The Media and Bernie Sanders

I like Bernie Sanders.  I like his ideas, and I like his approach to campaigning.  Out of all the candidates that have officially announced their candidacy for president, only Sanders has outlined sensible policies to take care of the American people.  He is also the only candidate to have drawn a crowd of 10,000 supporters.  So why does the media label him an “underdog” or a “long shot?”  Here a just a few examples of what I’m talking about.

“Bernie Sanders has been running for president for two months, but Wednesday night in Madison, Wisconsin, his long-shot campaign got real.”- Dan Merica, CNN, July 2

“The haul marks a strong performance for the underdog candidate, but still puts him well behind Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton.”- John Wagner, The Washington Post, July 2

“The Vermont senator is winning over progressive voters and has raised millions in small donations. Could this underdog campaign have a fighting chance?”- Lauren Gambino and Ben Jacobs, The Guardian, July 3

“Bernie Sanders an Unlikely Source of Competition for Hillary Clinton”- Good Morning America, ABC, July 3

I get that Hillary Clinton is the “big-name” nominee, and I understand that she has a well-oiled political machine already in place.  I also know that a lot of people have been waiting for 2016 to see her run.  When the media, however, has all but crowned her the Democratic nominee, what message does that send about our political system?  What does this mean for democracy?

I see the media portrayal as having two possible effects.  First, people love to root for the underdog.  As such, the more the media says Sanders doesn’t have a chance, the more support he’ll receive.  Second, it could take support away from Sanders because people also like the sure thing.  They don’t want to feel like their support is wasted on somebody who might not be the nominee.

What are your thoughts?  Will the media’s portrayal of Sanders help, or hurt, his chances?

Thanks for reading.


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