VANCOUVER, Washington — In a candid campaign trail admission Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday said that he is “not doing well with older people.”
As the Vermont senator implored a rally audience about the importance of young people’s involvement in his campaign — part of his standard stump speech — he paused a moment and added, “If I can make a political statement here, it’s interesting as we go along this campaign, we are not doing well, we are working on it, I cannot tell you why, we are not doing well with older people.”
The crowd, mostly younger attendees who turned out in drizzling rain, listened as he continued.
“But we are doing phenomenally well with younger people,” he added.
Recent CNN exit polls from Ohio, a primary that Sanders lost to Democratic front-runner Clinton by 15 points, confirms Sanders’ view. He won the 18-29 year old demographic by 81%. In a near-mirror result, Clinton won voters 65 years and older in that state by 77%. The catch for Sanders is that more older voters turn out at the polls than youngsters.
Sanders, who routinely references political polls in his speeches, added, “There was a report that said we have received more votes from people under 30 [years old] than [Donald] Trump and Clinton combined.” The wooden-floor gym echoed loudly as the crowd applauded approvingly.
Sanders then praised his younger band of supporters.
“This is no small thing because the young people and their ideas and their vision and their dreams for America, that is the future for this country and that is what this campaign is doing,” he concluded.
Sanders and Clinton will face off again on Tuesday in voting Arizona, Utah, and Idaho.