Supporters crowd downtown Springfield for Bernie Sanders rally ahead of Super Tuesday

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders made a campaign stop in Springfield.

Thousands of supporters stood in a line that wrapped all the way around the Mass Mutual Center and even extended back down Court Street.

“I want to see Bernie,” said David Rafael of Conway. “I think he’s making history with this grassroots movement.”

“It’s going to be quite a party,” said Johnnie Gardener, who traveled to Springfield from West Hartford, Conn.

While they waited, some passed the time by watching the Sanders rally that was going on in South Carolina – happening just hours before the Springfield rally. The South Carolina primary is Saturday, but people at the Springfield rally said they aren’t worried that Sanders is in western Massachusetts the night before that big vote.

“He and his people have invested so much time there already, I feel like they think they’ve done what they can there, and they are going to leave the rest up to the people as it should be,” said Rose Raiser Jeavons, a student at Hampshire College. “He’s moving on to Super Tuesday states, like Massachusetts.”

We asked people at the rally why they support Senator Sanders.

“We all need to be angry and get things changed,” said Andrew Hettrick of Vernon, Conn.

“As a performer, we don’t get benefits,” said Gardener. “We don’t get any benefits for performing gigs, and getting paid by clubs and venues. So, medicare for all would be really helpful.”

“I’m very supportive of his green new deal, and other pro-environment bills,” said Kameron Morgan of Westfield. “I very much care about a sustainable environment.”

People at the rally said they think Sanders has what it takes to win the democratic nomination, and beat President Trump in the general election.

“Some of his ideas are ideas that many people who voted for Trump, like the trade deal, are buying into,” said David Rivers of Agawam. “So, he might actually cut into Trump’s base.”

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