“Unexpected and Significant”: Bernie a “Strong Second” in Wisconsin Straw Poll

Bernie Sanders came in a strong second in a straw poll of attendees Saturday at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention.

The party’s website reports that 511 delegates, alternates and registered guests voted in the straw poll. Bernie received 208 votes to Secretary Clinton’s 252 votes., a Wisconsin political news service, conducted the straw poll and summarized the results this way: “WisDem conventioneers favor Clinton for president, Sanders close second.”

Joe Biden and Martin O’Malley each received 16 votes, with 8 for Jim Webb and 5 for Lincoln Chafee.

John Nichols of The Nation writes:

“The senator has been a regular visitor to Wisconsin over the years, as a frequent speaker at the annual ‘Fighting Bob Fest’ gatherings, which draw thousands of Wisconsin activists to outdoor events each September. He has lauded the legacy of former Wisconsin U.S. Senator Robert M. La Follette, who mounted an independent progressive campaign for the presidency in 1924, and of the democratic socialists who led Milwaukee for much of the 20th century. In recent years, he had worked with Ed Garvey, a former gubernatorial candidate, on a host of issues.

“Perhaps most importantly, Sanders is an enthusiastic backer of organized labor – a stance that resonates with Wisconsin activists who, over the past four years, have battled the anti-union initiatives of the administration of Governor Scott Walker.”

Nichols, a veteran observer of both national and Wisconsin politics, called the straw poll results “another sign of unexpected and significant support” for Bernie.