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US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders 'will win primary', says UK-based brother

Anyone who underestimates the impact US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is having on the race for the Oval Office is making a "big mistake", according to his brother.

Larry Sanders, 80, who moved to Oxford from his native Brooklyn, New York, in the 1960s, described the increasing support his younger, self-proclaimed socialist Democrat, brother is garnering as "marvellous."

"It is hard to believe," said the former social worker. "I am entirely proud of him.

"It is very nice to have a brother who has been very successful in this field, but more important is the reason he is doing what he is doing."

Ahead of the first primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Larry Sanders said "the polls are pretty clear that he will win".

He added that Bernie Sanders, 74, is just as well known in the state as Hillary Clinton, and will win because people have heard his message and support his "totally practical" policies - not because he is the senator of Vermont.

"I have been in Vermont and New Hampshire many times and they define themselves against each other. Vermont is more liberal and New Hampshire is much further to the right," he added.

Some of Mr Sanders' left-wing policies include breaking up the big banks, creating more jobs for youngsters, a single-payer national health care programme and free university tuition fees.

"It is amazing and magical to see support growing for him and his policies," said his brother, whose Oxfordshire accent still betrays a hint of his Brooklyn roots. "For things that were supposed to be extreme or ridiculous - there are people saying they believe."

The former Oxford University lecturer said a "huge chunk" of Sanders' so-called "political revolution" will begin if he is elected - but that millions have to "stay committed" to his vision.

"It is quite peculiar that there is a presidential candidate telling people it 'has to come from you. I can't make it happen'." He added: "Someone for the first time is seriously saying 'don't vote against your interests'."

The grandfather of four said he thinks his brother's message of change could propel him to the Oval Office - something that for a long time he thought was possible, but unlikely.

"The last few weeks with the way things have turned out I think that it is now more likely - which is really hard to absorb. I think he is the first candidate in a long time that understands what the job entails."

So far, Mr Sanders has got himself elected as mayor, as Vermont's representative and as senator. Larry said: "Anyone that is underestimating him now is making a big mistake."

And as the race intensifies over the coming months, the father of two said the road is "not going to be easy" for his younger sibling.

Larry Sanders added: "There will be surprises every day. I think the biggest part he has accomplished is coming from nowhere and being nearly equal.

"I am hoping for and expecting good things."


From Belfast Telegraph