First Bernie Sanders television ad touts 'Real Change'

Sen. Bernie Sanders has released his first television ad, which highlights his history of “fighting injustice and inequality" and "speaking truth to power."

The ad titled "Real Change" will air statewide in Iowa and New Hampshire and is part of a buy exceeding $2 million, according to a release from the Vermont Independent's campaign.

The ad's title recalls President Obama's theme of "hope and change" from 2008, but could also be taken as suggesting it did not lead to real change.

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"Thousands of Americans have come out to see Bernie speak and we've seen a great response to his message," Jeff Weaver, the campaign manager, said. "This ad marks the next phase of this campaign. We're bringing that message directly to the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire."

Sanders is the leading rival to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

He's led Clinton in several polls in New Hampshire and has also been competitive with the former secretary of State in some polls of Iowa.

If Sanders could win both states, it will raise new doubts about Clinton's ability to secure her party's nomination despite her large national lead and her fundraising prowess and organization.