Election 2016: Has The ‘Betty White Zone’ Helped Bernie Sanders Catch Hillary Clinton?

Anyone paying attention to the Democratic presidential candidate race knows that Bernie Sanders is catching up with Hillary Clinton, in large part because of his support from the youth vote and Millennials. As the Clinton campaign struggles to maintain its lead, many have wondered why it is that the 74-year-old Senator from Vermont has suddenly started connecting with younger voters in a way that the former First Lady simply can’t.

Many believe that Millennials are simply tired of “politics as usual” and see Bernie Sanders as someone who could really stir things up. As many young voters are finishing their college careers and others are trying to wade their way through massive student loans, some believe it is his insistence on free education. The financial crisis of 2008 was the worst economic event that many voters have lived through. With Bernie Sanders butting heads with Wall Street and big banks for so long, perhaps voters feel like Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism can turn the American economy around. Maybe it’s simply the fact that Bernie has the most liberal views on marijuana legalization among mainstream candidates.

Last night, however, Seth Meyers offered up another idea, and he calls it the “Betty White Zone.”

Helping fill the void that Stephen Colbert left when he transitioned from a faux-Republican pundit to his current role at The Late Show, the crew at Late Night With Seth Meyers have been very interested in the 2016 presidential election cycle. He has a recurring segment on his show called “A Closer Look,” in which he examines in detail something that has been in the news. He’s covered a wide range of topics, from “Donald Trump’s White Nationalist Supporters” to “Donald Trump’s False Claims.”

Last night’s edition investigated the Democratic side of things with “Bernie Sanders Polling Surge.” It was as a part of this segment that Meyers explained what the Betty White Zone is and why it’s working for Bernie Sanders.

“Every so often, an old person transcends their age and enters what we call the ‘Betty White Zone.’ What’s the Betty White Zone? It’s a place reserved for the elderly who are so cool that they make the younger people believe it will actually be fun to get older. And Bernie Sanders is currently in the Betty White Zone.”

Seth continued, saying that Barack Obama may have offered “hope,” but Sanders offers the youth a new kind of hope.

“Kids watch him and think, ‘Man, I hope I’m that cool when I’m 74. I’m gonna have one suit and yell about everything!'”

Meyers goes on to explain that it would be a huge mistake for Clinton to try to get into the Betty White Zone.

“When she tries to be cool,” he said, “it doesn’t work.”

According to a recent Bernie Sanders vs. Hillary Clinton poll conducted by Monmouth University, young Democrats (ages 18-49) favor Sanders 52-39. Just last month, Clinton was leading Sanders among these same voters 52-35. Whether the Betty White Zone has any real impact or not, it’s clear that young voters are quickly shifting away from Hillary towards Senator Sanders.

When consulting the aggregate poll numbers at Real Clear Politics, it shows that Clinton leads Sanders by 4 points in Iowa. The presidential primary elections begin in Iowa on February 1. With what appears to be a commanding lead for Sanders in New Hampshire, winning in Iowa has become even more important for both left-wing campaigns.

With less than two weeks before voting begins, Hillary Clinton currently leads Bernie Sanders by 15 points in the most recent nationwide polls. According to the same polls, at the national level, Sanders leads Donald Trump by 15 points, while Hillary leads Donald by just 10.

[Photos by Larry Busacca & Andrew Burton/Getty Images]