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Sanders, Jindal seek support from those longing for others

February 9, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders and conservative Gov. Bobby Jindal are struggling to win over base voters longing for other choices in the 2016 presidential race.

A self-described “democratic socialist,” Sanders ought to be a natural fit for liberals. Instead, they’re largely pining for Sen. Elizabeth Warren to get into a White House race she insists she will not run.

The sharp-tongued Jindal, an Indian-American, appears to spend as much time in Washington as he does at home in Louisiana, trying to ignite his campaign. Yet he is often eclipsed by other conservative Republicans who are expected to join him in the crowded fray for the party’s nomination.

Neither prospective candidate has committed to a White House bid, and they’re not likely to decide for a few months whether to move ahead. While both are regarded as intellectual leaders, they have yet to line up the donors needed to build a credible political organization that can compete for president in 2016.

For Sanders, that means — once getting past Warren, who has said repeatedly she isn’t running — pushing past former secretary of state and likely Democratic candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Usually, no matter what I say, it becomes Hillary Clinton,” Sanders said Monday.

For Jindal, it will require emerging from a pack of roughly two-dozen Republicans thinking about a campaign. On Monday, he warned he would ignore the plans of the Republican National Committee to limit the number of primary debates.

“There’s this ideal of theirs, this idealistic belief, that if we could just have fewer debates, if we could have a gentler, kinder nominating process, that would be good for the party and good for the nominee,” Jindal said. “Well you know what? Democracy is messy.”

Jindal, on a recent trip to London, claimed in a speech about radical Islam that there were neighborhoods where civilian police cede control to religious police. He based his statements on reports on Fox News and CNN, which later retracted those claims. On a visit to Pennsylvania this weekend, Sanders lambasted the billionaire Koch brothers, who have spent millions trying to help conservatives win elections.

The approach hasn’t yet helped either one catch fire.

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Follow Philip Elliott on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/philip_elliott

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