Sen. Bernie Sanders will campaign for Democratic candidates across the country this month at more than 15 planned events in nine states – including a number of presidential primary hot spots.
The pre-midterm-election blitz begins on October 19 in Indiana, where the Vermont independent will stump in Bloomington for Liz Watson, who is trying to unseat Republican Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, and ends October 27 in Oakland, California, with a rally for Rep. Barbara Lee, a longtime progressive stalwart who could join the House Democratic leadership next year.
In between, Sanders is slated to hit the ground in a series of key 2020 primary and general election states, including Iowa – he’ll make three stops there over two days for J.D. Scholten, who is challenging GOP Rep. Steve King – and Columbia, South Carolina, for a rally with Our Revolution, the group that emerged from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. He will host a pair of town halls, in Iowa and Indiana, to warn against cuts to Social Security.
Sanders will also return to Michigan to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer in Ann Arbor on the second half of the tour’s first day. In August, he endorsed her primary opponent, Abdul El-Sayed, and headlined a pair of events for him days before the vote. But Whitmer, a former state Senate minority leader, won easily and Democrats quickly coalesced behind her.
On October 22, Sanders will head to Wisconsin for a rally with Sen. Tammy Baldwin and other Badger State Democrats in Milwaukee, before heading west to Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.
His Western swing begins with a pair of events with progressive favorite David Garcia, who is challenging Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. The incumbent has a comfortable lead in most polling, but Garcia, who is Mexican-American, has touted his candidacy as a means of engaging and energizing the Latino vote in a state President Donald Trump won by less than 4 percentage points.
A stronger-than-expected showing by Garcia in November could also help Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is locked in a tight Senate race with Republican Rep. Martha McSally.
Then it’s off to Colorado, a state Sanders won in the 2016 primary, for rallies in Boulder and Fort Collins backing Rep. Jared Polis, who is favored to become the first openly gay man elected governor in US history.
In Nevada, Sanders will hit Reno and Las Vegas to support Rep. Jacky Rosen in her race to unseat Republican Sen. Dean Heller. For the Democrats to have any chance of taking over the Senate next year, Rosen would need to oust Heller in a campaign CNN has rated as a toss-up with early voting less than two weeks away.
Before Sanders wraps his nationwide swing in California with Lee up in Oakland, he will rally down in San Diego with House candidates Mike Levin, who is vying to take over retiring GOP Rep. Darrell Issa’s seat, and Ammar Campa-Najjar, whose bid to flip the district held by Rep. Duncan Hunter got a major boost when the Republican and his wife were indicted in August on charges of spending campaign cash on personal expenses like travel and clothing.
Hunter has denied wrongdoing and remained in the race.
Sanders, who is up for re-election himself on Nov. 6, is expected to easily win a third term in the Senate.