Bernie Sanders Courts the Jimmy Carter Democrat

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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has found another type voter to target for his 2016 presidential campaign – the Jimmy Carter rural Democrat – although it remains to be seen just how many rural Democrats are left (outside of the organic farm belt in Vermont and Northern California).

When Carter ran for president in 1976, the evangelical farmer was able to rally like-minded rural voters to clinch the Democratic nomination – in fact he ended up taking the entire South, based in part on this strategy.

Of course, the Democratic and Republican parties are vastly different today than they were in 1976, but in Bernie Sanders’s latest ad, he makes the pitch that there are still enough rural Democrats out there to give him a leg up in the 2016 race.

Bernie Sanders: #FeelTheBarn

Sanders’s new spot features a Vermont diary farmer who endorses Sanders for being “a well known friend of family farms” – good news for voters from Iowa’s massive farming industry.

After seeing clips of Bernie at small farm campaign rallies, the ad transitions to shots from Sanders’s now famous massive arena rallies, as the narrator echoes Bernie’s stump speech of taking on Wall Street and “big money.”

The ad is part of a two-spot program in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. These spots mark a shift away from his previous biographical ads to focus more on his platform.

The small farm vote helped Jimmy Carter in 1976 – it even helped Bernie in 2006 when he snagged the endorsement of well-known country hippie Willie Nelson.

Much like Carter, Bernie Sanders’s populist “fight for the small guy” message does well with rural Democrats. But unfortunately for Bernie, there aren’t much of them around anymore.

Donald Trump Sets His Sights on Bernie Sanders

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While the Internet is still buzzing with speculation about who won the first Democratic debate – we now know who Donald Trump tagged as the winner. The morning after the debate, Trump released an Instagram attack ad targeting Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Donald Trump Not #FeelingTheBern

The short attack ad opens up with CNN footage of an ISIS soldier waving a knife and shots of the burning U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The narrator warns, “The world is a dangerous place – we need a tough, strong leader.”

The sound of a record screech ushers in a clip of Black Lives Matter protesters disrupting a Sanders campaign rally as the narrator exclaims “and it’s not this guy!”

The ad ends with the message, “Bernie can’t even defend his microphone. How will he defend the country?”

Can Donald Trump Convince Bernie to Go Negative?

This is the latest addition to Donald Trump’s arsenal of Instagram attack ads. Most of his other attacks focus on his Republican rivals, like Jeb Bush, who he repeatedly mocks as being a “confused” and “low-energy” candidate.

Unlike Jeb Bush who was quick to respond to Trump with a counterattack, 74-year-old Sanders is proud to repeat he “has never run a negative political ad in his life.”

But as the 2016 election cycle has already shown, there is a first time for anything.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.

When Willie Nelson was Feelin’ the Bern

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What do the National Nurses’ Union, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, and Willie Nelson have in common? They are all members of the fast-growing Bernie Brigade.

Though Nelson has yet to officially endorse Sanders in 2016, Willie Nelson was On The Road Again for Bernie in 2006 – that road being Sanders’ senatorial campaign trail.

This “Sanders for Senate” commercial from Bernie’s 2006 re-election campaign features Willie Nelson praising the Vermont Senator.

The ad depicts local farmers and community members gathered at a campaign rally in rural Charlotte, Vermont. The 30-second spot highlights Willie Nelson praising Sanders for his support of the “small family farmer” which he claims is the “backbone of the community.”

(We’re pretty sure Willie Nelson is mainly concerned with a very specific type of farming; a type which he has been trying to legalize for years.)

Willie Nelson has a long history of endorsing Democratic presidential candidates over the years, including Jimmy Carter, Michael Dukakis and even a certain 2016 candidate’s husband. Will Willie Nelson stick with his 2006 endorsement of Bernie or will he go back to supporting the Clintons?

This article was originally published at I Agree to See

Bernie Sanders Wraps up his West Coast Tour

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More than 27,000 people packed a Los Angeles arena last Monday, to hear a wispy-haired, raspy-voiced socialist talk about sparking a “political revolution.”

For Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, it was the third massive crowd in a row for the three nights that made up his West Coast tour.

The latest video from the Sanders campaign highlights his stops in the liberal strongholds, reminding viewers of the striking attendance at each event.

First, in Seattle, we hear Sanders talk about his legislation to make college tuition free, to an ecstatic crowd of 15,000 mainly-white Millenials. Then the video jumps to a 28,000 person event in Portland where Sanders doubled-down on his plans “to end institutional racism.” And finally the third event we see was in Los Angeles where Sanders issued a rally cry for a political revolution.

Bernie Sanders’ West Coast Tour Didn’t Start with a Warm Welcome

Sanders’ West Coast tour started with members of the Civil Rights group Black Lives Matter took over an event Sanders was speaking at.

This demonstration was similar to a protest at last month’s Netroots Nation, which Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were on the receiving end of.

While this initially upset some of Bernie’s base, Sanders almost immediately put out what many consider a comprehensive plan on addressing racial injustice, reminding voters that Sanders was deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement during the 1960’s.

Meanwhile, The Bernie Brigade is charged with excitement over recent headlines showing that Sanders polled higher than Hillary Clinton in the most recent New Hampshire poll. Hillary’s campaign is still maintaining a significant lead nationally.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.

Will Bernie Sanders’ Livestream Event be the Future of Grassroots Campaigns?

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Bernie Sanders seems to have a knack for gathering large crowds wherever he visits. When he spoke in Kensett, Iowa, for example, there were more people at his rally than actually lived in the town.

But Wednesday night, his campaign tried something different. Instead of physically rounding up a large crowd to hear him speak, he gathered a nationwide campaign organization meeting, digitally.

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According to the Sanders campaign and the New York Times, over 3,500 events were officially set up and more than 100,000 “would be foot soldiers” tuned in to the digital meeting, nationwide. Sanders said that this was the single most important day of his campaign thus far.

Bernie Amplifies Obama’s Model

The 2016 election cycle is not the first to utilize YouTube to reach mass amounts of voters. Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign utilized the Internet to raise small donor dollars, and then President Obama ushered in a new era of online campaigning in 2008 when he was able to effectively win “the Internet vote” by dominating the online realm.

For the 2016 election, candidates are experimenting with livestream services like Periscope and Meerkat, in addition to YouTube, with the hopes of expanding their audience for any given event.

Turning Passive Voters Into Potential Volunteers

After Sanders finished his usual speech about income inequality, healthcare and the economy, Claire Sandberg, the campaign’s digital organizing director, took control of the livestream and walked potential volunteers through the steps to get involved in the campaign.

The Sanders campaign is using tactics to make signing up to volunteer as simple as possible. By texting “work” to 826-23, a would-be volunteer is sent a link to an online volunteer sign up form.

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Sanders claims to already have over 175,000 volunteers, but can his campaign continue to keep the momentum going?

There’s Still Not Quite a Bernie Breakthrough in the Polls

Despite Sanders’ 15 minutes of headline fame, he still remains the underdog in the Democratic primary. The Vermont Senator currently trails Hillary Clinton by 40 points – though that is the closest he has polled to her so far.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.

An Unofficial PUNdit’s guide to Bernie-isms

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Bernie Sanders has no need for a creative team – his grassroots campaign has been coming up with some hilarious fan-made puns and slogans on their own.

His official slogan, “a political revolution is coming,” is arguably less well known than popular “grassroots” slogans, like “feel the Bern.”

This new political ad, “Signs in Iowa,” rounds up some of the fan favorites in the Hawkeye State.

Homegrown Bernie-Puns in Iowa

We see supporters sharing their own puns and unofficial slogans – among them, “Take the journey with Bernie,” “enter San-man” and “Bern baby, Bern.”

While the camera takes a tour of different homemade signs, we hear a few of Bernie Sanders’ supporters express why they support him.

An Iowa “Bern Stormer” says he appreciates Bernie’s style of “putting people first.” Then a group of college-aged voters expressed their support of Sander’s views on education. One young woman says, “We feel like we really matter with him.”

“I’ve got a quote for you,” we hear as the camera cuts to a woman holding a “Be a Climate Voter” banner. “Bernie is the only candidate who really cares about climate,” she says.

The ad cuts back to the group of college-aged supporters, and another supporter explains that Bernie’s push to get big money out of politics and “overriding Citizens United” is “the most important thing before you can do anything else.”

Finally another supporter explains he and his girlfriend deemed themselves “the Bern Unit” while they got their friends involved in campaigning for Bernie.

A PUNdits guide to Bernie-isms

bernie-sanders-campaign-store-feelthebern-toaster-bernie-isms-bernie-punsThe Internet is a hot-bed for puns, and keeping track of all the Bernie-isms can be pretty hard. So, this ad gave us an idea. Here is an unofficial Bernie Dictionary you can refer to, leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

The Bernie BrigadeUnwavering Bernie Sanders supporters. They generally tend to be white progressive Millennials.

Feel the Bern – When someone who was not already a Sanders supporter converts after feeling connected with Bernie’s message.

Bern Down for What – a play on words on the viral party-jam “Turn Down for What,” which is about large groups of friends going out to party together. This term is used when describing Bernie’s recent large turnouts at his rallies.

The Bern-Unit – Grassroots campaign organizers. Most are volunteers and they do things like host parties, canvass and organize fundraisers.

The Bernie Blackout – A term coined by frustrated Sanders supporters who feel like major news outlets don’t cover Bernie as much as they should.

Bernie Bombers – Sanders supporters who participate in money bombs, coordinated mass donation drives that last for a specific portion of time.

Yearnin’ for a Bernin’ – When Bernie hasn’t visited your area yet, but you really want him to.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.

Bernie Sanders Touts Poll “Momentum” in New Spot

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Bernie Sanders’ new ad “Momentum” is unerringly titled with respect to his poll numbers – which to the surprise of many political pundits have been on a steady rise, although still far from Hillary Clinton.

Since he announced his candidacy in late April, Bernie has focused on organizing an “unprecedented” grassroots movement around his campaign, all while denouncing large corporate donations in the political realm.

“Don’t Underestimate Me:” Bernie Sanders Gains Momentum

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So far, that grassroots organization has been hyperactive, with plenty of volunteers donating to Sanders’ campaign and making ads for his campaign (ads that don’t cost Bernie’s official campaign a dime).

“Momentum” on the other hand, is produced through Bernie’s official campaign and as a result follows closer to Bernie’s campaign theme “don’t underestimate me”.

This is a standard form in the world of political ads – moving background music and “best of” clips from Bernie’s most recent rallies. The ad also has something a little more impressive ­– shot after shot of packed auditoriums and huge crowds.

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That may sound like an obvious shot any candidate would want to include in a political ad, but having more than a few people at your rally is enough to make candidates like Lincoln Chafee and Rick Santorum jealous.

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But Bernie’s large crowds are no joke. In Kensett, Iowa, where Bernie recently spoke, over 300 people showed up to his rally… that’s larger than the actual population of Kensett, IA, which is 261 people. In Minneapolis, so many people showed up to see Bernie speak they actually spilled out into the streets.

Read More: Bernie Sanders Dominates Liberal Radio

As an underdog, it’s good for Bernie to focus on this type of positive press. Bernie is reminding voters not to “underestimate” him, and a video full of large crowds and fiery speeches is a good way to get that point across.

Most political pundits are surprised and, in the case of Morning Joe’s Joe Scarborough, “shocked” at Bernie’s rise in the polls. A recent New Hampshire primary poll places Bernie 12 points away from Hillary – 44% to 32%.

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But while his numbers might look great for a candidate who is considered an underdog, they still can’t compete with Hillary’s impenetrable poll numbers that have barely shifted despite constant shots from the GOP field.

This article originally appeared at I Agree to See.