Should a Bernie Sanders win in Wisconsin be discounted because the population there is largely white?
Jane Sanders, the candidate’s wife, was asked about that Wednesday in a somewhat awkward exchange on MSNBC. For the record, she doesn’t think so.
One uncomfortable reality of the Democratic presidential campaign is that Bernie Sanders has tended to perform better in states with largely white populations. Wisconsin is about 88 percent white, according to recent census figures.
Jane Sanders appeared on MSNBC in advance of next week’s primary pitting her husband against Hillary Clinton, and she was presented with a new poll showing Bernie Sanders with a slight edge in the state.
“Wisconsin is, as we’ve heard several times, a largely white state,” said anchor Erica Hill. “There could be some criticism, should you in fact take Wisconsin, about the makeup of the voting base and the supporters for Bernie Sanders. How do you answer that criticism?”
“I think, I don’t know what’s wrong with white voters, for one thing,” Jane Sanders replied. “For another, I think the criticism is way over touted by the Clinton campaign. I mean, Hawaii, they said, oh, is a white state. It’s the most diverse state in the nation. This is silly.”
Hawaii was among the caucus states that Bernie Sanders won last weekend by a lopsided margin.
Jane Sanders went on to argue that her husband has done very well with voters under age 30, regardless of their race.
“We don’t tend to divide people up by race or ethnicity, and we just go and offer our solutions,” she said. “We’d be very happy with a Wisconsin win despite any criticism that the Clinton campaign might put out there.”