Sanders set for five-state Midwestern swing

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California On The Money: Trump appeals to Supreme Court to keep tax returns from NY prosecutors | Pelosi says deal on new NAFTA 'imminent' | Mnuchin downplays shutdown threat | Trump hits Fed after Walmart boasts strong earnings MORE (I-Vt.) will campaign in five battleground states this week as he seeks to cement his support among white working-class voters.

Sanders has stops planned in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE won all of those states in 2016.

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The Sanders campaign said in a statement that the Democrats’ “strongest path to victory in 2020 runs through the upper Midwest” and that Sanders is “by far the best-positioned candidate to win these states and defeat Donald Trump.”

At the campaign events, Sanders will focus on trade deals and union support, issues that should resonate with white, male blue-collar workers in the region.

Before Trump's victories, Michigan and Pennsylvania had not gone for the GOP nominee since 1988 and a Republican presidential candidate had last won Wisconsin in 1984. Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: report What are Republicans going to do after Donald Trump leaves office? MORE has been criticized for not campaigning in Wisconsin, which went for Trump by fewer than 25,000 votes. Democrats will hold their nominating convention in Milwaukee next year.

Indiana has been a more reliable state for Republican presidential candidates, though former President Obama squeaked out a victory there in 2008. 

Obama won Ohio twice, and that state has long been a presidential bellwether. It is seen as strong territory for Trump and some observers believe it is moving toward Republicans. 

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California MORE, who along with Sanders is a top contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, has also sought to burnish his credentials among blue-collar workers.

At a union speech Friday, Biden suggested that Trump succeeded in 2016 because the “sophisticated” elites had failed to understand the plight of everyday workers.

“How the hell do we get to the place where a lot of you think the rest of the country doesn’t see you, or know you?” Biden asked.

"All you're looking for is to be treated fairly, with respect, with some dignity,” he added. "Because you matter."