Bernie Sanders is on a battleground tour to help Democratic candidates in the November elections and he may make a big difference in close races.
Sanders has a full October travel schedule, and this is his longest stretch of campaigning since he stopped his 2016 presidential campaign. He is going to many states, including Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada, where there are very important early primaries or caucuses on the 2020 presidential election calendar.
Sanders has not decided yet is he is going to launch another campaign for president in 2020. He’s expected to announce his decision in just a few months. The results of his upcoming tour will probably influence his decision on whether to run or not.
According to the Associated Press, Sanders’ barnstorming tour will “allow him to test the durability of the left-leaning coalition he assembled in 2016 and build relationships with elected officials who could serve as allies should he run again.”
Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager, had this to say about what the Vermont senator is doing:
“He wanted to go where he thinks he can be helpful in energizing the base and bringing in young people and independent voters and working-class voters who supported him.”
“His message has reached across the Democratic base and positions him well were he to decide to run in the primary but also in the general election as the candidate who can best beat Trump.”
Weaver made clear that his former boss has “no timeline or deadline for making a decision on 2020.” He also said that he will focus on who he thinks is best able to defeat President Donald Trump, which is every Democrat’s top priority.
The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries are expected to be very wide-open contests. The early buzz favors such party stalwarts as Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California. A front runner in early Democratic polling is former Vice President Joe Biden, a true elder statesman for the party.
In addition to those big names many other members of Congress, governors and mayors have expressed an interest. Even Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti and multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg may throw their hats in the ring.
Sanders has built goodwill by continuing to promote his progressive agenda of free college tuition, a $15 hourly minimum wage and a “Medicare for all” health care program for all Americans. He believe this platform, and his passion in promoting it, will win over general-election voters.
Many people gave Sanders credit after Amazon announced last week it would raise its wages for its workers to $15 per hour starting next month, and will raise pay for employees who make more than that.
According to the AP:
“The tour kicks off on Oct. 19 in Bloomington, Indiana, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, with rallies and events on behalf of Liz Watson, who is challenging Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Ind., and Gretchen Whitmer, who is running for Michigan governor.”
“Sanders will hold rallies and other events in South Carolina and Iowa on Oct. 20-21, including stops in Iowa in Sioux City, Fort Dodge and Ames on behalf of J.D. Scholten, who is challenging Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.”
“The itinerary will also include rallies in Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and California, spanning a number of competitive races key to Democrats’ electoral success. He will be campaigning alongside Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin; David Garcia, who faces Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey; Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; and Jacky Rosen, who is aiming to unseat Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. Sanders’ California swing will help Rep. Barbara Lee and two California congressional hopefuls, Ammar Campa-Najjar and Mike Levin.”
The above schedule makes clear that Bernie Sanders is both very energetic and also very committed to making a difference in this year’s election, and beyond. He has already traveled to 17 states this year in and to 30 states since the 2016 election.
Sanders is also a fundraising powerhouse and he has maintained a list of millions of his supporters that he can use to help raise money for candidates who he endorses.
Explaining his reasons for what he is doing, Senator Sanders said:
“We are clearly in an unprecedented moment in American history, a very, very dangerous moment. We have an unstable president who is a liar, who has very strong authoritarian tendencies.”
“There has been a waking up among the American people, a desire to move this country in a very different direction, a disgust with the movement of this country toward oligarchy.”
If Bernie Sanders has his way America will soon be going in a very different direction, and he will be the one leading us there.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.