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Bernie Sanders Draws Record 10,000 to Wisconsin Rally

Bernie Sanders Draws Record 10,000 to Wisconsin Rally
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 02 July 2015 07:58 AM

Some 10,000 people packed the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin,  to hear Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 73-year-old self-described Democratic socialist accustomed to drawing double-digit crowds, speak of his plans for America.

"Tonight we have made a little bit of history," the underdog independent, who represents a state of 626,562, told the energetic crowd Wednesday. "Tonight we have more people at any meeting for a candidate of president of the United States than any other candidate."

During his hourlong speech, Sanders touted an agenda that includes a $15-an-hour minimum wage, a single-payer healthcare system, expanded Social Security benefits, debt-free college, tax hikes for the wealthy, and a "massive government-led jobs program to fix roads and bridges," according to The Guardian.

"The big money interests — Wall Street, corporate America, all of these guys — have so much power that no president can defeat them unless there is an organized grassroots movement making them an offer they can’t refuse," Sanders said.

He mentioned his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, just once, according to CNN, when he told his raucous supporters that his campaign "is not about Bernie Sanders, it is not about Hillary Clinton, it is not about anyone else, it is about you!"

Sanders has seen a steady rise in his popularity. In a Suffolk University poll in New Hampshire last month, he trailed Clinton by just 10 percentage points. The former secretary of state had the support of 41 percent of voters, with Sanders at 31 percent, "suggesting that by of the time the primary rolls around in eight months, he could pose a serious challenge," according to The New York Times.

The crux of his support comes from liberals and men.

In the Granite State, Sanders far outperformed Vice President Joe Biden, who is not an announced candidate, as well as former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee, a former governor and U.S. senator from Rhode Island. Those three received 7 percent, 3 percent and 1 percent support, respectively.

Sanders drew hoots and hollers when he took aim at Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is soon expected to announce his candidacy, according to CNN.

"When you deny the right of workers to come together in collective bargaining, that's extremism," said Sanders, a reference to Walker’s tough stance against state labor unions. "When you tell a woman that she cannot control her own body, that's extremism."

He imparted to the crowd that his campaign would be undeterred by its underdog status.

"I am more than aware that my opponents will be able to outspend us," he said. "But we are going to win this election. They may have the money, but we have the people. And when the people stand together, we can win."

Watch the video here.

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Some 10,000 people packed a Madison, Wisconsin, coliseum Wednesday night to hear Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 73-year-old self-described Democratic socialist accustomed to drawing double-digit crowds, speak of his plans for America.
bernie sanders, wisconsin, unions, hillary, liberals
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2015-58-02
Thursday, 02 July 2015 07:58 AM
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