For the better part of the past year, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was written off by political observers as a fringe candidate... that self described "socialist" Senator from Vermont who was trying to catch 15 minutes of campaign fame by taking on Hillary Clinton.
Sanders ignored the nay-sayers continuing to quietly building the grassroots in early primary states. Still, many were surprised to see the latest poll showing Sanders coasting past Clinton in the crucial early voting state of New Hampshire.
The polls shows Sanders with 44 percent, Clinton with 37 percent, Vice President Joe Biden with nine percent and the other Democrats in the race, Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley and Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee with just one percent.
Sanders isn't quietly campaigning anymore. Just in the first two weeks of August, a historically sleepy month on the political calendar, Sanders has had more than 100,000 people attend his events, like the one Monday night in Los Angeles that drew 27,000 people.
"Bernie Sanders has basically become the liberal progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton," University of New Hampshire Professor Dante Scala said.
Scala says Sanders has effectively taken over the "not Clinton" vote, including many of those who hoped Senator Elizabeth Warren would run.
But Scala adds, while Sanders is doing well among New Hampshire Democrats who lean older, white and liberal, "You look at national polls, Hillary Clinton is ahead by 30/40 points."