FORT DODGE, Iowa-- Justin Streif made a road trip because he doesn't like the country's road map right now: the rich and big corporations control too much and the rest of the country is suffering. He thinks Bernie Sanders, the socialist-independent presidential candidate who's running as a Democrat, is the best person to guide the country on a new path.
Streif, who lives in Waukee, made the 90-minute drive to Fort Dodge to hear Sanders Thursday afternoon at Iowa Central Community College. "I was excited when Hillary (Clinton) decided to run," Streif said, "but even more excited when Bernie came out."
Streif was one of about 125 people who outnumbered the available auditorium seats on a summer afternoon when most students are away. He watched Sanders on television speak before 10,000 in Madison, Wisconsin, the night before and thinks the country is starting to realize something: Sanders can win the nomination. "Sharing what we want to hear. But not just what we want to hear but explaining his points," Streif said, "and how he's going to make these happen. He's not just out there giving out a fanciful idea, unicorns and lollipops . He's trying to explain this is what we need to do. And here's how we can do it."
Sanders is surging in Iowa, according to the most recent Quinnipiac Poll. He trailed Clinton by 45 percent in May. But now it is 19 percent. Streif is convinced Sanders will eventually surpass her. Others aren't so sure.
Sanders offered specifics: he wants a $15 minimum hourly wage, 12 weeks family leave, two weeks minimum paid vacation and a $1 trillion public works program to fix ailing roads and bridges, among other things. He said it is time for people to push back against big money that controls the country. "What I am asking of you is to make a political revolution in this country...not just electing me," Sanders said and then added, "obviously, I would like that, too."