SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — Democratic presidential frontrunner Bernie Sanders made a stop in San Jose on Sunday and was met with piercingly loud support.
It was the second time Sanders has come to San Jose, the first being his 2016 presidential campaign. His supporters in the South Bay loved him back then and it looks like many of them still do.
“I’ve spoken before many groups. This is the loudest group I’ve ever heard!” Sanders told the crowd. He delivered his standard stump speech to a capacity crowd at the South Hall Tent in downtown San Jose, covering old standby Democratic party topics of abortion and gun control.
But some of the loudest cheers came when the senator said he would make education a top priority. “And if Congress can give tax breaks to billionaires under the Trump administration, under our administration, we cancel all student debt!” Sanders said to roaring cheers.
For students like Tessa Diamond, Sanders is inspiring. “He speaks to our interests, he wants free college for all, he wants a better future for america and he’s one of the few candidates that offers hope for the future,” Diamond said.
Sanders also made bold promises to change immigration laws on his first day in office, saying he’ll sign an executive order reestablishing the legal status of 1.8 million young people and their parents who are eligible for DACA.
For supporter Monica Cardenas, signing such an executive order would be monumental.
“People like myself, who have been living here their whole lives and know nothing else than to live in America,” Cardenas said.
Teachers also were drawn to Sanders, and Sarah Leduff explained why. “For young people, for myself as a millennial, for my students, we’re tired of the same old thing. We’re tired of the status quo. We want change that is big and not just incremental change anymore,” she said.
But Sanders wasn’t shy in explaining why he was in California ahead of the state’s critical primary on Super Tuesday. “The candidate who wins here in California will likely be the Democratic nominee!” he said.
San Jose State political science professor Melinda Jackson says candidates must surpass a 15% threshold to get California delegates.
“As the frontrunner, Bernie Sanders is definitely going to get above the 15%, but it’s not sure how many other candidates will do that. So he has the potential to race up a huge number of delegates in California that will put him far ahead in the national delegate count,” Jackson said.