Sanders appeals to Trump voters
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In one of the most interesting political moves of the year, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Democrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (I-Vt.) spent last weekend appealing to those Trump voters who are unhappy with income inequality and the problem of stagnant wages, asking them to consider voting for him in the presidential election.


While the majority of Trump supporters would not consider supporting Sanders because their support for Trump has nothing to do with the populist economic issues that Trump is championing, there is a pool of Trump supporters that might give Sanders a very close look, especially in the New Hampshire primary, where independents can vote in the Democratic primary.

These would be the Trump supporters who favor a high minimum wage, who support major Wall Street reform and breaking up big banks, who want to send their kids to college but cannot afford the high cost and long-term debt of a college education, who do not like paying big insurers punishing premiums, who want to prevent lavishly financed super-Pacs favoring special interests from dominating American politics, and who support reducing the influence of special-interest insider lobbyists from writing legislation in secret.

There are Trump supporters who enjoy Trump's attacks on various groups and individuals, such as his comments about Muslims. But there are also Trump supporters who are lifetime supporters of veterans, who respect the way Sanders is highly regarded by many leading veterans groups for his support of those who wore the uniform and how he has championed their cause by his service on the Senate Veterans Affairs committee, and do not agree with Trump's condescending comments about war hero Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is particularly popular in New Hampshire and other states.

I give Sanders credit for making the appeal to those Trump voters who are appalled that wages have not kept pace with the standard of living, and agree with Sanders that trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership can harm American workers. And unlike Trump, Sanders has never made money by putting his name on neckties made in China!

Let's watch the polls and those ultimately voting in New Hampshire — where Sanders is well known and would have great appeal to populist independent voters — to measure Sanders's success in appealing to economically motivated Trump voters, which could make a big difference when Granite State voters go to the polls on primary day.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at