Bernie Sanders began a five-rally, two-day blitz of Wisconsin with an event in Appleton on Tuesday morning as he races to close the gap on Democratic frontrunner in a state that holds its primary election in just one week — and a state that Sanders must win to maintain his momentum coming out of his overwhelming sweep of three western state caucuses on Saturday.
Scroll down this page for a full replay of the Bernie Sanders Appleton rally.
After the rally in Appleton, the underdog candidate who has refused to give up his bid for the Democratic nomination despite needing what he himself might call a “huu-uuge” comeback to catch Clinton in the delegate count, Sanders holds a rally in Milwaukee later on Tuesday, then stays in the state to hit voters in La Crosse, Madison, and Kenosha on Wednesday.
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With its primary on April 5 looked on as a crucial one in both the Democratic and Republican campaigns, Wisconsin is suddenly the place to be for the candidates in both parties. Hillary Clinton has three events scheduled for Tuesday in Wisconsin, including rallies in La Crosse and Green Bay, and starting in the morning with a community forum in Milwaukee to address the problem of gun violence.
All three GOP candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich, have multiple events set at various locations in Wisconsin on Tuesday and Wednesday.
But Bernie Sanders often draws the largest crowds of any candidate and he is expected to pull an overflow crowd into the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center at 400 West College Avenue in Appleton for the latest stop on his “Future To Believe In” tour.
Sanders is expected to take the podium around noon Central Time, 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific. Watch a full replay of the Bernie Sanders “A Future To Believe In” rally in the video below.
Political experts believe that Bernie Sanders needs to win Wisconsin and win it by a significant margin to keep Clinton at least in his sites as he continues to chase her throughout the primary season — pledging to drive his remarkable campaign straight into the Democratic National Convention in July.
Sanders cut into Clinton’s delegate lead by about 70 with his three caucus wins on Saturday in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii. But the former Secretary of State still holds a daunting lead of 228 pledged delegates, according to estimated by the election data site, the Green Papers.
While the three caucuses over the weekend were expected to fall into Sanders column, his massive landslide victories in all three stunned the political establishment. But Sanders faces a tougher road in Wisconsin, and his grueling schedule in the state would seem to indicate that he knows it.
In the latest poll released in the state, an Emerson College survey which came out one week ago, Sanders trailed Clinton by six percentage points. But with the positive momentum from the weekend, he may have narrowed that gap. New polls are expected to be released on Wednesday, which will provide greater clarity and to whether Sanders has made progress in Wisconsin.
But one factor working against Sanders is the fact that Wisconsin holds a conventional primary election, rather than a caucus. The latter format has heavily favored Bernie Sanders, with 10 of the 14 state victories he has claimed so far coming in caucuses. He has won primaries only in Oklahoma, Michigan, Vermont, and New Hampshire — and those latter two are his his home state and the state right next door.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has dominated primary states, winning 16 — but only two caucuses. Her road ahead, judging by that standard, looks brighter, with only two caucus states remaining on the schedule, and 17 primaries.
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Wisconsin is the first of those, with 86 pledged delegates up for grabs. If Bernie Sanders wins the state, he’ll get 29 of those delegates automatically. The other 57 will be allocated based on the candidates vote totals in each of the eight Wisconsin congressional districts. Sanders begins his quest to capture as many of those 57 as he can at his rally Tuesday morning in Appleton.
[Photo by Andy Manis/Associated Press]