Last year, if someone told you that by August of 2015, a poll would show Bernie Sanders ahead of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, what would you say?
Six months ago, if you were told that Bernie Sanders would draw over 100,000 people at events across the country, how would you react?
The truth is that Bernie Sanders is long past the viewpoint that he's unelectable or "too liberal." Without serious interest from mainstream media, and without billions in campaign funding, the Vermont Senator has been able to generate a nationwide groundswell of enthusiasm. Money can't buy enthusiasm, and money certainly can't buy a person's trust -- Sanders has an abundance of both.
Since Bernie Sanders is sincere and known for his direct and forthright communication style, he won't have to spend any dollars convincing Americans that he's trustworthy. Sanders, unlike others, can simply remind people that he voted against the Iraq War, voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, fought hard against Keystone XL and the TPP, and favors breaking up "too big to fail" banks.
Up until now, the view that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner was bolstered by an ever-dwindling poll among Democratic voters between the former Secretary of State and the Vermont Senator. However, with major polls today showing Sanders challenging or defeating Clinton and Republican, conventional wisdom has allowed the possibility of Clinton possibly losing a second run at the presidency. Furthermore, the momentum generated by the Sanders campaign is genuine and will only increase (among all demographics) with greater name recognition across the country.
Most importantly, Bernie Sanders is the only Democrat gaining attention nationwide who isn't linked to an FBI investigation. Why some Democrats still continue to believe a candidate can win the White House with the Justice Department, FBI, and other intelligence agencies investigating this candidate's email practices, seems to overlook one obvious fact. Nobody has ever won the White House with an ongoing FBI and Justice Department investigation, and it doesn't seem that the FBI or Justice Department will cease investigating Clinton's email saga by Election Day; 444 days away.
In reality, the real frontrunner within the race for Democratic nominee is the candidate gaining momentum every single day, without overwhelming media coverage. Bernie Sanders is in reality the likely choice for Democratic nominee, since his competition is linked to an ongoing FBI investigation. Statisticians and pundits can serve as naysayers, but the reality is that Hillary Clinton's lead over Bernie Sanders is constantly dwindling, and yet Clinton's email saga is just beginning. For these reasons and more, the realistic choice for Democratic nominee is the Vermont Senator, not the former Secretary of State who is now under scrutiny from various government agencies.
Fabricated or real, the scandal exists, and nobody can win the White House with the FBI as a running mate.
In addition, a recent Wired article titled "The FBI Has Clinton's Email Server. Now What?" explains how Hillary Clinton's peculiar use of email could mushroom into a much bigger story:
The latest chapter, though, in which the FBI combs through the hardware that once hosted tens of thousands of Clinton's digital epistles, raises the question of just how hard it is to vanish your data -- or for someone else to retrieve it after you do...
According to NBC News, the FBI believes it "may be able to recover at least some data."
"They are probably checking to see if there is evidence that some sort of wiping utility was used to overwrite the deleted data in unallocated space on the server," explains Hall. "They could also be checking the address book of contacts to determine if they can find emails that had been sent or received that could still be located on another user's device."
Since "another user's device" can easily end up adding even more spectacle to an already bizarre saga involving the FBI and a presidential candidate, it's doubtful that this matter will be resolved before Election Day.
Does a true frontrunner in politics need to defend against accusations linked to an FBI investigation?
Also, not only is the FBI investigating Clinton's emails (supporters say Clinton isn't involved, only her emails), but federal judges are also involved. According to a recent POLITICO article titled "Judge says Hillary Clinton's private email violated policy," the "frontrunner" within the Democratic Party might indeed have violated State Department protocol:
A federal judge has added fresh fuel to the incendiary controversy over Hillary Clinton's email, asserting during a hearing Thursday that she violated government policy by storing official messages on a private server when she worked as secretary of state.
"We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy," said U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, apparently referring to Clinton, during a hearing on one of the many Freedom of Information Act lawsuits seeking access to her records as secretary of state.
Sullivan said Clinton's actions had complicated the State Department's ability to respond to requests for records on various topics. He also ordered the State Department to contact the FBI to determine whether the private server Clinton used, which Clinton turned over to that law enforcement agency earlier this month, contains official records possibly responsive to the FOIA suit.
Normally, the frontrunner for a political party's nomination doesn't have to deal with a federal judge claiming, "We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy." The most serious issue pertaining to this lawsuit is the fact that a federal judge "ordered the State Department to contact the FBI" in the hopes of finding out if Clinton's server "contains official records possibly responsive to the FOIA suit."
When was the last time a candidate for president won the White House with ongoing lawsuits, FBI and Justice Department investigations, and competing intelligence agency fawning over electronic correspondence?
Again, to be fair to Clinton supporters, this isn't about Hillary Clinton. This is about Hillary Clinton's emails.
In contrast, a New York Times article titled "Bernie Sanders Draws Big Crowds to His 'Political Revolution'" highlights the energy of the Sanders campaign and how this enthusiasm has translated to overflowing crowds in Iowa and around the nation:
DUBUQUE, Iowa -- As 1,800 mad-as-hell supporters jumped out of their seats and pumped their fists last Sunday, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont delivered the message they had come to hear.
By overtaking Hillary Rodham Clinton in New Hampshire in some polls and drawing tens of thousands of people to his events on the West Coast, as well as thousands in Iowa and Nevada, Mr. Sanders, 73, has recaptured the enthusiasm that fueled the 2008 Obama campaign, with T¬shirts that say "Feel the Bern"...
He would break up the banks that are too big to fail, keep us out of any more wars and pay for much of his spending program with a tax on Wall Street trading...
"Bernie, Bernie, Bernie," the crowd of Sanders supporters chanted as the senator approached the entrance of Iowa State Fair.
As stated in The New York Times piece, Bernie Sanders "has recaptured the enthusiasm that fueled the 2008 Obama campaign."
Finally, trust will be a key aspect of the 2016 presidential race, and it's difficult to earn the trust of voters when the FBI or a federal judge has linked your actions to improper protocol. On July 22, Quinnipiac University came out with a poll that reads, Clinton In Trouble In Colorado, Iowa, Virginia, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds. Within the poll, Quinnipiac found that "Colorado voters say 62 - 34 percent that Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy" and other states mirrored Colorado voters in this regard. Also within that same poll, Quinnipiac found that "U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker."
That Quinnipiac poll was reported in July. It's now almost the end of August, and Clinton's email saga is just getting started. It's safe to say that Bernie Sanders will eventually become the Democratic frontrunner, since unlike Clinton, his emails aren't linked to FBI investigations, Justice Department inquiries, or the declarations of federal judges. Remember, the election is 444 days away, and both candidates are going in opposite directions.