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Mitch Perry Report for 9.15.15 – Bernie Sanders does Liberty University

No, Hillary Clinton is not losing the race for the Democratic Primary, not if you take the Real Clear Politics average of the national spread between her and Bernie Sanders. She’s up overall by 21 percentage points.

But in the first in the nation voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire? It’s a completely different story. A CBS/YouTube poll taken over the weekend has him up by 10 points over Clinton in Iowa, and a stunning 22 percent in N.H.

In one of the most interesting developments of the 2015/2016 presidential race to date, this 73-year-old Brooklyn Jewish socialist took his act to Lynchburg, Virginia at Liberty University yesterday where 12,000 evangelical students (who were told to attend) heard him speak (you watch it here).

“I understand that the issues of abortion and gay marriage are issues that you feel very strongly about,” he said as he started out his address. “We disagree on those issues. I get that. But let me respectfully suggest that there are other issues out there that are of enormous consequence to our country and in fact to the entire world that maybe, just maybe, we do not disagree on, and maybe, just maybe, we can try to work together to resolve them.”

I’d say it was a pretty cool moment, akin to when Rand Paul was visiting UC-Berkeley and Howard University a couple of years ago – you know, doing the unconventional, meeting the “enemy” and realizing that while there will always be differences on some world views and policy issues, the opportunity to transcend that to find common ground remains a powerful thing.  It made Paul compelling then, and it shows the audacity of Sanders campaign today.

By the way, there may be something to the Sanders Nation meme that their candidate isn’t getting a fair shot by the national corporate media.

I tuned to NBC this past Sunday morning to watch Meet the Press, where Sanders was being hyped as one of the lead guests. So imagine my surprise when I saw the show begin with host Chuck Todd interviewing  Chris Christie for 10 minutes at the top of the show. Because Christie is one of the most interesting figures on the scene right now. Except he isn’t, scraping the bottom of the barrel in most polls with around 2-3 percent.

Sanders ended up making it on the program towards the end of the first half-hour of the program, despite the news that morning that he was now dominating Clinton by 22 points in New Hampshire. Yeah, that makes good journalistic sense, Mr. Todd.

In other news…

A member of the Black Lives Matter movement says she’s putting Tampa Democrats on notice regarding the issue with the city’s proposed civilian review board. Meanwhile, the ACLU of Florida tells the City Council that their legal folks believe they have the legal right to nominate their own members to that board.

The Tampa/Hillsborough Expressway Authority is one of only three cities in the nation to get federal transportation funds for a connected vehicle pilot program.

A poll commissioned by David Brock’s Correct The Record organization says that the majority of voters in America think that the Hillary Clinton email story is driven by politics.

And Florida Senator Bill Nelson says it’s too soon to say how many refugees from Syria the U.S. should consider bringing to America.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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