Bernie Sanders says Democrats pushed working class supporters to Trump

‘This is a reflection of the Democratic Party,’ says Sanders of increased support for Trump

Matt Mathers
Sunday 20 December 2020 17:49
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Bernie Sanders claims he can win Texas and defeat Trump

The Democratic Party is partly to blame for Donald Trump's popularity among working-class voters, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has claimed.

Mr Sanders, who is registered as an independent but has close links to the Democrats, said the party needs to "transform itself" to win back blue-collar voters who chose Mr Trump in 2016 and 2020.

Despite Joe Biden winning the electoral college and popular vote with 81 million ballots, Mr Trump increased his support at the election, having been in the White House for four years.

In a record year for turnout, the incumbent won some 74 million votes compared with just under 63 million in 2016.

That increase of some 11 million votes, in an election where Republicans made gains in the House and Democrats lost seats, has led to some soul searching within the Democratic Party.

Mr Trump increased his support in deprived communities, where unemployment and poverty are high. And according to Mr Sanders, many of those voters supported the president because they did not like what they saw from the Democrats.

“This is a reflection of the Democratic Party," said the left-wing lawmaker in a Friday interview with SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah.

"I think if you talk to many of those ... working class people who voted for Trump, they’ll say, ‘Look, of course we know he’s a liar. We know he’s full of shit. But at least he does this; he does that.’ Something the Democrats don’t do."

He added: “The Democratic Party is going to have to do an enormous amount of work, really transform itself, and talk about ways to bring working class people on board, and what that means is you've got to represent honestly their interests."

Critics of Sanders in the centre of the Democratic Party have previously said that  "socialist messaging" and calls to "defund the police" from a small number of lawmakers who represent metropolitan areas may have been what put off working-class voters at the election.

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