The PJ Tatler

Obama Gets Berned: Sanders Outpaces President's Maine Crowds and Donor Rolls

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) upstaged Hillary Clinton last week with his huge rally in Madison, Wis., and last night did the same to the commander in chief.

President Obama visited Maine in October to energize the base before midterm elections — and drew a crowd of 3,000 to the Portland Expo Center. Dem Mike Michaud lost the gubernatorial race after Obama urged his party to volunteer to help the candidate.

When Sanders showed up yesterday, it was in a bigger venue than the previously booked Ocean Gateway. Because of high demand, the rally was moved into the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

Sanders’ campaign put the crowd estimate at 7,500.

“In case you didn’t notice, this is a big turnout,” Sanders said after being introduced by a logger.

“From Maine to California, the American people understand that establishment politics and establishment economics are not working for America,” Sanders said. “They understand that the greed of Wall Street and corporate America is destroying the great middle class of this country and people from coast to coast are saying, ‘You can’t keep getting away with it.’”

And that’s not the only way Bernie is outpacing Obama:

Sanders’ campaign said last week that his campaign has brought about $15 million since he launched his campaign April 30. Ninety-nine percent of the almost 400,000 contributions by some 250,000 individuals were for $250 or less, with the average donation $33.51. Most donations were made through his website.

Last week, the senator nearly filled the Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center, which seats 10,231 people; the Associated Press put a 10,000 estimate on the crowd. About 5,500 people were on New York’s Roosevelt Island for Clinton’s carefully orchestrated launch.