Briefings: Will Bernie Sanders Make Himself at the City of Homes?…
UPDATED 9/28/15 1:52PM: To reflect the addition of Clinton’s event on substance abuse on Oct. 1.
Although another solid four months remain before anybody casts a ballot for the 2016 presidential campaign, the Democratic primary race is already starting to shift past the early states where Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has a chance to best former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. States like Massachusetts are incredibly loyal to Clinton, and held fast even in 2008 against Barack Obama.
However, Sanders does not appear to be conceding the Bay State either, or at least does not want to appear as such. On October 3, Sanders will appear in both Springfield and Boston to hold rallies with supporters. The event in Springfield, some sources say, is an attempt to counter the strong support the city’s congressman, Richard Neal, has lent Clinton since she entered the race.
The Massachusetts events were announced today by Sanders’s campaign. Information on his website indicates that they are planning for a large audience on the steps of Springfield City Hall and are coordinating with police to manage the crowd. “Gates” are to open at 1pm with the rally to start at 2pm.
Sanders has gotten considerable media attention for his massive crowds, however, it is hard to know how much that translate into firm support. Anecdotally, some in those crowds attended purely out of curiosity and not due to fervor for the Vermont senator, a lifelong self-described Socialist who serves in Congress as a political independent.
While Sanders can expect a decent sized crowd, what will be more interesting is whether or not it will actually reflect the diversity of the city itself. While Sanders has gained on Clinton in polls, he has continued to lag among blacks and Latinos who together constitute about 60% of Springfield’s population.
Were primarily white supporters from liberal pockets of the 413 and Connecticut to make up most of the crowd, it might be more difficult to argue or at least know he has a local show of force that counters Neal’s backing for Clinton.
When Sanders travels to Boston for the rally at the Boston Convention Center scheduled for 6pm, he seems more likely to draw a crowd that is less disputably representative of the city.
Clinton will be in Holyoke on October 1 for a fundraiser, although no other public events for her in Western Massachusetts have been disclosed. She will travel to Boston for a discussion on drug abuse with Attorney General Maura Healey and Mayor Marty Walsh. Clinton has two more fundraisers in metro Boston that evening.