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Insiders Weigh In on Sanders' NH Door-Knocking Campaign

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, right, with Will and Zeke Stewart at a recent Brunch with Bernie event in Manchester. Sanders is refusing super PAC money in his bid for the White House. Credit: W. Stewart
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, right, with Will and Zeke Stewart at a recent Brunch with Bernie event in Manchester. Sanders is refusing super PAC money in his bid for the White House. Credit: W. Stewart
May 11, 2015

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Senator Bernie Sanders intends to win the White House by knocking on doors and supporters in the Granite State say don't underestimate the power of grassroots campaigns. Elizabeth Ropp hosted a "Brunch for Bernie" in Manchester. She says Sanders' average campaign contribution is just $43, and she believes getting big money out of politics is an issue many voters in New Hampshire and the nation can get behind.

"He talks about big money, he takes on the super PACs, income inequality and equality opportunity," says Ropp. "Yes, he talks a lot about health care. He was instrumental in getting the Affordable Care Act passed."

Ropp says Obamacare may not be perfect, but she has yet to see a viable alternative from the Republicans who oppose the Act. Sanders joined an increasingly crowded field of candidates who are stopping off in the Granite State.

Republican candidate Carly Fiorina gave the commencement address Saturday at the Southern New Hampshire University graduation.

David Rioux, a local supporter of Sanders, says the Independent senator from Vermont does start behind the pack of candidates who are accepting super PAC money, but he says there is plenty of recent evidence that grassroots campaigns can go the distance.

"You can't discount what grassroots can do," he says. "I mean, Howard Dean proved how possible it was, and then of course with the Occupy Movement. You got the Koch brothers behind you, you can do whatever you want, but grassroots still has the power, if you've got enough people on your side and he's going to have millions of small folks behind him."

The Concord Monitor reports Sanders raised $1.5 million from 35,000 people in the first 24 hours of his campaign. He is expected back in the Granite State later this month.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH