Bernie Sanders has quite the fan base.
The Hill reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders drew 10,000 supporters, the largest crowd of his campaign thus far, according to reports.
“Tonight, we have more people at any meeting for a candidate of president of the United States than any other candidate,” Sanders told his fans at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis., according to the Associated Press.
This doesn’t surprise me in the least. For years, I’ve been hearing from my far-left friends that Sanders is their number one (Elizabeth Warren isn’t far behind). Academics, in particular, adore the unapologetic socialist who openly advocates for wealth redistribution and seeks equality of outcomes rather than equality of opportunity.
So, why is Sanders drawing such big crowds?
First off, many on the far left can’t stand Hillary. Some will vote for her if they have to (while biting their tongues), others will write in Sanders no matter what…or stay home altogether.
Also, Sanders stands for something. I find his rhetoric absurd and his policies laughable, but I absolutely believe that he believes what he’s saying. There’s an authenticity there that Hillary lacks.
But what does it say about the electorate?
I’m really curious to see how well Sanders does. Because if wealth demonization, overspending, and taxing the hell out of people who have the nerve to succeed is a successful selling point among a good portion of Americans, we’re in trouble. Big trouble. But it’s valuable information.
So, keep your eye on Sanders. Because even if he loses significantly to Hillary, the size and strength of his fan base may be quite telling about where the voting public stands and what their mindset looks like.
And one message to GOP candidates: being real matters. Lose the talking points. If the public doesn’t believe that you believe what you’re saying, you won’t have a shot.
Jedediah Bila is a Fox News host and commentator, author, columnist, and former professor and academic dean. Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila.