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

An adviser and speechwriter to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans 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 TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' 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 BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE with 19 percent. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti rips Sanders over handling of feud with Warren On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans MORE (D-Mass.) trailed with 9 percent, Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D) had 6 percent, and former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergDNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate Bloomberg receives 45-day extension for public financial disclosure report with FEC Bloomberg's congressional endorsers grow to three 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