When doing a side-by-side comparison of the crowds attending a Hillary Clinton rally and a Bernie Sanders rally, a picture really does say a thousand words.
The day after Super Tuesday, which saw Hillary Clinton unable to bury the Bernie Sanders campaign, both candidates were back out on the trail to revel in their respective victories and drum up support for the next wave of primaries.
In Michigan, Sanders spoke to a packed house at the Breslin Student Events Center at Michigan State University, where thousands of supporters lined up in the snow for hours to hear his energetic speech.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Hillary Clinton had a very different kind of rally in a draped-off corner of the Jacob Javits Center. The rally was organized for and by many of the labor bosses in New York who had endorsed Clinton over the objections of their members. USA Today, covering the event, called it her “victory lap.”
For most of the attendees, being at the rally was mandatory, while some groups, such as the Carpenters Union, gave attendees “comp time” for the hours they were at the event. Even with such incentives, there were fewer than 1,000 people there.
Union leaders, city council members, and even New York Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke about their commitment to a candidate who has fought for labor rights and unions and a $15/hour minimum wage. They spoke of a candidate who was committed to fighting the excesses of Wall Street and would rein in the big banks with regulations to protect the working class. They even told everyone that their candidate would make it their mission to overturn Citizens United and get moneyed interests out of the political system.
And for a brief moment I got excited because after hearing all that, I forgot that I wasn’t at the huge Bernie Sanders rally in Michigan.
But then, Hillary Clinton took to the stage after three hours of speeches and the reality of where I was set in, and I was forced to listen to another speech from the candidate herself about how there was only one way to keep Donald Trump from the White House and to keep America from being cast into an eternal pit of despair. Strangely, after that lead-in, Bernie Sanders’ name wasn’t uttered once.
Judging by the size of her rally compared to MSU’s Bernie Sanders rally, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is struggling to maintain enthusiasm despite her Super Tuesday win, with several sources in the media pointing out the key demographic problems in her wins thus far and how it could prove trouble in the general election should she score the nomination. In the meantime, more people seem to be feeling the Bern in the critical primary state of Michigan, which votes in six days, than in Hillary Clinton’s home state.