“We are their worst nightmare,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday of the corporate and establishment forces allied against his presidential campaign—and the diverse grassroots movement fueling it—as a new Iowa poll showed the Vermont senator leading the 2020 Democratic field by nine points just a week ahead of the state’s Feb. 3 caucuses.
The Emerson/7 News survey released Sunday evening put Sanders at the top of the Democratic pack with 30% support, solidifying his status as frontrunner in the state. Former Vice President Joe Biden polled in second with 21% support and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in third with 13%.
“Compared to the Emerson Poll of Iowa in December, Sanders has picked up the most support, rising eight points,” noted Emerson data analyst Isabel Holloway. “Biden has lost two points, Klobuchar has moved up three points, and Warren has dropped one point. Buttigieg has lost the most support, falling eight points. Yang and Gabbard have each risen by three points, and Steyer has moved up two points.”
The survey, one of several strong early-state polls for Sanders in recent days, came as the Vermont senator rallied in Iowa alongside progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who officially endorsed Sanders before a crowd of tens of thousands in New York City last October.
During an event in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday evening, Sanders pointed out that President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee are suddenly “talking about our campaign.”
Ahead of Sanders’ weekend rallies, Trump’s reelection campaign sent an email to supporters describing Ocasio-Cortez’s endorsement of Sanders as “problematic” and calling the Vermont senator “the godfather of her extreme agenda and socialist vision for America.”
Trump and his Republican allies aren’t the only ones nervous about the possibility of a Sanders nomination, the senator told the large crowd gathered in Sioux City Sunday night.
“Suddenly, we have the Democratic establishment very nervous about this campaign,” Sanders declared to applause. “We got Wall Street nervous. We got the insurance companies nervous. We got the drug companies nervous. We got the fossil fuel industry nervous. We got the military-industrial complex nervous. We got the prison-industrial complex nervous. We got billionaires going on television crying that they’re going to have to start paying their fair share of taxes.”
“And they’re starting to think, ‘Could this really happen? Could there really be a political movement in America which brings together blacks and whites and Latinos and Asian Americans and Native Americans, gay and straight, to stand up as working class people fighting for change?'” Sanders said. “We are their worst nightmare.”
Speaking at a rally in Ames, Iowa Saturday, Ocasio-Cortez emphasized the importance of large voter turnout in what she described as “one of the most consequential election years that we have had in recent history.”
“Are we ready to caucus our hearts out?” Ocasio-Cortez asked the cheering crowd of Sanders supporters. “I’m so excited to be here and share in this moment with you all, shoulder to shoulder. Because this is not just a moment, it’s a movement. It’s a true movement.”
Main Image: U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaking with the media at the 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention hosted by the AFL-CIO at the Prairie Meadows Hotel in Altoona, Iowa. | Gage Skidmore