ANN ARBOR - Sen. Bernie Sanders will be rallying in nine battleground states this fall for Democratic hopefuls in the November elections, and Ann Arbor is on his itinerary.
This month will be his busiest stretch of campaigning since he ran in the 2016 presidential race.
On Oct. 19, the tour will kick off in Bloomington, Indiana, and Ann Arbor with events and rallies on behalf of Liz Watson for Congress (Indiana) and Gretchen Whitmer for Michigan governor.
He will be stopping in South Carolina and Iowa -- two critical early contests for the 2020 primary. Other stops include rallies in Arizona, California, Colorado and Nevada, where Sanders will be campaigning alongside Democratic candidates for varying statewide and federal positions.
Already this month, Sanders has visited 17 states to support policy issues and Democratic candidates. He is the favorite for next month's race for Vermont senator and is expected to be re-elected for a third term, allowing him to embark on the campaign trail in the weeks ahead of the election.
Sanders has reportedly been mulling another presidential race and is expected to make a decision in the coming months.
This tour is seen as a test of the left-leaning coalition he built in 2016 and an opportunity to strengthen relationships with elected officials who could become allies if he decides to launch another campaign.
"He wanted to go where he thinks he can be helpful in energizing the base and bringing in young people and independent voters and working-class voters who supported him," Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ longtime political adviser and 2016 campaign manager said in a statement.
"His message has reached across the Democratic base and positions him well were he to decide to run in the primary, but also in the general election as the candidate who can best beat Trump," he said.
"We are clearly in an unprecedented moment in American history, a very, very dangerous moment. We have an unstable president who is a liar, who has very strong authoritarian tendencies," Sanders said during a campaign event last month in St. Johnsbury, Vermont.
However, he acknowledged that there has been a "waking up among the American people, a desire to move this country in a very different direction, a disgust with the movement of this country toward oligarchy."
While the 2016 Democratic primaries saw Sanders become the main alternative to Hillary Clinton, the 2020 race for the party is expected to see several first-time runners, including senators Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts; Kamala Harris, of California; Cory Booker, of New Jersey, and others.
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