MILWAUKEE – Drawing bigger Badger State crowds than any other presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders spoke to supporters at a rally here on Monday that pushed the total turnout at Wisconsin campaign appearances this week to more than 38,000 supporters.
For more than a week Sanders crisscrossed the state making stops in Eau Claire, Onalaska, Wausau and other cities. His push to win Tuesday’s Democratic Party presidential primary began a week ago Saturday in Madison, the state capital, where a big and boisterous University of Wisconsin crowd welcomed him to the state fresh off landslide victories in Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.
In Monday night’s speech at the Wisconsin Convention Center, Sanders spoke about the momentum behind his grassroots campaign which won six of the last seven contests. “Not only have we won them, we’ve won every one by landslide victories and tomorrow if there is a good turnout in Wisconsin, if there is a record-breaking turnout in Wisconsin, we are going to win here as well.”
Sanders said he would have the best chance to keep the White House for Democrats this fall. “We beat Donald Trump by huge margins,” he said citing national polls and a survey last week in Wisconsin. He held a 20-point edge over Trump in a recent CNN poll and was up on the Republican front-runner by 19 points in a Wisconsin survey. “And our margin against him is greater than Hillary Clinton’s,” Sanders said.
Two major milestones were marked during the week.
The campaign announced on Friday that supporters contributed a record $44 million in March and that since the campaign began 11 months ago more than 6.5 million contributions had been made from 2 million donors.
And then on Sunday, Sanders crossed the 1 million mark in total attendance at his rallies, town meetings, house parties and other campaign events since he launched his White House bid last May 26 at an outdoor rally on the banks of Lake Champlain in the city where his career of public service began in 1981 when he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont.
On Monday alone in Wisconsin the U.S. senator from Vermont spoke in trade-battered Janesville, headlined a mid-afternoon rally in Green Bay and ended the day on the campaign trail with the speech to 2,400 in the state’s biggest city on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Wisconsin plays a major role in presidential politics. The winner of Wisconsin’s primary has gone on to secure the Democratic Party presidential nomination in every presidential election year but one since 1960. “Wisconsin has played an enormously important role in determining who the president of the United States will be,” Sanders said.