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Time To Take Sanders Seriously


yahoo articleThe following is an excerpt from Matt Bal | January 14, 2016 | Yahoo.com |

Some polls have Bernie Sanders overtaking Hillary Clinton in Iowa and opening up a double-digit lead in New Hampshire. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

After I wrote about the twisted codependency of Donald Trump and the media a few weeks back, some readers got in touch to complain that the attention paid to Trump had all but obscured the rise of Bernie Sanders. In an interview with CNN that week, Sanders himself made the same point, referring to a report that claimed network news shows had devoted 234 minutes to Trump and only 10 to his campaign. (Yes, 10 – for the entire year.)

Judging from what’s happening right now in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders and his avid supporters have a legitimate point.

Just as the Democratic primaries were the dominant story in the 2008 cycle, so has the Republican train wreck proved to be the most compelling storyline this year. But with less than three weeks to go before the voting starts, Sanders may be just as plausible a nominee as Trump.

A New York Times/CBS News poll this week showed Sanders, who trailed Hillary Clinton among Democrats by 20 points a month ago, closing that gap to 7. But national polls are essentially meaningless; what’s more impressive are polls that have Sanders overtaking Clinton in Iowa and opening up a double-digit lead in New Hampshire.

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