HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A public meeting Sunday in Manoa with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' wife, Jane, attracted more than 400 people, including former Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
"The one person in all of these campaigns that is ongoing right now that is not only carrying the message for but has brought out everybody here and people all across the country is Bernie Sanders," Abercrombie said. "There is no more authentic human being running for office."
Hawaii is often considered a political stronghold for Hillary Clinton, but based on the attendance at Jane Sanders' speech at Church of the Crossroads Sunday night, the populist Democrat appears to be gaining ground in the 50th state, especially among young voters.
"I support Bernie Sanders because I really think that we need a political revolution," said Asami Kobayashi, a University of Hawaii student and an organizer for Students for Bernie Sanders.
Cameron Sato, also a member of Students for Bernie Sanders, added: "He's the only one that's not taking money from large corporations and wealthy people. He's the only one who represents our values," he said.
Jane Sanders said her husband's advocacy for affordable healthcare and higher minimum wages resonates with voters.
"Bernie started this campaign at 3 or 4 percent in the polls. Most people didn't know him. What we're finding is he more we're finding the more people know him the more they like him," she said.
But UH political science professor Colin Moore says the Sanders campaign faces an uphill battle.
"I think it's going to be very, very difficult. Because unlike the Republican Party where just a relatively small number of votes can swing the results, there's a lot of Democrats," said Moore. "The Democratic Party is very, very well organized and I think the mainstream Democrats will go for Hillary Clinton."
The Hawaii Democratic Party's presidential preference poll will be held on Saturday.