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Wisconsin is the birthplace of the labor union movement in the United States. It is also the birthplace to the reform of big labor’s grip on public sector unions. Wisconsin was also the birth place of Welfare to Work reform. As such, it is a pivotal bell weather state. This makes Bernie Sanders’ most recent announcement all the more thrilling: he is expecting to draw 9,500 people to a political rally in the state’s capitol city of Madison, Wisconsin. Admittedly, the city is a college town and liberal bastion in an otherwise red state. Over the past four years, the legislature changed hands to the GOP, and Governor Walker has won three elections including a recall election. In all likelihood, most of the attendees will be college age white males; Sanders has yet to win strong support from women.
Still, a large crowd is still a large crowd. Sanders, who is still discounted by the media almost as much as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, is using the crowd size to push to notion that liberalism is once again on the rise and spreading across the nation. While it is still unclear if the nation is shifting center-left, Sanders is bound to see his poll numbers improve. Also significant about the crowd size, according to Andy Wirth, is that it outside of the early primary states of New Hampshire and Iowa.