Bernie Sanders Campaign Admits to Code Switching

Bernie Sanders Campaign Admits to Code Switching

His messaging changes when dealing with younger vs. older Black voters.

Published February 26, 2016

Anyone who is even casually following the Democratic primary race knows that Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are fighting for the Black vote. But campaign staffers are finally figuring out that the "Black vote" — as some of us have been saying all along — is really at least two different votes, young people and older people.

Polls say that young voters are more open to vote for Sanders and older voters are staunch supporters of the party front runner, Hillary Clinton. And the Sanders campaign is using that info to retool how it speaks to each group.

A campaign official doing Black outreach, but was not authorized to speak on behalf of the campaign, admitted to BuzzFeed, “You approach them differently," adding that talking about Sanders's platform with Clinton supporters is usually a “dead end.” The best way to approach these voters, the staffer says, is to refrain from bashing Hillary. The campaign plans "to tell the volunteers we engage... don’t get into these divisive arguments. We want them to say, ‘Hey, look, I respect your choice, but take a look at Sen. Sanders. And I guarantee you after five minutes you’ll be feeling the Bern.” 

The campaign has made huge waves in the Democratic party and has pushed the conversation to a place that Sanders's supporters should be proud of. Regardless, that does not change the fact that Sanders is behind Hillary in the polls, and if his supporters do not come out for Super Tuesday, it will be over for the presidential hopeful.

Sanders has been a long-time spokesman for civil rights in American politics. Recently, he sat down with BET to discuss the root cause of police brutality.

 (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


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