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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) says “the Democratic Party has turned its back on the working class”—and the Republican Party is reaping the benefits.
In an interview with the Guardian, Sanders said Democrats need to make “a major course correction” before the 2022 midterm elections to regain the trust of America’s working class. He acknowledged that Republicans are now the party “winning more and more support from working people.”
Sanders’s assessment tracks with Republican efforts in the past year to reach out to working class voters. In March 2021, Rep. Jim Banks (R., Ind.), the leader of the Republican Study Committee, sent a memo to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) claiming the 2020 election results have solidified the GOP as the “party of the working class.”
“Our electoral success in the 2022 midterm election will be determined by our willingness to embrace our new coalition,” Banks said in the memo. “House Republicans can broaden our electorate, increase voter turnout, and take back the House by enthusiastically rebranding and reorienting as the Party of the Working Class.”
When asked about challenges to passing legislation due to the 60-vote threshold of the Senate filibuster, Sanders placed blame on the kinds of legislation being put forth by Democrats.
“People can understand that you sometimes don’t have the votes,” Sanders said. “But they can’t understand why we haven’t brought up important legislation that 70 or 80% of the American people support.”