Bernie Sanders at a rally in St. Paul
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - Nearly 15,000 people showed up to hear presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders speak at the St. Paul RiverCentre on Tuesday.
Just a year ago, many people didn't even know the name "Bernie Sanders," but now he's locked in a tight battle with Hillary Clinton for the democratic presidential nomination.
"Today in America, we have a rigged economy, a corrupt campaign finance system and a broken criminal justice system,” he told the crowd of thousands.
Another 5,000 Minnesotans were in an over-flow room. The crowd included lots of young people and college students -- the key for the senator from Vermont will be getting the young people to the polls on March 1 in Minnesota.
“It’s not a radical idea that if someone works so many hours in a week, that person should not be living in poverty,” Sanders said.
The stop in St. Paul was Sanders second stop in Minnesota on Tuesday, he was in Duluth earlier in the day. At both stops, his message was one of political and economic reform.
According to the latest national polls, Sanders is closing in on democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. The latest Fox News national poll shows that the race has narrowed to its slimmest margin yet, with Sanders claiming 37-percent of the vote, and Clinton claiming 49-percent.
But here in Minnesota, he hasn't won voters over just yet. According to a Star Tribune poll, Clinton holds a 34-point lead over senator sanders.
The Vermont senator spoke of all the issues that have made him so popular-- political reform, Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, and free college tuition.
"It is beyond my comprehension that hundreds of thousands of bright individuals are unable to go to college because their family lacks the money. That's wrong,” he said.
Senator Sanders admits that free college tuition comes with a price tag of $70 billion a year. And while he didn't explain how he would pay for many of his proposals, he said tuition would be paid for by taxing Wall Street speculations.
“If we stand up, if we fight we can defeat the billionaire class, this is what this campaign is all about,” Sanders said.