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A surging Bernie Sanders gets warm reception in Atlanta | News

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A surging Bernie Sanders gets warm reception in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- For anybody who thinks Senator Bernie Sanders is just some cranky old socialist out of Vermont… think again.

His message is clearly striking a chord with voters, especially in the north. The question now is can he sell it in the South?

He arrived in Atlanta Friday for the first step in that mission.

"Congratulations!" he told the roaring crowd of more than a thousand gathered at 200 Peachtree Street. "Whether you know it or not, you are now part of the political revolution!"


Deafening cheers erupted immediately. Mostly because Sanders was preaching to the choir; a crowd hungry to see the Democratic underdog, who's now the top dog, at least in some of the early polling.

"If we do not let our opponents divide us up by race or where we were born or whether we're gay or straight… when we stand together there is nothing that we cannot accomplish!"

Sanders was interrupted by loud applause dozens of times during his hour-long speech. He says corporate greed is killing the country, and that the deeply entrenched political and social entitlements of wealth must end.


"These folks are so powerful that nothing can change unless millions of people demand that change," he said. "And make it clear that this country belongs to all of us… not just a handful of billionaires."

His platform includes a redistribution of wealth that will give families free college education, more paid leave for family issues, and an end to outsourcing, so that Americans who need good-paying jobs can get them first.

The message is resonating with a wide cross-section of voters.

"All of his money has been from small donations from people like me and you," said one of the many Millennials in the crowd. "It's kind of incredible."

"Only the future knows who's going to be elected," said a couple of older voters. "But I like what he says."

"We're coming on slowly," said another supporter. "It is a grassroots movement; the word is getting out. It's early in the campaign, but I think he's an obvious choice."

While Sanders has been good at attracting big crowds, political pundits have noted that they are not terribly diverse. Nor was this crowd in Atlanta tonight.

His campaign says it's still getting used to the explosive growth they've seen, and that they'll be reaching out more in the future to change that.