SEATTLE – Bernie Sanders supporters filled more than 15,100 seats at the Seattle Mariners’ baseball park on Friday one day before Democrats here head to caucuses to determine who to nominate for president.
It was Sanders’ sixth big rally in recent days in Washington, one of the key progressive Western states where he has tried to tap a tremendous show of support.
In just the past week, Sanders has won more delegates than Hillary Clinton. He notched double-digit wins in Idaho and Utah. He edged into a nationwide lead over Clinton in a major national poll conducted for Bloomberg Politics. And he has consistently fared much better than Clinton in matchups with Republican White House hopefuls, including GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that Hillary Clinton is the strongest Democratic candidate to take on the Republicans. It is not true,” Sanders told the crowd at Safeco Field.
In a recent CNN/ORC poll, Clinton fared better than Trump by 12 points but Sanders outpolled the real estate tycoon by 20 points. He also beat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. She tied Cruz and lost to Kasich.
Speaking from a podium placed over home plate, Sanders told the the baseball park crowd that he could win in Washington if there is a big turnout at the Saturday morning caucuses.
“Tomorrow morning in the great state of Washington we are going to say loud and clear the billionaire class cannot have it all. Tomorrow morning we are going to tell the world we demand a government that represents all of us, not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors,” Sanders said.
Earlier Friday, 11,500 Sanders backers packed a mid-day rally at the arena in Portland, Oregon, just across the state line from Vancouver, Washington.
During the rally in the area where the Portland Trail Blazers play, a sparrow perched for a minute on the front of Sanders’ podium. The video went viral on social media with the hashtag #BirdieSanders. Locals saw a special meaning in the bird landing because of the line about the city’s quirky ways – “put a bird on it” – from the TV show “Portlandia.”
For more information on how to caucus for Bernie click here.