Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, plans to hold a rally at noon on Monday in Salt Lake City — the day before Utah’s Super Tuesday primary.
His campaign website announced that it will be held at Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, in its central mall. The doors open at 10 a.m., with the rally scheduled to begin at noon.
Sanders has won the most delegates among candidates seeking the Democratic nominations so far.
He was the overwhelming winner in the 2016 Utah Democratic caucuses, winning 77% of the vote against eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.
This will be Sanders’ first visit to Utah this cycle, although he visited twice four years ago. In 2016, Sanders surprised himself and pundits by drawing 14,000 mostly young people to a rally at This Is the Place Heritage Park — and returned four days later for a second sellout event at West High School to accommodate hundreds who were turned away from the first.
“It looks like I got some bad information,” Sanders said, looking over the first vast crowd. “Somebody told me Utah was a Republican state.”
Thanks to strong support from younger voters, 78-year-old Sanders led in a January Salt Lake Tribune survey conducted by Suffolk University — doubling the percentage of support from his nearest rival in a huge field. He then attracted support from 26.5% of Utahns who say they’ll vote in the March 3 Democratic primary.
Progressive Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts senator, was No. 2 with 14.4%. Trailing them in the top tier of candidates were two moderates: former Vice President Joe Biden with 12.1% and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 9.9%. But since that poll was conducted, Bloomberg has visited Utah twice — and now has spent more than an estimated $2 million in advertising in the state.
Democrats Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard also have visited in recent weeks. Biden and Warren visited Utah earlier in the cycle. Fourteen states will vote on Super Tuesday and will choose about a third of all Democratic delegates that day. Utah Democratic voters will select 29 pledged delegates.