Sanders draws record turnout of thousands at Durham rally

Photo via Gary Grumbach/Twitter

On the eve of the first in the nation primary, Bernie Sanders has drawn the largest crowd of any event in the state at his final rally in Durham, New Hampshire.

Reports came in early Monday evening that a crowd of thousands had amassed hours before the rally was scheduled to start.

Sanders campaign senior policy advisor Heather Gautney tweeted that there were more than 6,700 in attendance at the rally. In a statement released following the rally, Sanders’ campaign said there were over 7,500 attendees at the event.

The rally was headlined by progressive firebrand Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with special guests Dr Jane Sanders, campaign co-chair Nina Turner, and national surrogates Dr Cornel West and Cynthia Nixon.

“We don’t just need another politician, we need a hero, and that is Bernie Sanders,” Nixon told the electric crowd. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made the argument that Sanders “hasn’t just stood up for what is right when it was popular,” but his entire life.

“We are going to win this election, because we have an unpecedented, multigenerational, multiracial, grassroots movement of millions of people,” Sanders said.

“The reason we are going to win here in New Hampshire, is because we have thousands of volunteers knocking on doors and making phone calls.”

At the same time as Sanders was speaking in Durham, Donald Trump descended on the state to host a concurrent rally in Manchester.

“Let’s be clear why Donald Trump is coming to New Hampshire on the eve of the primary. He’s scared,” Sanders said.

“He recognizes, just like the party establishment and the corporate donor class – that this movement will defeat him. We will show Donald Trump his hatred is no longer welcome by winning in New Hampshire, defeating him in a general election and transforming this country.”

The event, held at the Whittemore Center Arena, also featured performances by rock bands The Strokes and Sunflower Bean.

Earlier in the day, Sanders held a breakfast event in Manchester, a town hall at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, and a get out the vote canvass launch at the campaign’s Greater Nashua field office.

Sanders has been ahead in a series of polls leading into the New Hampshire primary. The first votes in the state will be cast at midnight, with the town of Dixville Notch continuing its early morning voting tradition.

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