Bernie Sanders says he’s ‘worried’ about turnout among younger voters, calls on Democrats to focus on economic issues

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Bernie Sanders
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

  • Bernie Sanders on Sunday expressed concern about Democratic voter enthusiasm among key blocs.
  • On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sanders signaled worries about turnout among young and working-class voters.
  • Sanders said Democratic lawmakers needed to effectively address the economic concerns of voters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday expressed concern about Democratic turnout levels among working-class and younger voters ahead of the midterm elections, which are now less than a month away.

During an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the Vermont independent told host Jake Tapper that Democrats needed to frame an economic argument in a way that would reach voters who aren’t swayed by the current messaging.

“I am worried about the level of voter turnout among young people and working people who will be voting Democratic,” Sanders said. “And I think, again, what Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with the Republicans.”

He continued: “What are the Republicans talking about? They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to pay their bills. Do you think that’s what we should be doing? Democrats should take that to them.”

Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate and ran for the party’s presidential nomination in 2016 and 2020, developed a huge following among younger voters during his White House campaigns as he championed issues like raising the federal minimum wage, health care reform, college affordability, and student loan debt cancellation.

The Senate Budget Committee chairman stressed that the party needed to lean into the everyday concerns of voters on the campaign trail.

“I think what we have to do is contrast what a strong, pro-worker Democratic position is with the corporate agenda of the Republicans,” he said.

Sanders in the interview stood behind President Joe Biden’s economic policies, pointing to complications created by the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Inflation is a global problem caused by the breaking of supply chains, because of the war in Ukraine, and a significant part by corporate greed, and, as I said, a significant part of inflation has to do with corporate greed,” he said.

Sanders then argued that Democrats needed to question Republicans over their plans to tackle inflation.

“What are the Republicans’ response to inflation? What do they want to do?” he asked.

“Well, maybe they want to cut wages for workers. Do they want to raise the minimum wage? No, they don’t,” he added.

Many Democrats are hopeful that the Inflation Reduction Act, with its nearly $370 billion for climate and energy programs, will boost turnout among younger voters.

And while Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan is currently on hold, per a Friday ruling by a federal appeals court, the Department of Education is “moving full speed ahead” to implement the program, which could also buoy Democratic chances in many of the most competitive races across the country.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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