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Arizona political watcher gives nod to Bernie Sanders’ genuineness in town hall

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a CNN town hall at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, Jan. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

PHOENIX — Conservative Valley-based political expert Stan Barnes said Bernie Sanders stood out at Monday’s Iowa town hall of the Democratic presidential candidates with his authenticity and comfort level onstage.

Another Arizona-based political observer thought all three — Sanders, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley — were at their best during the town hall forum in Des Moines, Iowa.

“He’s entirely comfortable with who he is and what he stands for. That makes him a very valuable candidate,” Barnes said of Sanders.

“Authenticity shows through and voters like it. It’s one reason that certain Republicans are doing well. Sanders has got that on the Democratic side.”

Barnes said Clinton once again came across as forced.

“She comes across as she’s working too hard. She’s too scripted, a little too loud and overacted. If you’re pro-Hillary, then you’re pro-Hillary.”

Political analyst Chris Herstam said each candidates did well with their focal points.

“Bernie Sanders dealt almost exclusively with domestic issues. Particularly the economy and the gap in wealth in this country. Hillary Clinton shined on foreign affairs and being to tout herself as an experienced Secretary of State.

“Martin O’Malley was sandwiched between them was quite good himself but just doesn’t have a pathway to victory and will do poorly in the Iowa caucus.”

The Iowa Caucus is Monday. Herstam said it will be tight on both sides.

“Literally within three or four percentage points. I believe Hillary Clinton has a small edge. With regard to Republicans Trump and Cruz, that’s a flip of the coin. It could go either way,” he said.

“There seems to be a trending factor that probably favors Donald Trump.”

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