Sanders Talks Up His Small Game on the Eve of His First Big Test

And takes a final dig at Hillary Clinton along the way.

Dennis Van Tine/ZUMA

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For a presidential candidate aiming to come away with a big upset in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders closed out his final night before the the first votes are cast by wholeheartedly embracing his small-ball approach to campaigning. His final Iowa rally, to a crowd of 1,700 at Grand View University in Des Moines on Sunday, was introduced by a string of not-quite-A-list actors and musicians: Connor Paolo (Serena’s obnoxious younger brother on Gossip Girl), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta in The Hunger Games), and Foster the People.

The crowd played along, but didn’t really perk up until Sanders himself showed up. The senator from Vermont rolled through a 50-minute stump speech tackling the full range of his usual points—Walmart should pay a fair wage, health care should be run by the government, banks should have to pay for free public colleges—but took a little time early in his spiel to boast about how much less money he raised from big outside donors than his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“My opponent yesterday announced that she had received some $45 million for her super-PAC,” Sanders said. “We announced that we zero dollars for our super-PAC.” (He didn’t mention the money that unions have spent on his campaign.) He continued, “We announced that we have received throughout this campaign—and this is so unbelievable, never in a million years would I have thought it possible—that we have received up to now 3.2 million individual contributions. That is more contributions than any candidate up to this point of a campaign in the history of the United States of America.”

Small ball does often win big games. Monday will reveal whether it’s sufficient to give Sanders the first big win of the race to the Democratic nomination.

Correction: An earlier version of this article mistakenly said that actor Richmond Arquette spoke at the rally.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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