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Outside the Bernie Sanders rally









Outside the Donald Trump rally









Voices from the Albany rallies for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump

sanders trump albany rallies composite

The Capital Region isn't used to being courted by presidential candidates, so Monday was remarkable -- three presidential candidates all made stops in the area in the same day: Bernie Sanders at rally in Albany, John Kasich at public events in Troy and Saratoga Springs (and a private event in Albany), and Donald Trump at the TU Center. (And that all follows on visits from Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz just last week).

Thousands of people turned out for these events, with queues for both the Sanders and Trump rallies wrapping around city blocks.

We stopped by those two events in Albany Monday to talk with people standing in line about why the made the effort to be there...

Scenes from outside the rallies

There are handful of pics of the scene outside both the Sanders and Trump rallies in large format above -- click or scroll all the way up.

In line outside the Bernie Sanders rally at the Washington Ave Armory

Bernie 1 -Eric from Utica.jpg

Erica, Utica
For me I just feel like he fights for everyone. He's not just for one group of people. He stands for equality, that's what really gets me with him.

LGBT rights are a really big thing for me. He has been fighting with the civil rights moment for a long time. He's done a lot for a lot of different people and I just hope he can keep making those strides. I think Obama did a lot and I think he will just pick up and take over.

Bernie 3 Deb Escobar from Glens Falls.jpg

Deb, Schenectady
I'm an education activist and a retired teacher and actually that's what brought me to Bernie at first because I was looking for someone who would fight privatization of schools and understand that teachers are very important. And even though my union went with the opponent I am very very much for Sanders because he speaks more to the issue of the big money that is trying to control education reform.

I'm also an environmentalist, so I'm very anti-fracking, pro environment. You know, we need someone who really has a bold plan with climate change. Incremental change is not working. I don't want incremental change, I want change now.

Bernie 5 Nebal Komacho.jpg

Nebal, Columbia County
Because I want to be part of the revolution. I'm hoping the revolution will bring attention to issues that need to be addressed. I feel like in the media they are not really talking about the issues that are pertinent to the middle class and just having Bernie Sanders as a president -- he will be a task master. There was an interview about how he was going to break up the big banks and America was looking for a simple answer when unfortunately there is not really a simple answer to breaking up the big banks. Just, really, economic equality for all is really the underlying issue of everything.

Bernie 6 Kirsten.jpg

Kirsten, Albany
I'm here because I think there's a lot of really radical change that needs to happen in this country as far as support for the average person in this country as well as a lot of the very poor people -- mainly at infrastructure levels.

We have a huge problem with injustice in the criminal justice system in this country and a huge problem with injustice for the majority of people in this country as far as wages and equality and Bernie is the only candidate that is really talking about that and who really seems like he knows how to do that. And it's time for that. Inequality and lack of equality in this country is the most important issue to me.

Bernie Cheryl Dykstra.jpg

Cheryl, Niskayuna
This is the first time in 62 years I have been excited to vote for anyone mainly because he does stand for the people and only the people. He is not taking money, he is not taking advantage of Citizens United.

He has his entire life -- like me -- fought for civil rights, against the Vietnam War ... He has always been on the right side of history. His judgement as far as Iraq, the Patriot Act, everything .. His single-payer plan... everything. His entire platform speaks to me. It's something that we really need. He's going to be the FDR in this gilded age where more inequality has occurred than in any other period of history. He is what is needed.


Mayowa, Albany (pictured on the right)
I'm here to support Bernie because he is putting the power back into the people's hands. He's trying to take the power away from the corporations and give it back to the people, so our elected representatives are doing the work that we want to see done in our government. So we can have better educations -- a better educated population. Breaking up the big banks and using that money to make our country just an overall better place to live -- a place for the people. Creating a place where everybody can go to school and get an education.

Bernie 10 - Whitney.jpg

Whitney, Albany
I live three blocks from here so I felt I should probably come and see what is going on. I'm an undecided voter. I actually registered Republican, but I don't really want to vote for anyone who is a Republican so I wanted to come and see what he has to say before I make a decision.

Bernie - Rameen Nazir.jpg

Rameen, Schenectady
I'm a second generation immigrant. I've always been into politics. It's sad that so much is being bought. I like Bernie's stance on the privatization of prisons. I think it's ridiculous that we spend so much money on prisons, more than China, more than Russia. So many people are in prison. We can use the money for education.

Bernie Dorian.jpg

Dorian, Albany
I'm so inspired by having a presidential candidate who speaks the truth about the issues in a way that I and my family believe in them instead of saying soundbites. I care a lot about education. I care a lot about money in politics and making a more honest system overall.

Bernie Sara Falvo.jpg

Sara, Troy
I came out today because I am almost 40 years old and since I was of age to vote I have never believed in a candidate like I do Bernie. He is consistent. He sticks to the same issues. He doesn't flip flop. Veterans issues are important to me. My husband is a veteran. I worked for the Air Force for 12 years as a civilian. A lot of my friends are veterans ... some are selective duty. And they are not being served the way that they should be and cared for the way that they should be. I hope he is able to improve the programs and put more funding into it and offer more care to the veterans. As Bernie says, if you can't afford to take care of the veterans when they come home then you can't afford to go to war.

Bernie Rally -- Kerry Quinn.jpg

Kerry, Ithaca
I'm a huge supporter of Bernie. I think he has a real chance of bringing a lot of change to this country and a lot of good things to all people. Climate change is huge to me and also a real change in taking care of all of the people in this country and in the world, and I think his attitudes are right in line with what we need.

Bernie Hannah Butterfield .jpg

Hanna Butterfield, Albany
I'm from Vermont. I'm a second generation Bernie supporter. My father worked on his first campaigns in the 80s.

I think his fight for humans is astonishing. He's the first candidate to really focus on what human beings need. We are in such dismay and everyone is so unhappy and there needs to be more focus on loving each other and things being fair and us being happy as people. I'm huge on getting health care for everyone. I think that is totally a basic human right. It's not fair for people to not be able to go to the doctors because they don't have the money.

In line outside the Donald Trump rally at the Times Union Center


Monica, Catskill
I'm here to support our candidate and our country. He's real and he can't be bought. He's not a true politician. He is a people's man. Illegal immigration is important to me and making our country financialy stable again and I think he is the best candidate that can do it.


John, Ravena
Donald Trump is making America great again. He'll fight corruption in the government.


Becca, Troy
Just being part of the experience. I do support some of his ideas, but I'm just here to check it out and see what he is all about.


Ann, Waterford
Jobs! And if he doesn't get in, I'm not voting.


Nicole, RPI student
We just wanted to get involved with really knowing the candidates. We're college students. We have one supporter, one hater, and two neutral people. We just want to come and listen and be a part of all of it.

(It was starting to rain. The weather in general was kind of miserable, between the intermittent rain and the strong wind gusts.)

Keiran, Croton-on-Hudson
This is the only chance to see him here in Albany. All the issues he has brought forward. Immigration. The ineptitude in Washington.


Julianne, Albany
We are here to support Trump because the establishment just isn't working. People are tired of being broke. They are tired of working for nothing and having nothing to show for it. And they are tired of actually being penalized for being successful. So Trump stands for what we believe in and that's what we're here to support him for.


Eileen, Albany
I want to support Donald Trump. I agree with almost every one of his policies. I want to say that the media is doing an awful job on discrimination against him. Because they always say things that are untrue and they change a word around or they show a short clip and they are just against him altogether.


Gally, Brooklyn
He is the man for me for our country. What he says, he means. It's not like Hillary. He will fight. He will do everything for our country, for our people. Not like Hillary, [who's] just talk. Whoever is going to be run, they are crooks. That's why we don't want them. They are politician crooks. We want Donald Trump for our future president.


Tim, Maryland
I hate Donald Trump. I just want to see with my own two eyes, the craziness that is a Donald Trump rally. I'm not going to be one of those people who starts shouting, but it's something worth seeing I think.


Benson, Albany
I just wanted to experience the whole Trump thing and see how people react. This is my first political rally so why not make it Trump. For me Trump symbolizes what everybody wants: money. To me... I think it's what everybody wants. I just want to soak it in, see what everyone thinks and what not. Trust me, I'm not voting for Trump.


Noah, Long Island
I wanted to come for mainly the experience. I'm not necessarily saying I'm a Trump supporter. I'm not saying I'm not a Trump supporter. But I wanted to see what the hype was all about. Because it's Donald Trump. I watched him on the debates, I watched him on TV. I want to get a first hand experience of what it's like.


Great coverage. I had a feeling that at least half of the people at Trump rallies were just looky-loos.

Benson was kicked out of the rally for being a rude protester disrupting the speech.

Thanks for the fun vignette guys. I was really curious what the scene was like downtown, but between work and Neil Degrasse Tyson at Proctors, heading for a walk to see the scene wasn't possible. I love the way you reported this. I also love the visual contrast of the Bernie supporters, lined up in front of a public library, and the Trump folks, in front of a big expensive arena. I love that you added locations people came from. I love that you did a sort of HONY style with little quotes. Generally, this comment is your applause emoticon.

The ratio of "here for the experience" people at the Trump rally is awfully high. Is this confirmation bias on AOA's part, or were Trump supporters less willing to talk to you?

Interesting that most of the Sanders supporters were smiling--Trump supporters, not so much.

@Addiesdad: A handful of people we approached in the line outside the Trump rally politely declined to talk with us, and a few others who did talk weren't willing to share their names. Mary said a few people outside the Sanders rally also declined, but on the whole that crowd seemed to be more willing to talk and at greater length.

One or two people at the Trump rally specifically mentioned not wanting to talk with the media. But I'd be reluctant to draw any sort of broad conclusion from the difference. It could have also been a result of the weather, the line moving, and people just wanting to get inside.

Based on my office conversations, probably 10 people ended up going to the Trump rally, with half of those attending for the entertainment value (one brought her son as a civics lesson, since NY has been ignored in the Presidential primaries of past, so it was an opportunity not to miss, even if she preferred to go to the Sanders rally, which happen to fall during the work hours). Many of my overheard conversations on the bus seemed to be folks who wanted to see the Donald because of his celebrity, not because they support him for President. End of the day, I would not be surprise if a quarter (being generous) of the crowd was there more for the spectacle rather than genuine support for him.

Well done Greg.

@Josh K: Thanks, but Mary deserves the credit for this post! (I just took some photos and did a bit of copyediting.)

@km, based on how the media has treated Trump supporters, I wouldn't want to speak to them either.

I'm guessing there was no counter-protesting at the Sanders rally...

Reading this post, my general impression is that Bernie supporters articulate how Bernie/This election/This candidate effects THEM personally and what they care for. People at the Trump rally seemed to regurgitate things they had heard elsewhere, or to just be there for the experience.

I would like the Trump supporters to tell me how he is "making America great again." How? By sowing the seeds of hatred and dissension? How is that going to make America great? I truly believe that his support is based his playing into the preexisting biases in our country. Racism, sexism, xenophobia... all OK in the Trump world.

I just don't get the "the media has treated trump poorly" whining. He's writing the story. Don't blame the reader for the content. In large part it's media's fault/credit he is this far along, a sideshow in center ring. It's as if people hate Frankenstein but adore the monster.

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