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Greg Bluestein

AJC in Iowa: Bernie Sanders on why Americans have a ‘right to be angry’

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Bernie Sanders. AP Photo.

Bernie Sanders. AP Photo.

Des Moines, Iowa – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders tried to tap into a deep vein of voter frustration Sunday as he made the case for a sweeping government expansion on the eve of the Iowa caucuses.

With polls showing Sanders in a nail-biter with frontrunner Hillary Clinton, the Vermont candidate earned cheers from the more than 1,700 who packed a Des Moines gym with promises of a massive federal jobs program, an expansion of health insurance, tuition-free public higher education and a new infusion of funding for infrastructure projects.

“I’m angry. And the American people have a right to be angry,” Sanders said to wild applause. “They are working, in many cases, longer hours for lower wages … They’re worried about their parents. And meanwhile, most of the new income and wealth in this country is going to the top 1 percent.”

He’s tapped into a similar tide of voter angst that has helped fuel Republican Donald Trump to the top of the GOP polls in Iowa. But both anti-establishment candidates also face huge questions about whether they can translate the wave of voter enthusiasm into support at the caucuses on a freezing Monday night.

The raucous crowd that showed up Sunday night seemed eager to answer that question with a chant they repeated as Sanders prepared to speak.

“We. Will. Caucus.”

Read more about the Iowa caucus by clicking here.

And plenty more:

Georgia primary has its favorites, but the race is fluid

Quiz: How well do you know the Iowa caucuses?

Iowa vote could hold clues for Georgia

One more thing Donald Trump has broken: The GOP’s evangelical base

AJC in Iowa: A GOP fight over what it means to be a conservative

AJC in Iowa: A hunt for the undecided and unconvinced

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