Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to launch a nine-day blitz on the campaign trail next week for Democrats on the ballot in November, including stops in several states that would be crucial to a 2020 bid for the party’s presidential nomination.
An itinerary shared by a Sanders aide includes several stops in Iowa, where Sanders finished a close second to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic caucuses, as well as South Carolina and Nevada, two other states that appear early on the nominating calendar.
Sanders, who is actively weighing a 2020 presidential bid, is also set to make appearances in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado and California.
Since falling short in 2016, Sanders has traveled extensively around the country, but mostly to promote issues he is championing. His upcoming tour, starting on Oct. 19, will be his most aggressive effort to support Democratic candidates on the ballot in November.
Sanders is on the ballot himself this year, trying to win a third term as a senator from Vermont. His 2016 presidential campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, is among those who have publicly urged him to run again for president in 2020.
This month’s campaign swing is to include appearances on behalf of candidates for the House and Senate, as well as governor in some states.
Iowans won’t see most of the best-known presidential candidates in person until after the midterms. But some Democratic candidates have already made stops, including Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), who spoke Saturday at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Fall Gala.
J.D. Scholten, the Democrat running in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, said he welcomes Sanders back to the state.
“We’re excited,” Scholten said. “In the 1980s, a Democrat campaigned for this very district by talking about inequality and the 1 percent versus the 99 percent. And he’d win with 60 percent of the vote. That’s who I’ve modeled my campaign after.”
David Weigel contributed to this report.