POLITICS

Bernie Sanders Says He's Lost States Because 'Poor People Don't Vote'

But low-income voters have actually turned out in greater numbers for Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders said many of his primary losses to Hillary Clinton in states with the highest levels of income inequality can be chalked up to the fact that "poor people don't vote."

"I mean, that's just a fact," the Vermont senator said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that aired Sunday. "That's a sad reality of American society. And that's what we have to transform. We have one -- as you know, one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on Earth. We have done a good job bringing young people in. I think we have had some success with lower income people. But in America today -- the last election in 2014, 80 percent of poor people did not vote."

Host Chuck Todd pointed out that 17 of the 25 states with the highest levels of income inequality have held primaries, and Clinton won 16 of those -- even though Sanders has made fighting income inequality the central message of his campaign. Sanders said the outcome would have been different if more low-income and working class people turned out to vote. 

The Washington Post fact-checked Sanders' claim, and it appears he might be mistaken about his popularity among low-income voters. Exit polls show that Clinton has actually won Democratic voters with household incomes below $50,000 by 55 percent to Sanders' 44 percent in the states that have held primaries so far.

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