`We can do it,’ say young believers fueling Sanders campaign

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — They’ve watched their parents and friends struggle to pay medical bills. They’ve spent time in Spain, Australia and other countries where people don’t have the same worry. They live at home instead of the college dorm to try to cut down on what they’ll owe in loans. They question whether to have kids in an environment where the effects of climate change are getting worse by the day.

The young Bernie Sanders supporters who gathered for a Super Tuesday watch party in Michigan came with reasons both personal and ideological for wanting him to be president. But they were all asking the same question: Why can’t things be different?

“Young people are aspirational,” said Jaclyn Schess, 24, a health economics researcher at the University of Michigan. She sat on a folding chair inside the Sanders campaign’s Ann Arbor office watching returns projected on a screen from the online news network The Young Turks. “We can look at what’s happening now without being weighed down by the failures of the past and say ‘Our country deserves better. … We can do it.’”

As Sanders tries to top former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination, the Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist’s most enduring support has come from voters under age 30 like Schess. They are moved by Sanders’ vision for the country — of a place where everyone has health care, college is free and rich people and corporations don’t have more political influence than teachers and students — and his consistency on the issues.

They don’t believe his ideas are unrealistic or unaffordable. To them, the main argument that President donald trump and others have used against Sanders — that he’s a “socialist” who wants to give everything away for free — isn’t at all scary and may be a point in Sanders’ favor.

Those young voters remain the backbone of Sanders’ effort, though they weren’t enough for him to stop Biden from leapfrogging him in the delegate count on Super Tuesday. Sanders won four states out of 14, including California, with support from 57% of voters under 30, according to AP VoteCast surveys of voters across eight of the states that voted.

But those young voters made up just 15% of the vote, putting pressure on Sanders to increase that vote share or broaden his appeal — or both — as the race moves on to Michigan, Washington, Missouri, Mississippi on Tuesday and elsewhere after that.

The biggest delegate haul this week will be Michigan. Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton there in 2016, thanks in part to strong support in counties that are home to colleges such as the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.

A big part of Sanders’ success is that he’s empowered younger voters and made them feel they are part of a movement in a way few politicians have done since Barack Obama in 2008, said John Della Volpe,director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics.

Their potential political power is notable. Generation Z — those between 18 and 23 — make up 1 in 10 eligible voters,and is the only generation that has grown by percentage of eligible voting population since 2016, according to the Pew Research Center.

AP VoteCast shows these young voters more likely than those older to be liberal ideologically. Sixty percent of voters under 30 across eight Super Tuesday states surveyed described themselves as liberal and 39% said they are “very liberal.” But they have historically turned out to vote at much lower rates than older voters, a trend that has continued this primary season.

“If they all voted at close to the proportion of older voters it’s a completely different country,” Della Volpe said.

Full Coverage: Election 2020

Sanders said at a post-Super Tuesday news conference that his campaign hasn’t been as successful as he’d hoped at getting young people out to vote. In a sign he’s ramping up those efforts in Michigan, he canceled events in Mississippi to spend more time in Michigan, including a Sunday night rally in Ann Arbor, hosted by the university’s chapter of Students for Bernie. Sanders drew almost 6,000 people to a rally on the campus in 2016, days before his surprise win in the state over Clinton.

“The vision he’s talking about is of the world that we want,” said Emily Moos, 22, who works as an environmental organizer registering young people to vote in Ann Arbor.

Moos was among those at the Super Tuesday gathering who believe the influence of money, particularly from fossil fuel companies and other corporations, has corrupted U.S. politics, affecting everything from the climate crisis to health care and the minimum wage.

Sanders has raised over $120 million this election cycle, including more than $25 million in January, from over 1.5 million people while refusing money from corporations and political action committees. That’s a big reason Sanders’ supporters are choosing him over rivals such as Biden, who they say is influenced by PACs and large-dollar donors.

“How can we trust anybody if they have to kind of kneel to these corporate entities?” said Matthew Rodriguez, 29, who is studying in the University of Michigan’s school of social work. “We can trust Bernie. When he says he’ll fight for these things, we know he’ll fight for it no matter what.”

That extends to health care and Sanders’ push for “Medicare for All,” which his rivals have described as a pipe dream.

Jonah Hahn, 25, said he saw firsthand how it could work when he was living in Spain for a fellowship. That country’s national health care system provides universal coverage and access to free health care for Spanish nationals. In the private insurance market, Hahn paid $60 per month for everything, with no copays. Back in the U.S. he pays a $50 copay to see a specialist, after a $300 monthly premium.

“Nothing convinces you about the importance of universal health care like living in a country that has it,” said Hahn, who considers himself a democratic socialist. “It’s not like I needed to be radicalized, but when you actually see it, you say ‘OK, Spain has certain political issues, but no one is debating whether their health care system works or not.’”

What if Sanders isn’t the nominee? University of Michigan student Keegan Cupp, 18, said he’s “Bernie or bust,” and will stay home. But he was the only one of about a dozen people interviewed who said so.

“I dislike trump to the highest degree and I will hold my nose and vote for Biden if I have to,” Rodriguez said.

Emily Arking, 18, said if Sanders isn’t the nominee it “will be a big bummer” because it will be her first election voting. But it won’t stop her.

“I was talking to my dad earlier and he told me that there were plenty of times he’s walked into the voting booth and just let out a huge sigh because he didn’t like who he was voting for,” she said. “But he did it nonetheless.”

Schess said she was disappointed to hear there was anyone in the room who planned to stay home.

“You’re contributing to trump winning if you don’t vote,” she said. “There’s too much at stake.”


Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerhut in Washington contributed to this report.

551 Replies to “`We can do it,’ say young believers fueling Sanders campaign”

  1. Pingback: cheapest viagra
  2. Pingback: viagra
  3. Pingback: online viagra
  4. Pingback: buy viagra canada
  5. Pingback: buy viagra on line
  6. Pingback: viagra pills
  7. Amazing! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  8. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to send you an email. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  9. Pingback: cialis adcirca
  10. Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.

  11. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I am attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  12. Pingback: cialis daily cost
  13. Pingback: buy generic viagra
  14. I leave a response when I appreciate a article on a website or I have something to valuable to contribute to the conversation. It’s triggered by the fire communicated in the article I read. And after this article CF Colors v 2.1, Post Formats Admin UI v1.3.1, and Social v2.10 : alexking.org. I was moved enough to create a thought 🙂 I actually do have some questions for you if you do not mind. Is it only me or does it look as if like some of the responses look like left by brain dead people? 😛 And, if you are posting on other sites, I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you list all of all your public sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

  15. Pingback: buy viagra
  16. To skin of one’s teeth decontamination between my living up in the crown on the urinary side blocking my lung, and in the previously I was used in red them at near transfusion replacement them whirl unrecognized and cardiac the omission of as chest. viagra cheap Ivceci xapylc

  17. Pingback: Cialis 20 mg usa
  18. Pingback: viagra pills
  19. Everyone loves what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our blogroll.

  20. Pingback: viagra generic
  21. Pingback: viagra cheap
  22. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you,
    However I am encountering difficulties with your RSS.
    I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond?

    Thanx!! https://www.wisig.org/

  23. I am not sure where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this info for my mission.

  24. Pingback: viagra casera
  25. Pingback: casodex pills
  26. Pingback: buy celexa 20 mg
  27. Pingback: cephalexin cheap
  28. Pingback: claritin cheap
  29. Pingback: slots online
  30. Pingback: parx casino online
  31. Pingback: slot machine
  32. Pingback: casino game
  33. Pingback: RxTrustPharm
  34. Pingback: doubleu casino
  35. Pingback: hollywood casino
  36. Pingback: rbc car insurance
  37. Pingback: personal loans
  38. Pingback: payday loan online
  39. Pingback: speedy cash
  40. Pingback: check into cash
  41. Pingback: