I was just at his last rally in Portland. Over 20,000 people showed up to our largest venue and they had to turn people away. Pretty incredible stuff.
But I can't help but feel like that was it. If we had the election in Portland today, 20,000 people would vote for Sanders. They're definitely the loudest and the angriest and the most educated but America is filled primarily with those who are politically asleep.
They watch CNN, or worse, FOX News and their corporate overlords tell them that this man is crazy and what he says couldn't possibly be true. Corporations have your back so put in your 80 hour work week and when you get home, eat a Big Mac, pop open a Coke, and watch your corporate sponsored CSI tell you the NSA is great and cops are trustworthy and fair.
I predict Bernie will get a lot of physical traction but the second the primaries come and go, he'll barely make a dent and a new generation of cynics will be born once again. They'll realize we live in an oligarchy and not the democracy we've been lied about since our childhood.
I really hope I come back and read this two years from now and chuckle at how wrong I was, though.
If it helps you feel better, he's packing those arenas all over the country. Here in New Orleans, he filled a convention center to capacity. Then a week later, for the organizational meeting, I was at a bar that was filled to capacity during the pouring rain! There's a lot of energy here, I just hope we can focus it into something that lasts.
It's nuts to me that he can run a campaign on the idea of fighting for 99% of Americans, and yet he will likely be outvoted by someone who is targeting just 1%.
The fact that he's getting as much support as he is is encouraging. A self identified socialist making a run at the Democratic nomination would have been unheard of even 10 years ago.
I think its all about momentum. These rallies (all over the country, not just in liberal havens) are helping to show that hes not this fringe crazy guy. That's his biggest problem, is that people think he has no hope. All this turnout at rallys, I hope, is showing people he has a chance. I think theres some tipping point where people first of all, hear his name, and second, think he has a good chance of winning, and three, think he has good ideas.