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Sanders slides ahead

MCT Photo

MCT Photo

Sanders speaks at a Los Angeles rally. His appeal to youth is driving more young people to attend rallies like this. This is important as young political participation has been on the decline.

Claire Lefton, Sycamore High School

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While presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has been the Democratic favorite for years, dark horse Senator Bernie Sanders is beginning to pull ahead in early primary polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.

According to a Monmouth University poll in New Hampshire, Sanders is seven points ahead of Clinton at 43 percent. In addition, Sanders is four percent more favored by female voters at 42 percent to Clinton’s 38 percent.

“I think women are supporting Bernie Sanders because he not only advocates for our right to control our bodies, but for the access to affordable prescription drugs, namely contraception,” senior Sydney Hineline said.

In addition to females, youth are a large factor in Sanders’s popularity. His plans to lower college tuition and social justice advocacy especially appeal to a liberal young audience.

“I like change. I think he can bring it to this country. I love how he’s campaigning; I love how he’s doing a grassroots campaign and not taking money from any big donors,” senior Max Weiss said.

On the political spectrum, Sanders falls on the far left as a self-declared advocate of socialist policies. Some Democratic voters believe Clinton is not liberal enough to represent them especially considering Clinton’s history.

“Just like the Tea Party was a protest group for the Republicans, I think Bernie is some sort of a protest for the established Democratic Party. He doesn’t have the baggage that Hillary does,” government teacher Mr. Kevin Wittman said.

As the primary elections draw closer, it will be a tight race between the two Democrats; even tighter if Vice President Joe Biden joins the race.

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