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Coverage of the 2016 presidential election from NPR News and related blogs, including candidate profiles, interviews and talking points.On-air specials will also be broadcast as Election Day approaches, including the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.WRVO also provides coverage of regional elections both on-air and online.

Sanders finds support among Syracuse millenials

Ellen Abbott
Brian Escobar, Maurice Brown and Lauren Livingston, three Sanders delegates who are on the April 19 primary ballot in central New York.

The way presidents are picked is changing according to central New York Bernie Sanders supporters. And, they say that plays right into the Vermont Democrat’s campaign.

The Syracuse millenials who support Sanders say they aren’t relying on political commercials and biographies from the candidates to make their political decisions.

“The millenials, we’re always on our phones, we’re always on Facebook, we’re always on Twitter,” says Sanders supporter Maurice Brown, who is also an Onondaga Community College student and an Army reservist. Brown says that means millenials won’t just blindly follow a candidate.

“We’ve learned to use Google, and we’ve searched, and we watch the issues and we listen to the debates, and candidates state their policies and we fact check them,” said Brown.

He says, for example, he found differences in the way Sanders and the other Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton approached the issue of gay marriage through the years, and that impacted his decision.

Brian Escobar of Clay agrees that millenials are more independent minded, noting that it’s not the traditional party machines that are filling auditoriums with Sanders supporters.

"These local campaigns that you see around the country, for the most part these are not people who have been in Democratic Party politics or a long time. Many of the tools Bernie’s campaign has created online to promote events and get messages out, that’s something really different than in previous elections,” said Escobar.

Brown and Escobar are among six potential Sanders delegates who could go to the Democratic National Convention, if Sanders gets enough votes in central New York.

The presidential primary in New York state is April 19, and Sanders delegates would love to see their candidate come to central New York before then. Lauren Livingston is the district coordinator for Syracuse for Sanders, and she says there has been contact with Sander’s election team about it.

“There was talk about him coming to Utica, but that’s kind of been put on the back burner. So right now that’s up in the air, it’s unknown,” said Livingston. “But if we keep pushing, maybe we can see him at the [Carrier] Dome, get 47,000 people in there.”

Livingston says even though New York is seen as a state that will support Clinton at the Democratic National Convention, she believes Sanders can win a majority of delegates.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.