Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday won the endorsement of MoveOn.org Political Action, in what executive director Ilya Sherman described as a “record setting 78.6 percent” of the vote over challenger Hillary Clinton.
In an email to supporters, Sherman said, “This vote was not only decisive, but participation was broad-based, with more ballots cast than any other endorsement vote in MoveOn’s history.”
More than 340,000 votes were cast in an online balloting campaign that began last week.
The endorsement means that MoveOn will use its huge membership base and mobilizing prowess to drive support for Sanders in the Iowa, where Sherman says it has 43,000 members, and upcoming primaries. “MoveOn is poised to mobilize thousands of volunteers, make thousands of phone calls to potential voters, and recruit more small-dollar donors to support Sanders,” Sherman said.
This is the second time that MoveOn’s political action arm has endorsed a presidential candidate during a Democratic primary. The first time was in 2008, for Barack Obama.
“It’s no surprise that Bernie Sanders has earned overwhelming support from MoveOn members,” Sherman wrote. “The issues his campaign is raising — tackling economic inequality, ending corporate influence over our politics, breaking up too-big-to-fail banks, expanding Social Security, fighting climate change, avoiding senseless wars, and more — are the same issues that MoveOn members have been fighting for for years.”
An article by Sherman in the online magazine Medium details five reasons why Sanders won MoveOn members’ support, including his “lifelong commitment to standing up to corporate and 1 percent interests,” “standing up for justice for communities facing oppression,” “saying no to permanent war,” and his ability to show that he is electable and can motivate voter turnout.
The MoveOn endorsement comes at a time when Sanders is showing renewed strength in presidential polls. The Real Clear Politics average of polls on Tuesday afternoon had Clinton and Sanders tied in the Iowa caucuses, with each getting 45 percent and Sanders trending upward. In New Hampshire, Sanders had a 7-point lead over Clinton, 49 percent to 42 percent.