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Saturday, March 26, 2016

 7:58 PM 

Sanders tells Madison rally, 'We're coming big-time to Wisconsin'

Bernie Sanders celebrated his Saturday wins in the Alaska and Washington caucuses at a rally in Madison, proclaiming to the thousands assembled, "We’re coming big-time to Wisconsin.”

The Vermont senator touted his progressive platform and how far his campaign has come, noting he first started polling in single digits. The latest Marquette University Law School poll, released a month ago, had him about even with Dem rival Hillary Clinton. In September, he trailed her by a dozen points.

“We believe that we will win,” the crowd chanted after Sanders received word he had won the Washington caucus.

“I believe this is a campaign of energy and momentum,” Sanders said.

The self-identified democratic socialist briefly mentioned Clinton when addressing criticisms about his electability. He said he would win not only the nomination but the general election as well, citing a CNN poll showing he would beat current Republican front-runner Donald Trump by a larger margin than the former secretary of state.

Sanders supporters flooded the Alliant Energy Center's exhibition hall for his campaign’s “Future to Believe In” rally 10 days before the Wisconsin primaries. 

Sanders touched on most of his platform in the hour speech but went more in-depth on economic issues such as income inequality, raising the federal minimum wage to $15, as well as free college tuition and mass incarceration. 

Sanders said it would cost less to send someone to the University of Wisconsin than to prison so “let’s do that.”

Sanders challenged the Republican Party’s policies and its candidates’ behavior, but directed most of his jabs at the “billionaire class.” He said America is currently functioning as an oligarchy for the wealthy few, not a democracy.

“This campaign is doing as well as it is because we are listening to the people, not wealthy donors,” he said. 

Sanders specifically called out the Koch brothers and alluded to their previous support of Gov. Scott Walker’s failed presidential bid. The moment garnered laughter from a crowd that otherwise booed any mention of Walker or the Republican Party.

Sanders said the average donation to his campaign is $27. He has refused to form a super PAC, a stance he took early in the campaign.

-- By Madeline Sweitzer





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