Bernie Sanders Draws Big Crowds For Milton High Rally
by Caleb Rhodes on Thursday, March 10th, 2016
The 2016 Presidential race has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. On the Republican side, a 17 person field has transformed into a four-man race. Donald Trump, the surprising leader, is followed by Senator Cruz, Senator Rubio, and Governor Kasich. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders remained in a tight race up until last Tuesday, March 1st. Today, Bernie Sanders is a fan favorite, but, one year ago, no one expected him to even get close to Hillary. On January 12, 2015, he was polling at 4%, compared to Hillary’s seemingly insurmountable 60.8%. Fast forward to February 2016, and Sanders has peaked in a Huffington Post poll at 40.5% versus Hillary’s 49.5%.
In order to keep up momentum, Bernie Sanders had to have a good showing on Super Tuesday. Super Tuesday is a quintessential moment in both partys’ primary races, when 11 states hold Republican primaries and 12 states and territories hold Democratic primaries, including Massachusetts. This one day of the election cycle is enough to make or break a campaign. This year’s Super Tuesday, for example, ended Ben Carson’s campaign, according to an NPR article. For Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts was a must-win state because he trailed Hillary by 8% going into election day, according to a recent Boston Globe poll. By chance, Bernie’s Massachusetts rally was at Milton High School, just a brisk walk down Centre Street.
The proximity of this event gave Milton students, especially many juniors and seniors who will be able to vote in the upcoming election, an opportunity to engage in American politics. While many claim that individual votes do not matter in Massachusetts, Sanders takes a different view. In a Boston Globe article, he states, “Your state led the American Revolution, and now it’s time to lead the political revolution.” According to him and his democratic socialist ideology, winning Massachusetts would have symbolized America’s readiness to revolutionize itself, even if for Milton students the rally was really more of an opportunity to wet their political feet.
JP Schuster (II), who was pictured on Boston gleefully shaking Bernie’s hands in the front row, said, “Overall, I thought [the event] was a fun experience, and that it is always good to take advantage of an opportunity to hear more about politics and key issues currently happening in America. However, I did feel that Bernie’s rally was somewhat dull and recycled, but the crowd’s optimism made it memorable.”
Coalter Palmer (II) also noted that “Bernie has a tendency to repeat the same things over and over again; but to me, this isn’t a bad thing. Just a couple months ago, Bernie had almost no name recognition, but now I think that his primary objective is to spread his message and ideas and really let people know what he stands for. He is still trying to reach people that instinctively vote for Hillary, even though they know very little about Bernie. The part of the rally that struck me the most was the enthusiasm and power of the coalition he has made practically out of thin air.”
The optimism and enthusiasm both Coalter and JP discuss came across in the ballot box. Although Sanders lost by 1.4%— a win considering that he was down by 8% heading into voting—the New York Times reported that he finished only one delegate behind Hillary. The Times also described how in Methuen, Massachusetts, his passionate voters helped him edge victory 3,409 votes to 3,408. He may have lost in Milton 3,871 to 3,196 and lost Super Tuesday as a whole, but his rally gave Milton students the opportunity to show their support and share their voices.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=7791