The average television viewer might not know it, but Bernie Sanders is making waves. People who don’t use or have the Internet may have little clue as to who the Vermont senator is and that he’s even running for president. That is because corporate media appears to have a Bernie Sanders blackout, a situation in which the major stations are paying as little attention to him as possible.
One of the biggest offenders is ABC, which has given Donald Trump 81 minutes of coverage, but only gave 20 seconds to Bernie Sanders. The Sanders campaign is currently circulating a petition to force networks to give him equal coverage.
Despite stations aggressively ignoring him, Sanders is making it onto several states’ primary ballots. Last week, he officially made it onto the Arizona ballot and also garnered three new state legislator endorsements.
The Phoenix New Times reports that more than 100 local supporters turned out on Thursday morning as José Miranda, the campaign coordinator for Arizona for Bernie Sanders, filed paperwork get Bernie on the primary ballot.
“We were told from the Secretary of State’s office that this was the biggest group they have seen filing for a candidate….other candidates might have the money, but we have the people power, and we are ready to work to get Senator Bernie Sanders elected as our next president of the United States.”
Three Arizona state legislators also endorsed Sanders. Juan Mendez, Mark Cardenas, and Martin Quezada. Congressman Raúl Grijalva has already endorsed Bernie.
A challenge to keep Sanders off the ballot has already failed in New Hampshire. The challenge, according to Los Angeles Daily News, was based on his prolonged status as an Independent and not a Democrat. The failed challenge is proof that Sanders should have no major issues in getting on ballots in other states, or fighting challenges to keep him off.
In Ohio, Bernie is tentatively on the ballot unless a challenge is filed questioning his eligibility to be the Democratic candidate. The Ohio Secretary of State has until January 5 to determine who will and will not appear on the primary ballot.
In Texas, primary candidates can use either money or signatures to get a position on the primary ballot. On December 6, Bernie Sanders supporters gathered at the Texas State Capitol in Austin to rally as more than 12,000 verified signatures were handed over, more than double the 5,000 required to get on.
Jacob Limon, the Texas State Director of the Bernie Sanders Campaign was optimistic about the possibility of a Sanders presidency.
“It tells us that there are thousands and thousands of people on the ground who want o give their time and energy to the campaign. And this is going to be the very definition of a grassroots campaign.”
Even more impressive is how Bernie Sanders is the only candidate thus far to get on the ballot using signatures. The Lone Star State also allows candidates to pay a fee to appear on the ballot. Instead of using money, Bernie and his supporters used a very effective grassroots campaign.
Sanders’ message has touched potential voters from all walks of life. Christians, atheists, Muslims, conservatives and liberals are coming out in support of him. Even libertarians, who generally dislike government interference, have turned their support toward him.
On Reddit’s r/SandersForPresident, a supporter describes why he turned his back on the GOP in favor of Bernie Sanders. He cites Bernie’s favorite talking points: getting big money out of politics, overturning Citizens United, keeping Church and State separate, and climate change.
“…what’s with the climate change denial? Even if it turns out it is some grand conspiracy…what’s wrong with having more energy efficient products, and cleaner air, and cleaner water? “
Another user describes himself as a Christian who is turned off by the GOP.
“I am a Christian who is fed up with Republican rhetoric against the poor, the weak, and immigrants and the lack of support for them even from sensible Christian circles.” He then cites several Bible verses to make his point, which include passages admonishing believers to treat the disabled fairly, be kind to foreigners, and to treat servants (employees) fairly.
All of these things are central to Bernie’s message, and for Christians who are tired of the Republican rhetoric Sanders is a sorely needed change from the fear and war mongering among the GOP.
The Bernie Sanders campaign is still working to get on the ballot in other states, but according to his website, they are gathering signatures only in certain states. The following states still need to gather signatures in order to get him in the primaries:
Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Other states where Bernie Sanders is currently on the ballot are Alabama, Virginia, and Vermont.