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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) brought out the biggest crowd yet in the 2016 political race, The Huffington Post reports.

The 73-year-old contender has been labeled an unlikely opponent against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. But after his rally at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center in Wisconsin, Sanders proved to have the support of nearly 10,000 people.

The venue, which holds just over 10,000, was filled with 9,600 people. Rallies held so far by candidate Jeb Bush brought out a max of 3,000 people, while Clinton’s campaign launch drew 5,500. Sanders, who has been vocal about his experience in the Civil Rights Movement, said he was surprised by the turnout.

During his speech, Sanders stayed on the topic of the American people and bringing jobs back to the middle class.

“The big money interests — Wall Street, corporate America, all of these guys — have so much power that no president can defeat them unless there is an organized grassroots movement making them an offer they can’t refuse,” he said as the crowd erupted in cheers,” he said.  “When you deny the right of workers to come together in collective bargaining, that’s extremism,” Sanders said, going after Wisconsin Gov. and White House hopeful Scott Walker. “When you tell a woman that she cannot control her own body, that’s extremism.”

He also thanked his supporters on Facebook Thursday morning.

Sanders is still trailing behind Clinton in national polls by 30 points, but has cut her lead in recent weeks. Meanwhile, Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley, who is trailing 50 points behind Clinton, decided to attack Sanders in a recent super PAC.

The ad ripped Sanders and claimed he “was no progressive when it comes to guns.”

Sanders took the high road, promising not to fund any harsh ads against his running mates.

SOURCE: Huffington Post, Twitter | VIDEO CREDIT: NDN


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