MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With a big win in Nevada, Senator Bernie Sanders is the front runner for the Democratic nomination.

Sanders won in New Hampshire and he appears to have crushed the rest of the field in Nevada.

The next contest is South Carolina on Saturday, February 29. He is running in second there to Vice President Biden. But polls are showing Sanders’ biggest chance to pull firmly into the lead is Super Tuesday, which is March 3.

It’s a day when 14 states including Minnesota go to the polls — more than 1300 delegates are up for grabs that’s 34% of the total delegates. 1,990 delegates are needed to win the nomination.

If Sanders does as well as the polls suggest on Super Tuesday his lead could become insurmountable. But there are questions about whether Sanders, who calls himself a Democratic Socialist, can beat President Trump in the general election.

Professor David Schultz of Hamline University has written a book on the presidential swing states. He was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“Sanders is saying I can move to the left and bring in disenfranchised voters,” Schultz said. “Everyone thought that Trump had no chance to get the nomination, no chance to win but it’s about a swing state strategy for the general election, it was about a divided Republican party going through the primaries, the same conditions are setting up for Sanders now with the Democrats as Trump four years ago.”

Senator Sanders’ strong showing comes as news that U.S. Intelligence has briefed him that Russia is trying to help his campaign. Sanders has responded by saying Vladimir Putin should stay out of U.S. elections.

U.S. Intelligence has also briefed Congress that Russia is also trying to help President Trump win reelection. The President has said again he does not believe that Russia is trying to help him.

Esme Murphy