Bernie Sanders getting bigger crowds than expected in important Iowa

The Senator from Vermont was expected to be a non-factor in presidential race

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Bernie Sanders spoke on Saturday in Kensett, Iowa, where he drew the population of the town plus some. Kensett has just 240 residents, but 300 people came out to listen to Mr Sanders speak.

Kensett is not an isolated incident for Mr Sanders, who was at-most expected to pull Hillary Clinton to the left. But the registered Independent senator from Vermont has shown a surprising following in his nascent presidential campaign.

Mr Sanders drew 700 people to a campaign event last week in Davenport, Iowa, the single largest political event in Iowa for any candidate this year. Martin O’Malley, the former Maryland governor who was supposed to be a more direct challenger of Mrs Clinton, held a rally in Davenport Saturday that drew only 50 people, the New York Times reported.

The growing crowds showing up for Mr Sanders have not gone unnoticed by the Democratic political establishment in Iowa. After the event in Kensett on Saturday, the county chairman for the Democratic Party texted the Iowa political director for Mrs Clinton’s campaign, who immediately called back.

“Objects in your rearview mirror are closer than they appears,” Kurt Meyer told the Times he said to the Mrs Clinton’s political director. “Mrs Clinton had better get out here.”

Iowa’s importance lies in that it holds the first US caucuses, the first major electoral event of the nominating process for president.

Despite garnering more attention than he was expected to, Mr Sanders faces an uphill battle to match Mrs Clinton in political might. Mr Sanders said recently, “One of the problems we’re having is things are moving so fast our infrastructure hasn’t kept up with our political reality.”


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