Golden Eagles flock to Sanders

As part of a Sanders campaign event, campus community members gathered in support of the self-labeled democratic socialist, marching from the USU plaza to nearby the voting center on campus.

Richard Tzul, News Managing Editor

Campus community members gathered enthusiastically on the eve of Super Tuesday in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the current frontrunner for the presidential Democratic nomination.

The event featured actor Josh Hutcherson, a national surrogate for the Sanders campaign, delivering remarks on stage at the U-SU plaza. Hutcherson drew parallels to what he said was the country’s direction to the film franchise, “The Hunger Games,” in which he starred.

The violent dystopian world in those movies are an obvious extreme that doesn’t exist in the U.S, but the films have recurring themes reflective of the real world, such as a reigning oligarchy, said Hutcherson in an interview with the UT.

After remarks from Hutcherson and other speakers, the crowd of at least 30 people marched from the plaza toward the campus voting center, keeping some distance to adhere to voting policy. Chants including “Sanders beats Trump,” “Hey, Hey! Ho, Ho! Student debt has got to go!” could be heard at various points from the predominantly young crowd.

Holding a Bernie campaign sign, with the candidate’s name written in rainbow colored text, Edson Dominguez said he doesn’t “like our current president,” while Sanders is someone who “won’t harm society.” Dominguez, an art major, voted early for the Vermont Senator but plans to accompany his sister, who will vote on Super Tuesday.

Ryan Perez, 27, held signs while inviting others to join in and grab signs themselves. Perez, a business administration major, said Sanders was the best candidate to take on climate change and could head the environmental challenge.

“It should be everyone’s priority,” he responded when asked if it was his most important issue. He added, “It’s Bernie or the apocalypse.”

The Sanders campaign has invested heavily in resources in California, a strategy that is likely to come to fruition, according to a number of polls in the state. It’s a move that can pay off handsomely, as the Golden State has more delegates than any other state in the country. The state with the third most delegates is Texas, also part of Super Tuesday, according to Business Insider.

Winning those two states can be “a double barrel shotgun to the DNC,” said Perez, who feels the Democratic establishment has failed Americans including matters such as wages and healthcare.

That same establishment is mounting an effort to stop the frontrunner. After a huge victory in South Carolina, Joe Biden has potentially emerged as a serious challenger to Sanders, as candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar cleared the moderate lane and endorsed Joe Biden, which was widely viewed as an effort to unite behind a single Democratic alternative to Sanders.

A core part of the Sanders base is progressive voters, Latinx folks and young people. Youth are drawn to Sanders since they’re “getting financially annihilated,” due to student loans and the California homelessness crisis which affects students, said Perez.

On behalf of Sanders, Hutcherson has visited multiple college campuses, recognizing that some students are busy with classes and work, hence why he’s campaigning to boost voter turnout among young people.

“Cal State LA ‘feels the Bern,’ baby!” he said while taking selfies with fans.