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JoCo Dems Support Sanders, Get National Backing

Updated: Wednesday, July 23 2014, 10:24 PM CDT
IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The 2016 Presidential election may seem far away, but Iowans already have an eye on the state's influential caucuses.

A group of Johnson County Democrats want to see Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) add his name to the Iowa caucuses.

"He's running, he's running. Why else would he come to Goose Lake?" said Jeff Cox about a recent trip by Sanders. Cox is the head of the committee behind the campaign to get Sanders to run.

Sanders brands himself as a champion for veterans' rights, the middle class, and as an independent, self-proclaimed democratic socialist. The Johnson County group supporting him is gathering momentum.

"We now have a national organization, which has bumper stickers," Cox said, joking about the grassroots level of this campaign.

The group is being supported by the political action campaign Progress Democrats of America, and democrats see Sanders as a viable progressive option for President whose name isn't Hillary Clinton. People aren't interested in seeing Clinton get the nomination automatically, Cox said.

"We need to have a discussion here about how the country should run. That's what we need. And that's what Sen. Sanders will provide, and that's what the Iowa Caucuses will provide," Cox said.

That could backfire, said University of Iowa political science professor Tim Hagle.

"Actually, it would even be good for Hillary Clinton is Bernie Sanders entered the race, because she would undoubtedly like to position herself in the general election as the more moderate candidate," Hagle said.

Hagle added that it is still early, and other potential candidates have plenty of time to add their names to the list.

"And then, of course, what if Hillary Clinton doesn't run?" Hagle said, answering that the nomination could end up a lot more contested. JoCo Dems Support Sanders, Get National Backing

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