The strong showing of support for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in swing states like Iowa and New Hampshire have caused Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to think twice about its strategies during the primary and nomination process.
The Sanders campaign is gaining much-needed ground against Clinton, with a rally on July 3 in Council Bluffs, Iowa, that gathered 2,500 people, The New York Times reported.
Clinton’s current strategy is to focus on smaller towns and states, while gaining donations independently and privately. She also has largely avoided speaking to any major news organization, unlike Sanders who has been regularly seen on CNN and Fox News.
Poll numbers are also indicating possible trouble for Clinton. Two months ago, Clinton held 60 percent of Democratic support to just 15 percent for Sanders. Now, Clinton’s support has dropped to 52 percent, while Sanders has jumped to 33 percent.
Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director for her presidential campaign, spoke with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on July 6 and discussed the success of the Sanders campaign so far.
“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” she said.
Clinton herself spoke to concerns at a campaign stop in Lebanon, New Hampshire. “Well, we each run our own campaigns, and I always knew this was going to be competitive,” Clinton said in her carefully worded answer.
Still, many in the Democratic Party do not see Sanders overtaking Clinton and winning the nomination. Clinton’s fundraising abilities, name recognition and support among women and minorities is likely to supersede any credible threat that Sanders becomes throughout the campaign season.
Others signal to Clinton’s losses to Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign season, which ultimately derailed her first bid for the presidency. Political insiders, such as Democratic strategist Joe Trippi, believe this could happen again.
“Certainly she could lose Iowa,” Trippi warned. In the even that does occur, “mostly they’d just have to ride out the punditry and people with their hair on fire” to eventually win the Democratic nomination.
Sanders’ talking points on large corporations, the “1 percent,” and liberal economic policies regarding entitlements and education have resonated with many voters. Recently, he drew a crowd of 7,500 in Portland, Maine, where he explained how he is receiving the strong support from state to state.
“Sometimes, media people ask me, ‘Well, Bernie, why are so many people coming out to your events?’ Well, the answer is, I think, pretty obvious. From Maine to California — we have friends in Alaska and Hawaii as well — the American people understand that establishment politics and establishment economics is not working for the middle class,” he exclaimed.
According to Time, around 250,000 Americans have already donated to the Sanders presidential campaign, further signaling its strength.
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