McCaskill Accuses Sanders of ‘Demonizing’ Black Voters Who Don't Support Him

March 4, 2020

Former Missouri senator Claire McCaskill (D.) criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Wednesday for alienating suburban and black voters, arguing it contributed to the Vermont senator's poor performance on Super Tuesday.

On NBC's Today, McCaskill said Sanders has disparaged black and suburban voters for supporting establishment candidates other than himself.

"If you're the front-runner, it's not smart to demonize everyone who is for someone else," McCaskill said. "And he's so busy calling black voters institutional and corporate."

McCaskill accused Sanders of not growing his own base of support to include more black and suburban voters, many of whom have flocked to former vice president Joe Biden in recent days.

The former senator also said Sanders's message wasn't working for many women and African-American voters and is a losing strategy for the November presidential election. Biden has had a strong showing with those voters.

McCaskill's own 2018 reelection defeat came in part due to her difficulty connecting with black voters. According to Washington Free Beacon reports, McCaskill was attacked twice by members of her state's legislature for failing to stand up for black voters during her 2018 campaign.

McCaskill also said Sanders didn't help his case with his insistence on "kind things to say about the [Fidel] Castro regime." His comments are likely to exact a toll on his campaign in Florida, the third-largest state in the union, later this month.

Biden scored major wins on Super Tuesday, following a key victory in South Carolina Saturday that was largely powered by black and suburban voters. He earned the majority of African-American voters in the key southern states of Virginia, North Carolina, and Alabama, according to exit polls.