U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, a U.S. Senate candidate, has thrown his endorsement and super delegate vote to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential race.
Grayson made the decision after asking his supporter to help him decide between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Grayson’s campaign said his effort, run through a webpage, drew more than 376,000 on-line votes and they came down overwhelmingly for Sanders, 86 percent to 14 percent.
“Build it and they will come,” Grayson said. “And it turns out the voters want to play on this field of dreams.”
It should be no surprise. Sanders and Grayson are both firmly entrenched in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing and more closely aligned on policies than Grayson and Clinton. Also, Sanders and Grayson hold the distinctions of being the only two members of Congress able to run campaigns largely on money raised through small donations, according to Grayson’s campaign’s release.
It’s that network of progressive, small-donor supporters who likely made up much of the survey field in Grayson’s poll.
Yet Grayson insisted in an interview Monday that his endorsement and vote go to Sanders because of what the people have told him.
“We did actually pay attention to what people were saying,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair to say it was any foregone conclusion.”
But he also said that a lot of the people who voted in his survey also made the point that they considered Sanders’ policies to be closely aligned with Grayson’s.
“We not only asked people who they favor, we asked them why… Over 90 percent of the people who voted gave their reasons,” Grayson said. “A lot of the comments reflected … we have the same view of the political process, we try to include people and unleash the power of the people.
“And on the issues we have a lot in common,” he continued. “I agree with Bernie that the fundamental issue facing America is growing inequality, in all its forms: political inequality, economic inequality, social inequality.”
In a press release issued by his campaign, Grayson stated:
“I’ve devoted my political life to bringing the virtues of justice, equality, and peace to as many people as possible, and Bernie’s presidential campaign has drawn millions of people into a movement that’s grounded in those same shared ideals. Bernie has defied The Establishment and monied classes who control our rigged political system. That’s why millions of people see that the only way to break this oligarchy is to put Bernie Sanders in the White House. He can bring about the revolutionary change that will reverse income inequality, provide healthcare for all, open the door to debt-free college and protect our environment.”