Sanders set for five-state Midwestern swing

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' 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 TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE won all of those states in 2016.


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 ClintonMatt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch 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 BidenBiden compares Trump to George Wallace Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race 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."