The Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) presidential campaign is struggling with voters over age 50. It turns out, those who’ve already made their money, paid off their student loans, and are eligible for actual Medicare, aren’t really up for voting for Bernie Sanders, and it’s starting to have an impact on his ability to win in states with early primaries.
So, The Wall Street Journal reports, Sanders is arming his young followers with “family persuasion guides” so that they can more effectively ruin Christmas by injecting politics into the conversation at every opportunity — and it starts by suggesting that students remind their non-socialist parents and grandparents that they’ll be dead one day.
“It’s up to us as students and young people to make the moral appeal to our older relatives to join us in voting for Bernie, because let’s face it: they won’t be around for as long to deal with the consequences of this election, but we will be,” the “Students for Bernie: Family Persuasion Guide” reads.
The campaign isn’t even waiting for young supporters to seek out the guide or offering the book through social media as a free download the way the Obama Administration often did when it wanted its own young supporters to talk about the Affordable Care Act or other legislative priorities at the holiday dinner table. Nope. The campaign actually mailed the guide to around 3,000 committed Bernie-acs before Thanksgiving and will be sending a follow up brochure right before Christmas.
Some parts of the guide build on existing Sanders communications software, like “BERN,” the official peer-to-peer Bernie Sanders canvassing app, but the “Family Persuasion Guide” actually has a very specific target — old people — and it’s part of a much larger strategy: a full-court press on the elderly in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
“Mr. Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir said in an interview that the campaign has made more of an effort to focus on seniors in the past three months and hopes to peel off some voters who have been supporting other candidates,” WSJ says. “Urging young supporters to talk to older relatives about Mr. Sanders is an unconventional strategy. The campaign is also taking some more traditional steps.”
That includes an $8 million ad buy in Iowa and elsewhere during reruns of “The Big Bang Theory,” and during daytime game and talk shows, senior-focused events that tout Sanders’ plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs, home health care, eyeglasses, and other essentials of the elderly. The campaign is also hoping seniors respond to the “promise” of social security, guaranteed pensions even for low-income workers, and a jump in social security’s cost-of-living increase.
Unfortunately for Bernie, some of the 78-year-old Senator’s “contemporaries” know their limits and, by extension, know Bernie’s.
“I still like him, but unfortunately his age and his health have worked against him. That heart attack scared some people, and I don’t think he’s electable,” at least one person who attended a senior-focused Sanders rally told WSJ.
Sanders is currently running either second or third depending on the poll, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and, occasionally, behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).