Tag Archives: Bernie Sanders

5 takeaways from the first Democratic debate

by PABLO ROA

After a summer of controversy, surprise and speculation in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, the five candidates finally met on the debate stage for the first time Wednesday night.

The candidates discussed a variety of issues, both foreign and domestic, and outlined how they would lead the country forward if they were elected president in 2016. The debate was the first of six debates scheduled before the Democrats select their nominee next year.

For frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tuesday’s debate was about shifting the focus of her campaign from the ongoing email controversy that has hampered her campaign for months to actual policy objectives. For Senator Bernie Sanders, who is gaining on Clinton in early-voting states but still trails nationally, the debate was about spreading his message to those who may not know him yet and showing the Democratic Party that he is a viable alternative to Clinton.

For the other three candidates—Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee—the debate was about getting noticed. According to polling averages on RealClearPolitics, all three candidates were polling under 1 percent prior to the debate and need to improve their national recognition to stand a chance.

With all of this in mind, here are five takeaways from last night’s debate: Continue reading 5 takeaways from the first Democratic debate

Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary Clinton in fundraising, attracting student donors

by PABLO ROA

Much of the news regarding the 2016 presidential campaign has, to this point, focused mostly on the Republican presidential primary. After all, the Republican field consists of over a dozen candidates and is likely to be competitive until a nominee is chosen next year.

Recently, however, the Democratic presidential primary has also picked up steam. If last quarter’s fundraising totals for Senator Bernie Sanders are any indication, the race for the Democratic nomination could be just as interesting and competitive as that of the GOP.

Once considered a fringe candidate with little chance of competing with Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sanders has now gained ground or passed Clinton in several polls. Perhaps even more surprisingly, he is beginning to compete with the former Secretary of State in fundraising as well. The Sanders campaign raised $26 million in the fourth fiscal quarter, which falls just $2 million shy of Clinton’s $28 million.

“Bernie’s fundraising success shows that many Americans are fed up with the current patronage-based political system,” said junior government and politics and theater major Christopher Walkup, who is also the co-founder of the UMD grassroots organization, Terps for Bernie. Continue reading Bernie Sanders closing in on Hillary Clinton in fundraising, attracting student donors