Hillary Clinton’s campaign appears to be a little spooked, given the hyperbole emanating from an email sent out by campaign manager Robby Mook. In the missive to Clinton supporters, Mook wrote:
“If Donald Trump takes the Republican nomination, our party will lose more than the presidency.” He added, “Years of progress will be ripped away. Obamacare will be repealed. Marriage equality will be rolled back. Get excited to visit the wall on the Mexico border — and get ready to pay for it if President Trump can’t magically get Mexico to cough up the cash for it.”
On the evening that Trump held a fundraiser for veterans in Iowa, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign announced that it had raised $1.4 million from 50,000 donations in just one day. And just the day before, another $1 million came in over the transom from the Reddit community. a single day. The day before, they announced that the Reddit community had contributed more than $1 million to his campaign.
Sanders’ supporters are youthful and engaged in social media. The #feelthebern hashtag is active on Twitter, while supporters on Reddit are full of advice for Sanders’ supporters who are flocking to the Iowa caucuses. Despite his years in politics, in which the Vermonter moved from the mayoralty of Burlington, to the House of Representatives and ultimately to the U.S. Senate, Sanders is seen as an outsider with Socialist leanings by Democrats and progressives who are disappointed by Barack Obama and disgruntled with the Clinton dynasty.
On Reddit, a post from ‘aliteralmind’ entitled: “Important for Iowa: Hey Young Iowa Bernie Sanders supporters: Dirty tricks on caucus night,” read:
I am worried about how some of you guys will handle dirty tricks on caucus night. Because there will absolutely be some dirty tricks, and you really need to mentally prepare yourselves for it. The level of enthusiasm and excitement that we will all be feeling on caucus night could easily be turned to anger if you're challenged by a slimy caucus worker or Bernie hater.
‘Slimy caucus worker’ or ‘Bernie hater’ can easily be translated as ‘Clinton supporter’ in this instance, of course. The post goes on to urge Sanders’ supporters to not only register and know the rules but to also “Wear your Bernie gear,” and “remember …to convince Hillary and O'Malley supporters. So dress in a way that is welcoming to them.”
The tactics to be used by “Bernie” supporters becomes clearer a little further down in the Reddit post:
“Make them say it on camera! Record the encounter like you're a reporter (ask names and for clarification!) and share the video asap, Speaking of which, fully charge your phone, bring your charging wire and a six-plug surge protector to your caucus location. and finally and especially Stick together.
“If someone challenges you, you need to help each other stay calm and positive, to respect the person challenging you, to record them on camera, and to WORK THE PROBLEM.”
There was advice about countering the “tricks you can expect”:
The caucus location has magically changed, and now you have only five minutes to get there or you'll be shut out! Solution: Go early early early. Tweet and text to help others.
Someone questions your residency and suggests that you were bussed in from another state. You're helping Bernie to try and cheat the system. Solution: Know the rules, and video the encounter.
Clinton supporters switch to O'Malley's corner, to prevent Bernie from getting more supporters. Solution: Have a happy revolution democracy Bernie party, making it so damn pleasant to join you, that O'Malley supporters can't resist! (This last one is not so much a "dirty" trick as just part of the game. But it's a game you should be ready to play in Bernie's favor!)
Trump himself got a boost in Iowa on the evening of January 28 when he skipped the official Republican debate hosted by Fox News to instead hold a rally and raise funds for veterans’ causes. Appearing with him were the last two winners of Republican caucuses: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Sen. Rick Santorum. The latter two could only look on wistfully as Trump – the probable winner of the February 1 caucus - praised the donors to the fundraiser and called on supporters to get out the vote.