Bernie Sanders Kicks Off ‘Bernie Beats Trump’ Tour, Targeting Working Class Trump Voters In Rust Belt

Apparently let down by Barack Obama's economic policies, working class voters in the Rust Belt switched to Trump in 2016, carrying him to victory.

Sen. Bernie Sanders greets guests at the Polk County Democrats' Steak Fry.
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Apparently let down by Barack Obama's economic policies, working class voters in the Rust Belt switched to Trump in 2016, carrying him to victory.

In an effort to woo working class voters in the Rust Belt, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is kicking off his “Bernie Beats Trump Tour,” Bloomberg reports.

In 2016, Donald Trump won in Democratic strongholds in the Rust Belt, winning the support of working class voters in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, which carried him to victory. These states are still key to winning the presidency, so the Democratic nominee — whoever they may be — will likely have to win them back to reclaim the White House.

Sanders’ tour is meant to help the candidate make a strong argument about his appeal to working class voters, apparently let down by former President Barack Obama’s economic policies and irked by politicians’ embrace of international free trade agreements as well as by the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs.

As Eddie Vale, a partner at New Paradigm Strategy Group, explained to Bloomberg, although Rust Belt voters might be turned off by Sanders’ embrace of the democratic socialist label, once they see the candidate in person, they might like what he actually stands for when it comes to economics.

“If they actually see him in person and hear some of his economic policies, they might realize that there is more agreement there than they thought,” he said.

Furthermore, according to Kim Nadler, a professor of political science at California State University, Sanders might be able to appeal to Trump voters in a way that no other Democratic presidential candidate can.

“Those that gravitated toward the Trump combative persona may also be swayed by the combative tone that Sanders takes as well,” she said.

Sanders’ tour is also meant to make an argument about the Independent Vermont Senator’s “electability.”

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As previously reported by The Inquisitr, although virtually every poll suggests that Sanders would beat Trump in the general election, Democratic primary voters appear to believe that former Vice President Joe Biden is the only truly electable candidate; the only Democrat in the race who could beat Trump.

Sanders has previously pushed back against Biden’s electability argument, arguing in a recent interview that the only way to beat Trump and make real changes from the White House is to create a broad coalition of young and working class Americans and take on corporate power.

If elected president, Sanders says that he would work to “lay the groundwork for transforming our economy and our government to meet the needs of working people, who’ve been ignored for so very long”

In order to even have a shot at challenging Trump, Sanders will have to win the Democratic nomination first. In the primary race, he is threatened not only by Joe Biden but also by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has surged in the polls.