Recent polls in both New Hampshire and Iowa show that more and more people are feeling the Bern. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders now has a nine-point lead over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, according to TIME. Clinton's numbers also nosedived in Iowa, from 49 percent to 38 percent, while Sanders remained at 27 percent. Now, in New Hampshire, Sanders ratings are at 41 percent while Clinton's dropped from 42 percent to 32 percent, according to the new NBC News/Marist poll. But why is Bernie Sanders gaining on Hillary Clinton so suddenly? There could be a few factors affecting Sanders rise in the polls.
Sanders has started building up his campaign's infrastructure by hiring even more people to his staff, according to CNN. NBC News said people are rallying behind Sanders' socialist message of economic equality and grassroots political organization for the same reason people are rallying behind Donald Trump's outrageous statements: They are tired of establishment-minded candidates who use big money to fund their campaigns. Sanders' crowds are getting bigger and bigger, but he realizes that he has to translate those crowds into votes by building up his campaign and talking about the right issues, according to NPR. His plight to get those votes might be made easier by a number of issues the Clinton campaign has encountered over the past few months. Here are three reasons why Sanders might be gaining on Clinton in recent polls.
Sanders Is Popular Among Young Voters
Since declaring his run for president, Sanders has held some of the largest rallies of any presidential candidate. In Portland, Ore., he drew a crowd of 28,000 in early August, according to The Washington Post. And that's because support for Sanders among young voters is growing considerably. In the latest Iowa poll, Sanders took the lead with first-time caucus goers by 12 points, young voters by 23 points, and independent voters by 21 points, according to The Washington Times.
A Guardian profile of some of Sanders' young supporters showed that young people like him because he is genuine, and because he has been "a warrior against economic inequality" since the '60s, according to Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, an organization that encourages young people to get involved in politics. Moumita Ahmed, who is part of an activist group independent from Sanders's campaign, told The Guardian that Sanders seems to get millennial issues in a way none of the other candidates do:
Millennials, we in general identify ourselves as the generation of debt. That's our identity. Bernie Sanders that's one of his biggest issues: His biggest platform is debt, inequality.
Clinton's Email Scandal Is Not Helping Her Trustworthiness
One of the other reasons young people told The Guardian that they liked Sanders was because he seemed more trustworthy than your average politician. And the recent probe into emails that Clinton sent on her private email server during her time as secretary of state hasn't helped her seem more trustworthy. Though all of the recent news points to Clinton's innocence — that she wasn't hiding anything in her private email server and that she didn't do anything that compromised government information — the news that something nefarious could've happened isn't helping her image.
Clinton Had A Harder Time With Black Lives Matter Questions
Though Black Lives Matter protesters have made it clear that they don't favor either Sanders or Clinton, they took specific aim at Clinton after an event in New Hampshire. Clinton sat down with leaders of the movement and they grilled her with questions about her husband and former president Bill Clinton's economic policies, which they alleged were promoting "white supremacist violence against communities of color," according to CNN.
Clinton told the activists that some of her husband's policies didn't work out as planned and that she didn't necessarily agree that the policies were racist:
I do think that a lot of what was tried and how it was implemented has not produced the kinds of outcomes that any of us would want. But I also believe that there are systemic issues of race and justice that go deeper than any particular law.
Daunasia Yancey, founder of Black Lives Matter in Boston and one of the activists who questioned Clinton, said she was disappointed that Clinton didn't seem to reflect on her part in perpetuating white supremacy, according to CNN:
Her policy response — if it's not addressing the anti-blackness inherent in some of the previous polices, we're just going to see that thread continue. And that's what we're looking to hear. What's shifted? What's changed for Hillary Clinton that's going to make us believe that she's going to take this country in a different direction in terms of race?
Recently, Sanders also came under the fire of Black Lives Matter activists. Activists shut down a Sanders rally in Seattle in early August, and Sanders responded by leaving the event once they had taken over, according to BuzzFeed News. Activists later said they wouldn't support a candidate who won't acknowledge the importance of racial justice issues, but others have given Sanders some credit for his extensive economic reform plan, which focuses heavily on economic inequality and the way it affects minorities. Sanders was also recently endorsed by Cornel West, a prominent political and Black Lives Matter activist, according to Salon. But West is watching Sanders and his motivations very closely:
I love brother Bernie. He tells the truth about Wall Street. He really does. ... I'm not a Hillary Clinton fan at all. So if he uses his power to hand it over to her I'll be deeply upset.