Democrats risk losing the 2024 elections if the party continues to lose support among minority and working class voters, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a speech Saturday.
Speaking at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College, Sanders urged Democrats to focus on economic issues ahead of 2024, and he expressed his bewilderment that the GOP has support from more working-class voters than the Democratic Party does.
“Frankly it is absolutely absurd that, given the anti-work ideology and policies of the Republican Party, that that party now has more working class support than Democrats,” Sanders said.
An April poll conducted by HarrisX, commissioned by Utah newspaper Deseret News, found that 40% of working class Americans considered Republicans best represented their interests, compared to 36% who said the same of Democrats.
Sanders similarly expressed his concerns that Hispanic and some Black voters have gravitated toward the Republican Party.
“It should be deeply worrying that, according to recent polls, Democrats are losing support within the Latino communities and even among African American men. That has got to change, not just for the well-being of the Democratic Party, but for the future of our country.”
Sanders reiterated his support of President Biden’s re-election, and celebrated many of policies of the current administration. But in his abrasive style, Sanders cajoled Democrats to embrace the economic populism he has preached for decades as a self-described democratic socialist.
“The Democrats, once and for all, must reject the corporate wing of the party and empower those who will create a grassroots, multi-racial, generational, working-class party in every state of this country,” Sanders said.
“Democrats, through words and action, must make clear that they stand with a struggling working class, a disappearing middle class, and millions of low-income Americans who today are barely surviving. They must make it clear that they are prepared to boldly take on the powerful corporate interests that have so much power in Washington and in state capitals across the country.”
Sanders included in his vision for the party an embrace of artificial intelligence, but only if the new technology is regulated to ensure it will aid low-income workers.
“In my view, if Democrats are prepared to do that, they will win this election and win it comfortably. If not, frankly I am not sure what the election outcome will be. Or, for that matter, what the future of our country holds,” Sanders said.
Sanders credited the Biden administration with investing in infrastructure, creating jobs, hiring a diverse staff and other policies, but he said many Americans are being left behind.
“While we take pride in our accomplishments, we must also recognize the reality that tens of millions of our fellow Americans continue to live in pain and despair,” Sanders said.
Biden in recent months has touted his economic policies as “Bidenomics,” which will likely become a key message of his presidential campaign.
“Since I took office, I’ve seen more than $3 billion in private investment in clean energy manufacturing, all across Wisconsin,” he told a crowd in Milwaukee earlier this month. “That’s Bidenomics. That’s investing in America.”
However, Republicans aim to tie Bidenomics to the pessimism that many Americans feel toward their economic future.
“We need to send Joe Biden back to his basement and reverse American decline. And it starts with understanding we must reverse Bidenomics,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the first GOP primary debate in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
DeSantis blamed Biden for the dissatisfaction expressed in the viral country song “Rich Men North of Richmond,” which rocketed to the top of the music charts this month as a working-class anthem for Americans who are fed up with the federal government.
The songwriter, Oliver Anthony, has insisted in several social media posts that he was not singling out just one political party.