Donald Trump, written off by both Democrats and Republicans, has been headline news for weeks straight. Whether you agree with his stances or not, there is no denying that Mr. Trump is doing better than nearly anyone expected.
But then there is the interesting case of Bernie Sanders. An unabashed socialist, Sanders was once considered not only a long shot, but a no shot. Over the course of the last two months, however, Sanders has gained tremendous ground on Hillary Clinton, believed to be the front-runner for the Democrat nomination in 2016 since Barack Obama won the election of 2008.
The nomination was hers, or so the media would have you believe. But what has happened since Sanders declared his intention to seek the Democrat nomination is nothing short of amazing. And when it comes down to it, there are reasons why Sanders is gaining so drastically on Ms. Clinton.
Mr. Sanders is now within a few percentage points of Clinton and could very well surpass her national poll numbers in the next few weeks or months. Why is this happening? Why might Bernie Sanders trounce Ms. Clinton in the primaries? Here are a few reasons:
1. Momentum. Mr. Sanders has all the momentum in the Democrat nomination process at the moment. Not only is he surging in polls, but so are his donations and searches for him on Google and Yahoo. Ms. Clinton, on the other hand, is seen as stagnant and unchanging.
2. Trustworthiness. Mr. Sanders is seen as being truthful in his opinions. Even if they disagree with his stances, Democrats and Republicans alike believe Bernie Sanders when he says what he believes in. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Ms. Clinton, who a majority of Americans do not see as trustworthy. This is for a reason, as Ms. Clinton has been caught lying about several things in the last year alone.
3. The youth vote. One of Mr. Sanders's greatest strength and Ms. Clinton's greatest weakness is the youth vote. Ms. Clinton is often equated to the past; her husband began his presidency over 20 years ago. Ms. Clinton was also Secretary of State under Barack Obama. Mr. Sanders, however, has not been in the limelight like Ms. Clinton has. His views are seen as newer and fresher, something that the youth vote craves.
4. Ability to answer the tough questions. Unpopular opinions or not, Mr. Sanders is known to say what he truly feels. Ms. Clinton, most people believe, will answer whatever will benefit her politically.
5. Iraq. Whether you agree with the invasion of Iraq or not, most Democrats today see it as a costly mistake. Ms. Clinton voted in favor of it, along with the good majority of Senators at the time. Mr. Sanders did not. He has also been consistently anti-war.
6. Conflicts of interest. Ms. Clinton is tied to her namesake "The Clinton Foundation." The Foundation, which claims to be a non-profit, has been found to have accepted millions of dollars from brutal dictatorships around the world, often to buy access to the Clintons. Mr. Sanders does not have such conflicts of interest.
7. Gay Equality. For years, Ms. Clinton publicly and forcefully opposed gay marriage, something the majority of Democrats and Republicans now support. Bernie Sanders was in favor or equality for gays all the way back in 1972.
8. Mr. Sanders is campaigning than Barack Obama did. In 2008, Ms. Clinton was also seen as inevitable, before Barack Obama emerged victorious. And at this point in the campaign, Mr. Sanders is doing better than Mr. Obama.
With all of these things propelling Mr. Sanders, the only thing that could derail a potential victory in the Democrat primaries are two major things: the money behind the Clintons and people deciding not to vote for him like they could. Only time will tell.