Sanders, Clinton supporters prepare for Illinois primary

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Supporters for both Democratic presidential candidates are trying to drum up support here in Illinois. (WLS)

In the race for the White House, Democrat Bernie Sanders is gaining ground on Hillary Clinton after Tuesday night's big win in Michigan.

Supporters for both Democratic presidential candidates are trying to drum up support in Illinois, where the primary is less than a week away.

Winning a big state like Michigan has Illinois Sanders supporters looking ahead to next Tuesday, and "Feeling the Bern" in new ways.

"Last night, as I saw the returns come in, the 'Bern' was even higher, it was more intense," said Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, a Sanders supporter.

As he endorsed state legislative candidate Theresa Mah, Garcia was feeling better about his presidential choice in Sanders. Tuesday's Chicago Tribune poll suggested the Vermont senator trailed Clinton by over 40 points. But after what happened in Michigan:

"He made up an almost 30-point difference in a very short span of time. We've got six days to turn it around in Illinois," Garcia said.

In the wake of her Michigan loss, Clinton on Wednesday scheduled a campaign stop in Vernon Hills for Thursday. Her husband campaigned on Tuesday in Chicago and Evanston.

"I just think we're in one of the most unusual moments in American history," said Missouri Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.

Cleaver is one of the many surrogates the Clinton campaign has dispatched to Chicago. He courted African American voters who, so far, have been the base of support in most of the primaries the former secretary of state has won.

"The message that Secretary Clinton is delivering is not a message for Latinos or African Americans, it's for America," Cleaver said.

"There is a huge amount of concern about people's economic security," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Clinton supporter, said. "I'm not saying that Bernie Sanders had a better. I'm saying the American people want their voices heard. I think that Hillary has a very strong economic message."

Garcia expects Sanders to turnout younger voters in Illinois who also will choose candidates in other races.

"I hope that this will result in the election of a new crop of leaders locally, at the state level and nationally," Garcia said.

In Michigan Tuesday, at least one exit poll suggested that the turnout among voters 18 to 29-years-old equaled or surpassed the turnout of voters over 65-years-old. Apparently the pre-election polls that showed Sanders so far behind did not account for that.

Related Topics:
politicspoliticsbernie sandershillary clintoncampaigndemocrats
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