Campaign official: People are 'starting to notice that Bernie Sanders has a real shot'

An adviser and speechwriter to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Overnight Energy: Court upholds Trump repeal of Obama fracking rule | Oil price drop threatens fracking boom | EPA eases rules on gasoline sales amid coronavirus The Hill's Campaign Report: Sanders pushes on in 2020 race MORE (I-Vt.) said Thursday that the White House hopeful is starting to be taken more seriously as a top-tier candidate in the crowded 2020 Democratic field.

David Sirota told Hill.TV that “folks are starting to notice that Bernie Sanders has a real shot" at becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.

“I want to be clear: We have known that Bernie Sanders has a real shot to win this nomination and to defeat Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE," Sirota said. 

Sirota argued that the perception of Sanders among voters has a lot to do with the national media's coverage of the senator. Sanders and his allies have long complained about what they see as unfair coverage, claiming that his campaign is often cast in a negative light.

“The revelation ... among the political class is ‘wow, Bernie Sanders really does have a serious and significant and real shot to win the nomination and win the presidency,’ ” he said.

Sanders continues to be among the top four candidates nationally, according to several polls.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll released last Friday showed Sanders in second place with 14 percent support behind former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFighting a virus with the wrong tools Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — US coronavirus cases hit 100,000 | Trump signs T stimulus package | Trump employs defense powers to force GM to make ventilators | New concerns over virus testing MORE with 19 percent. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) trailed with 9 percent, Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE (D) had 6 percent, and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergFormer Bloomberg staffer seeks class-action lawsuit over layoffs Bloomberg spent over 0M on presidential campaign The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE, who made his debut in the poll, registered 4 percent support.

Biden has 28.5 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of recent national polling, while Sanders has 17.8 percent, Warren has 15.3 percent, Buttigieg has 9 percent and Bloomberg rounds out the top five at 5.5 percent support.

—Tess Bonn