Bernie Sanders Tops Hillary Clinton in His Ancestral Polish Village

A village in Poland is feeling the Bern.

Bernie Sanders may have come in second to Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses, but he is easily out-polling his Democratic rival in his family's ancestral hometown of Słopnice, Poland.

“There’s quite a bit of excitement in the air here — we’re proud of Senator Sanders and we wish our ‘homeboy’ even greater success!” Mayor Adam Soltys told Polish television station TVN24.

Image: Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt,  waves to the crowd
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, waves to the crowd at his caucus night rally in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday, Feb. 2, 2016. J. David Ake / AP

Sanders' father Eli left the village in the Tatra mountains at age 17 in 1921 and emigrated to Brooklyn, where the future Vermont senator was born.

Soltys said when Sanders visited Słopnice with his brother Larry back in 2013 he was pleased to discover that the politician "even speaks a few words of Polish."

The proud mayor said Sanders was "very sympathetic, warmhearted and friendly" and that he helped the brothers find the house where their father once lived.

"After a couple hours, it felt like we were old friends," Soltys said.

Image: Slopnice Map
Polish town, Slopnice, where Bernie Sanders’ father was born. De Lima, Melanie (206479643) / via Google Maps

Sanders' American-born mother was also a Polish Jew. Most of the senator's family in Poland was wiped out by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Clinton cannot lay claim to Polish ancestry, but she's from a city with a lot of Polish votes — Chicago. And Polish-Americans are a key voting block in the swing states who helped President Obama win in 2008 and again in 2012.