Bernie Sanders may have released his most effective campaign ad to date, certainly one that will have people talking going into the February 1 Iowa Caucuses.
No words are spoken, except for the lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel's America, and the required authority line at the end, "I'm Bernie Sanders, and I approved this message." There is no condemnation of the billionaire class or big banks or campaign promises that can be taken with a grain of salt. The focus of the ad is on people -- people who have been won over by the independent U.S. senator from Vermont and the energy present on the ground, at his campaign rallies.
Perhaps the pivotal moment in the ad is when it crescendos at the lyrics, "They've all come to look for America," and the image expands to a grid of hundreds of voters who have come out to see Sanders. Sanders' campaign has thus far been grassroots-driven, and the ad highlights that. There is an enthusiasm on the ground, from thousands upon thousands of American voters -- working-class people from average American households -- that is only rivaled now by Republican candidate Donald Trump.
The Sanders campaign says the ads will start airing Friday in Iowa and New Hampshire. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Bernie Sanders gaining on Clinton in Iowa, but he is still behind by approximately 5 points. New Hampshire is another story, where Sanders has a RCP spread of 12.6 points. The latest CNN/WMUR poll shows him leading 60-33, and he is on top in all 5 polls used in the RCP average.