A big crowd of 1,150 Bernie Sanders supporters packed into a convention center in Sioux City on a cold Monday night four days before Christmas and 42 days before Iowa caucus goers kick off the process of picking the Democratic Party presidential nominee.
The rally on the first day of winter kicked off Sanders thirteenth trip to Iowa since announcing a White House bid last spring.
Closing in on Hillary Clinton’s once commanding lead in Iowa, Sanders campaign is gaining momentum.
In the past few days alone, a CBS News Battleground tracker poll released on Sunday found the former secretary of state is leading by only five points in Iowa, but Sanders is leading in New Hampshire by 14 percentage points.
And just last Thursday, Sanders won the endorsement of the 700,000-member-strong Communications Workers of America.
The same day he won the backing of the progressive grassroots group Democracy for America. Sanders was favored by 88 percent of those participating in an online poll conducted for the group founded by former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
Then on Saturday the Sanders campaign set a record for the most contributions for any presidential candidate at this point in any campaign for the White House. He’s now received more than 2.3 million contributions, averaging less than $30 apiece. That milestone surpassed the record at this point in 2011 as President Barack Obama geared up to run for a second term in office.
“What we are trying to do in this campaign in a straightforward, non-gimmicky way is to lay the issues on the table, listening to people with different points of view, being respectable and then coming up with serious solutions,” Sanders told the Sioux City crowd.
“I will never stop talking about the needs of working families. I will never stop talking about poverty. I will never stop talking about being able to afford college. I will never stop talking about climate change. I will never stop talking about income and wealth inequality.”
After Monday night’s rally in Sioux City, Sanders was headed on Tuesday to Storm Lake, Harlan and Council Bluffs. He also was set to host a town meeting on Wednesday in Red Oak.