Is Bernie Sanders At The DNC? The Last Candidate Standing Is Opening The Event

After one of the most long-fought Democratic primaries in recent memory, many people are wondering if Bernie Sanders is at the Democratic National Convention? The answer, at least for Monday, is yes. Though the Vermont Senator’s battle against soon-to-no-longer-be-presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was close and often heated, Sanders endorsed Clinton earlier this month, acknowledging that she had won the nomination and saying that “I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.”

This includes a prime-time speaking slot for Sanders, whom Democrats are hoping will help bring young voters who supported him so enthusiastically the primaries over to Clinton.

This already sets the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia well apart from its Republican counterpart. Held in Cleveland, the GOP Convention was not attended by numerous major Republican party figures, including both former Presidents Bush and the two previous Republican presidential nominees, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Arizona Senator John McCain. Many believe that this was due to the unpopularity of the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Moreover, on Wednesday night, Trump’s main rival during the primaries, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, failed to endorse the candidate, instead congratulating him on winning but urging voters to “vote your conscience … up and down the ticket.”

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The Democrats are expected to put on a much more solid front at their meeting in Philadelphia, which begins Monday, July 25. In addition to Senator Sanders, speeches are anticipated from President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, and Massachusetts Senator and populist firebrand Elizabeth Warren, as well as a host of high profile attendees including actors, musicians, and sports stars.

Despite the star power, many are watching anxiously as Clinton’s lead in national polls over Trump narrows — which doesn’t take into consideration a potential “convention bump” from the Cleveland meeting.

Many will be looking to Sanders to mend rifts in the party from the epic primary, where early on he was seen as a long shot, but came from behind to win 21 states and millions of votes. He also set fundraising records, besting Obama’s 2011 record and receiving over 2.3 million individual donations.

Despite Sanders and Clinton’s uniting to defeat Trump, many Sanders supporters, still disappointed in Clinton as a nominee, are reportedly planning protests for Philadelphia, including what’s being called a “fart-in” in objection to the Democratic candidate.