Conservative leader: Republicans must learn how to talk to working class voters

The ability to reach working-class Americans is one of the biggest challenges for the Republican Party heading into the 2020 elections, according to the leader of a conservative group.

“That’s a big challenge for the party,” Tim Chapman, an executive director at conservative advocacy group Heritage Action for America, told Hill.TV, referring to the GOP's ability to appeal to working-class voters.

“What the party has to do is figure out a way to talk to that specific segment of the country and put issues in front of them that attract them going forward,” he added.

Chapman added that the Republican Party is undergoing a fundamental shift, stemming from the 2016 election.

“If you look at 2016, the president was the only guy in that primary who didn’t run in some fashion as a Reagan Republican because he ran on non-traditional issues,” he told Hill.TV. “He was able to bring working-class Americans into the coalition.”

Working-class voters, particularly white working-class voters, played a key role in President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE’s victory in the 2016 election and represent a core of his base.

The voting bloc is also expected to play a decisive role in the 2020 elections for both Republicans and Democrats.

During a speech at a union convention on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi unveils signature plan to lower drug prices | Trump says it's 'great to see' plan | Progressives pushing for changes Krystal Ball calls on Sanders to follow Yang's lead on war on drugs Buttigieg calls Warren 'evasive' on Medicare for all MORE (I-Vt.) called for working class workers to go on the "offensive."

Sanders this week scored a union endorsement from United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), which represents roughly 35,000 members across the country.

—Tess Bonn