- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 11, 2015

BOULDER, Colo. — Days before the first Democratic presidential candidates debate, Sen. Bernard Sanders sent a signal to his competition by drawing hefty crowds at weekend rallies.

An estimated 9,000 supporters converged Saturday at Potts Field at the University of Colorado Boulder for the Vermont senator’s campaign appearance, a day after a crowd of 13,000 packed Reid Park in Tucson, Arizona.

The size of the Tucson crowd surprised organizers, who had planned for about 7,000 attendees, according to Tucson News Now.

“You know, I am often asked by the media why it is that our campaign draws large crowds like this,” Mr. Sanders told the cheering audience in Boulder. “I don’t know how many people are here, but there are a lot.”

“This is a people’s campaign, and you, brothers and sisters, are part of a political revolution,” said the senator, an avowed socialist.

Following two Republican presidential debates, the Democratic candidates spar for the first time Tuesday. Hosted by CNN, the debate is expected to feature five candidates: Mr. Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released Friday shows that Mr. Sanders continues to gain on front-runner Mrs. Clinton. The survey found Mrs. Clinton dropping from 51 percent to 41 percent during the period of Oct. 4-9, while Mr. Sanders‘ numbers increased from nearly 24 percent to 28 percent.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who remains undecided on whether to seek the Democratic presidential nomination, saw his support grow from 16 percent to 20 percent.

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