Fresh off a sweeping victory in the New Hampshire primary, Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders met for breakfast in New York City with MSNBC host the Rev. Al Sharpton.
TheBlaze’s Josiah Ryan was on the scene for the meeting at Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem between the White House hopeful and the reverend. The breakfast comes ahead of contests in Nevada and South Carolina Democratic primaries where winning African-American votes is key.
Much of the conventional wisdom suggests that minority voters will lean toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
However, Sanders – who once trailed Clinton by nearly 50 points in many polls – has over-performed, scoring essentially a tie in Iowa Feb. 1 and a landslide victory in New Hampshire Tuesday.
Sanders reportedly won a slim majority of women voters in New Hampshire and big majorities among men and independents.
I am meeting with Senator Bernie Sanders at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem. pic.twitter.com/Myf75EdgWW— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl)February 10, 2016
Walking Senator Sanders to his car after our meeting at Sylvia's. pic.twitter.com/vRbka2lGd2— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) February 10, 2016
Sharpton, a civil rights and political activist, ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. Despite being involved in numerous controversies,
Democratic presidential candidates have sought his support for decades.
“Sanders represents one of the whitest states, Vermont, and while he won the New Hampshire primary, virtually an all white state, Sanders needs the minority vote to win the Democrat nomination because 44 percent of Democrat voters aren't white. Hillary is leading Sanders in the minority vote by 40 percent and has 9 out of every 10 black voters supporting her," said Crystal Wright, editor of the blog "Conservative Black Chick."
"Sanders’ solution is to fly to Harlem to have breakfast with the race hustler Sharpton, who never met a racial riot or protest he didn't want to incite," Wright continued. "How insulting to blacks that Sanders thinks all he has to do is meet with a buffoon like Sharpton so Sharpton will tell blacks to vote for Sanders because he said so."
Craig Shirley, a Reagan biographer and political analyst, expects Sanders to continue to do well in future primary contests.
"The dirty little secret about Democratic Party primary voters is that they are about as liberal in South Carolina and Florida as they are in New Hampshire or Massachusetts," Shirley told TheBlaze. "Hillary Clinton will do better in South Carolina, but she won't blow Bernie Sanders away."