Nina Turner, a top 2020 campaign official for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on Thursday doubled-down on claims that the media is continuing to ignore the Vermont senator even as he remains a top contender in Democratic presidential primary race.

“The Bernie blackout is real — it’s not a figment of our imagination,” Turner, co-chairwoman Sanders’s presidential campaign, told Hill.TV during an interview.

“I don’t want to see any candidate blacked out but certainly not a candidate that is polling in the top one or two and certainly is in the top three of the candidates that could get the Democratic nomination,” she later added. “It is wrong and the system is rigged.”

Sanders aides and allies have long argued that Sanders has been unfairly covered in the Democratic primary field, citing what they call unfair and biased reports as key factors. They have also claimed that media tends to focus on negative rather than positive news surrounding Sanders, such as his performance in the polls.

Sanders has nevertheless emerged as a front-runner in the 2020 contest.

The Vermont senator places second at 15.6 percent behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who boasts 27.8 support, according to the RealClearPolitics national average of polls.

The average also shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) trailing Sanders by less than two percentage points at 14.2 percent. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), who has surged in recent weeks, comes in fourth at 11.4 percent.

However, these numbers are higher than a Reuters-Ipsos poll released Thursday, which showed a slight dip among all the top-tier candidates.

Biden’s support dipped two percentage points to 19 percent support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, while Sanders’s support saw a 3-point slip to 14 percent.

Warren’s support, meanwhile, dipped from 11 percent to 9 percent and Buttigieg fell by 1 point to 14 percent. 

— Tess Bonn

Featured clips