The People Who See Bernie Sanders as Their Only Hope

“If nobody pushes it, we will never get there, which is why we are still stuck the way we are,” said Ms. Estrada, who came to the polls with her 21-year-old son, who also voted for Mr. Sanders. Like other Latino supporters of the Vermont senator, Ms. Estrada views herself as part of a movement of that will live on regardless of his political fate, and that harks back to the Chicano movement of the 1960s and ’70s. “This is a country that wants the current class structure to stay in place, and it’s really hard to fight against that.”

Many working-class supporters point to Mr. Sanders’s opposition to the Iraq war as the initial issue that drew them into his orbit. Having watched many friends sign up for the military as a path to the middle class only to come back with traumatic mental and physical injuries, they are deeply skeptical of American intervention overseas, as Mr. Sanders has been for his entire career.

There are also voters who are drawn to Mr. Sanders’s consistency in a chaotic, punishing world.

Originally from El Salvador, Ruth Trujillo-Acosta, 59, and her husband, Gustavo Acosta, 61, are just trying to make things work. They worry about retiring, afraid that they have no savings. They worry that their children are not even thinking about college because it’s too expensive. They both went to college as adults, but still have student loans to pay off.

The two now live in Holyoke in western Massachusetts. She is a mental health clinician. He is an academic adviser at a community college. They consider themselves independents, but are unequivocal about supporting Mr. Sanders.

“We really are paycheck to paycheck and this is the guy — he really is going to be able to change that,” she said as the couple waited for Mr. Sanders to begin a rally last month in Springfield, Mass.

She was cleareyed that Mr. Sanders might not be able to carry out all of his policy proposals — “I don’t think that he’s going to create a complete revolution right away,” she said — but she said he at least provided hope, and it was worth giving him a shot.

Their support of Mr. Sanders, she said, comes down to this: “Our values are with this guy.”

Sydney Ember reported from Phoenix, and Jennifer Medina reported from Denver. Giovanni Russonello contributed reporting from New York.

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