Bernie Sanders returns to New York City Sunday for what promises to be a huge rally in Brooklyn’s iconic Prospect Park, a rally where Sanders attempts to make his closing arguments to New York voters before the state’s Democrats go to the polls on Tuesday in a primary that could either build on the Sanders momentum coming off of a string of seven out of eight victories in western states or leave his campaign with no remaining path to the nomination.
But Sanders’ New York supporters, perhaps sensing that he needs them more than ever, are expected to turn out in even greater numbers than on Wednesday, when they filled another of New York City’s most famous parks, Washington Square, in the city’s Greenwich Village neighborhood.
— Brokelyn (@Brokelyn) April 13, 2016
That rally drew an expansive crowd which the Bernie Sanders campaign estimated at 27,000 people — though the New York Police Department estimate was a somewhat over half that, at 15,000.
The excitement around Bernie Sanders at the Washington Square rally, however, was overshadowed by a controversial comment made by one of the series of speakers who introduced the Vermont senator. The speaker, California oncologist and health care activist Dr. Paul Song, appeared to refer to Sanders’ opponent, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, as one of many “Democratic corporate wh***s.”
Song apologized the following day in an essay entitled “I Am Sorry” published by the Huffington Post.
Watch a full replay of the controversial Bernie Sanders Washington Square rally in the video below.
To watch a full replay of the Sunday Bernie Sanders rally in Prospect Park, use the following video. The event is scheduled to get underway around 3 p.m. Eastern Time (noon Pacific), with a performance by the local favorite, Brooklyn indie rock band Grizzly Bear.
Also speaking at the Prospect Park rally will be Hollywood actors Danny DeVito and Justin Long, and Hawaii congressional representative Tulsi Gabbard.
The Sunday rally will be the first for Bernie Sanders since his whirlwind trip to Rome where he delivered a brief address to a conference there — and where he managed to force a brief meeting with Pope Francis, who later insisted that the encounter was not “political,” and that he greeted Sanders merely out of “good manners,” after Sanders planted himself in the lobby of the Pope’s official residence.
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“When I came down, I greeted him, I shook his hand and nothing more. This is called good manners and it is not getting involved in politics,” Pope Francis told reporters on an airplane later, on his way to meet with refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. “If anyone thinks that greeting someone is getting involved in politics, I recommend that he look for a psychiatrist.”
Sanders, for his part, spoke more glowingly of Pope Francis following their impromptu meeting, deeming Francis “a beautiful man.”
“I am not a Catholic,” said Sanders, who is Jewish. “But there is a radiance that comes from him.”
So where does Sanders stand in the race against Clinton to win the New York primary and cut into Clinton’s lead of 206 pledged delegates? At this point, that’s difficult to say with certainty because no new poll has been released since the Washington Square Rally, the Sanders visit to Rome, and perhaps most important, the highly contentious and often angry debate between Clinton and Sanders on Thursday.
That debate was marked by a number of bitter exchanges and interruptions as the candidates frequently talked over each other.
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) April 15, 2016
But even if Sanders did derive a “bounce” from the debate and other events since Tuesday, when the latest poll was issued, he may still have a considerable deficit to overcome.
That poll, released on April 13 by NBC News 4, the Wall Street Journal, and Marist College, showed Bernie Sanders trailing Hillary Clinton by 17 percentage points, with Clinton commanding a full 57 percent of voter support in New York.
[Featured Photo By Spencer Platt / Getty Images]