Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent running for the Democratic presidential nomination, held a rally July 26 in reliably Republican Jefferson Parish. Beforehand, he was the guest at a small Metairie house party hosted by Gilda Reed, a University of New Orleans professor who lost to Steve Scalise in the 2008 special election for the 1st Congressional District.
Later that night, Sanders fired up a large crowd that a Pontchartrain Center official estimated to be more than 4,000 people — easily more than double the size of Gov. Bobby Jindal's presidential announcement one month before in the same space. There were far fewer local politicos visible in the Sanders audience, however. One of them was local community organizer Jacques Morial, brother of former Mayor Marc Morial. There were no politicos onstage with Sanders, who was introduced by Angela Henderson of the Orleans Parish Democratic Executive Committee. Henderson said she'd only met Sanders the night before.
A CNN poll taken July 22-25 found Hillary Clinton with 56 percent support to Sanders' 19 percent. The Democratic National Convention will be held July 25-28, 2016 in Philadelphia. Louisiana's presidential preference primary is March 5, 2016.