Reprinted from The Hill
While Sanders is clearly an underdog in the campaign for the Democratic nomination and has been subject to a virtual media blackout in television coverage of the campaign -- compared to the media's almost complete obsession to the daily doings of Trump -- it would be a huge mistake to count Sanders out in the campaign.
Sanders has a fair chance of winning both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary and if he does, he will reap continuing and gigantic waves of small donations from a donor base that is rising every day, whose members could and, in most cases will, give recurring small donations throughout the campaign.
In contrast to the authentic populism of Sanders, Trump has often spoke well of Russian strongman Putin, and in what has to be one of the strangest and revealing moments in presidential campaign history, Putin has now reciprocated the favor and expressed his great admiration for Trump.
My guess is that GOP voters in the primaries will not take kindly to the mutual praise between Trump and Putin. If a candidate such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) directly confronts Trump about his bromance with Putin, he will score big.
In the end, voters will realize that this campaign involves a tale of two populists: A candidate such as Bernie Sanders, who wins huge support from small donors and who is authentic populist, and a candidate such as Donald Trump, who may pretend to be a populist but in truth is the favored candidate of a Russian strongman who is no friend of the American people.