Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday expressed concerns that younger voters won’t show up at the polls during the November midterms.
During an appearance on CNN, the self-described democratic socialist lawmaker implored Democrats to focus on younger people by addressing economic issues. Democrats currently have slim majorities in the House and Senate, while historically, the party of the president tends to lose seats during midterms.
“I am worried about the level of voter turnout among young people and working people who will be voting Democratic,” Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate and was a Democratic candidate for president, told the channel. “And I think, again, what Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with Republicans. 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.”
Voters often rank inflation and the economy a top issue ahead of the midterms in polls, and Republicans tend to perform much better than Democrats in those surveys.
“I think what the Democrats have got to say is we are going to stand with working people, we’re prepared to take on the drug companies, we’re prepared to take on the insurance companies and create an economy that works for all of us,” Sanders told CNN.
Sanders also appeared to take issue with Democrats’ and President Joe Biden’s unremitting focus on abortion since the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Is the abortion issue important? Yes,” Sanders told the channel. “But we have also got to focus on the struggles of working people to put food on their table.”
The Vermont senator also indicated that he is planning to embark on campaign-style trips to several states in a bid to bolster Democrat candidates ahead of the midterms. Reports last week said he is traveling to Nevada, Florida, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in the coming days.
Since Sanders became the head of the Senate Budget Committee in early January 2021, he’s advocated for enormous bills, including a $3.5 trillion budget last year. He also advocated for and praised the passage of the $2 trillion American Rescue Plan in March of last year.
Republicans and some economists have said that recent multi-trillion-dollar spending packages have contributed to decades-high inflation. Earlier this month, the Department of Labor released Consumer Price Index data, showing it had raised 8.2 percent for September over the previous year.