Sen. Bernie Sanders is embarking on a nine-state battleground tour on behalf of Democratic candidates competing in the November elections, returning to the campaign trail ahead of a decision on another White House bid.
The packed October schedule marks the Vermont independent’s most extensive stretch of campaigning since the 2016 presidential race. It will include stops in Iowa and South Carolina, home to crucial early contests on the 2020 primary calendar.
Sanders is expected to make a decision on whether to launch another campaign in the coming months and the tour could inform his decision. It will allow him to test the durability of the left-leaning coalition he assembled in 2016 and build relationships with elected officials who could serve as allies should he run again.
“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,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ 2016 campaign manager and longtime political adviser.
Weaver said Sanders had “no timeline or deadline” for making a decision on 2020 but much of his consideration was focused on who is best able to defeat President Donald Trump. “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.
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 https://t.co/zclxXXHfIf pic.twitter.com/7jDkgnUmu9
— CNN (@CNN) October 9, 2018