Bernie Sanders rally in Manassas

Supporters of Bernie Sanders gathered at Manassas rally.

Nora Sanchez

Supporters of Bernie Sanders gathered at Manassas rally.

On September 15, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a rally in the Manassas Fairground with about 2000 attendees.

Various speakers came onto the podium to energize the crowd in preparation. The audience’s excitement continued to grow until Sanders walked up, and the crowd’s applause reached a peak.

One of the first topics discussed was education. Sanders listed statistics about the number of college graduates currently unemployed. He then stated his belief that access to a college education is a right, and that he wanted to make college free. This inspired applause from the sizable number of college-age youth attending the rally.

He also talked about paid maternity leave, proposing that all workplaces be required to offer at least twelve weeks of paid maternity leave for a parent after their child is born.

In addition, he talked about police brutality and racism. These issues have led to controversy over his campaign in the past, as he was interrupted and criticized for ignoring racial issues during a previous rally.

One of the most noticeable things about the rally was that he avoided criticizing other candidates, instead focusing on listing statistics in order to support his beliefs.  

Sanders is currently the junior Senator from Vermont. He is the only Independent Senator in the United States. Last May, he announced that he would attempt to run for President on the Democratic Ticket.

During his time in the senate, Bernie Sanders expressed support for the ideology of democratic socialism; however the concept was never mentioned during the rally.  

The Democratic Presidential Primary begins with the Iowa caucuses on February 1, 2016.  Currently, Hillary Clinton ranks higher in polls with 43.5% compared to Sanders with 25.3%. This makes a Sanders victory seem somewhat unlikely.