schauer, and they haven’t elected a Democratic county commissioner in 80 years. Even moderate Republicans sometimes get little love in Ottawa, where GOP primary voters in 2012 opted for presidential candidate Rick Santorum by a wide margin.
Speaking of seeing Bernie as someone “who boldly goes where no one has gone before,” how about a Democrat going to a Fox News town hall?
Politico says Bernie will be there, alongside Hillary Clinton who just recently announced she’ll also join the Fox News town hall after first turning it down, according to CNN:
Hillary Clinton has agreed to join Bernie Sanders at a Fox News town hall on Monday night.
“This will mark Clinton’s first appearance on FNC in two years,” the network said in a press release Friday night.
Clinton’s move might surprise some people, considering the relentlessly critical coverage she has received from some of the top hosts and pundits at the network.
The town hall will be moderated by Bret Baier, the network’s chief political anchor, during a special edition of his 6 p.m. newscast “Special Report.”
Baier has also served as co-moderator for the network’s three Republican presidential debates.
There have been some grumblings about the Democratic party’s unwillingness to hold a full-fledged debate with Fox News. A town hall is the next best thing.
It will be interesting to see how Bernie does on Fox. My guess is that they will treat him nicely since they don’t get many opportunities with Democratic candidates. The fact that Hillary Clinton also agreed to appear, after initially turning it down, speaks to the importance of reaching out to an expanded bloc of voters.