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Sanders Stumps For Clinton, Feingold In Milwaukee

Pollster: Rally Likely Aimed At Exciting Progressive Base, Younger Voters

Bernie Sanders
Jim Cole/AP Photo

Former Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders is urging Wisconsin residents to vote for his onetime rival, Hillary Clinton, in Tuesday’s election.

The Vermont senator, who won Wisconsin’s Democratic presidential primary in April, was in Milwaukee on Wednesday, where he told a rally of a few hundred people he and Clinton have come to agree on some key issues such as passing a measure to help college students deal with high loan payments.

“What we are saying, what Secretary Clinton believes and I believe, and Russ (Feingold) believes, is that you should be able to refinance those loans at the lowest interest rates you can find,” Sanders said, mentioning Wisconsin’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate.

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Sanders said he and Feingold got along well during their three years together in the Senate, prior to Feingold losing in 2010 to Republican now-incumbent Ron Johnson. Sanders said he and Feingold would like to team up on reducing student debt, creating paid family leave, shrinking corporate tax loopholes and other issues.

But Sanders said he’s very nervous about conservative groups spending a lot of money to help Johnson defeat Feingold.

“Right now, in your state of Wisconsin, millions of dollars are coming in here from the Koch brothers and other billionaires,” Sanders said, referring to industrialists and conservative activists Charles and David Koch.

Johnson’s campaign complains progressive groups are dumping in cash to help Feingold, but Democrats have said Johnson is receiving far more outside help.

The State Republican Party joked it sent a document shredder to the Sanders rally to symbolize what the GOP says are Clinton’s constant cover ups and the withholding of information about Feingold’s time in the U.S. State Department.

According to Marquette University Law School poll director political Charles Franklin, many former Sanders backers have already switched their support to Clinton, but Sanders’ visit was likely aimed at reaching some younger or more progressive voters not yet backing the Democratic candidate.

Longtime progressive activist, Jim Carpenter, attended the rally. He said he backed Sanders in April, but has since declared his support for Clinton. He said the rally “energized people.”

“I hope Sanders is taking some of those people who may have stayed home and bringing them to the polls,” Carpenter said.

The latest Marquette University poll, released Wednesday afternoon, showed Clinton leading Trump by 6 points in Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Feingold led Johnson by 1 point.

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