by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Senator Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Sunday said that while abortion is an important issue, Democrats must focus additional attention on inflation, which has reached a 40-year high.
“I am worried about the level of voter turnout among young people and working people who will be voting Democratic,” Sanders said during an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union. “And I think, again, what Democrats have got to do is contrast their economic plan with Republicans. What are the Republicans talking about? They want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at a time when millions of seniors are struggling to pay their bills.”
“I think what the Democrats have got to say is we are going to stand with working people, we’re prepared to take on the drug companies, we’re prepared to take on the insurance companies and create an economy that works for all of us,” Sanders said.
“Is the abortion issue important? Yes,” Sanders said. “But we have also got to focus on the struggles of working people to put food on their table.”
He went on to suggest young people and working class people are upset because “for the last 50 years in this country, real wages have not gone up. That’s a reason to be upset.”
National polling has shown voter concern about abortion steadily falling since an initial spike when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade despite Democrats having spent 73 million on messaging ads about abortion nationwide in September, which is “about a third of all Democratic television ad spending,” according to a study conducted by AdImpact, per NPR.
A New York Times/Siena College poll released Monday found 26 percent of voters believe the economy is the most important issue facing the country today, while 18 percent cited inflation as their top concern. Just five percent cited abortion.