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    U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs Chairman Senator Bernie Sanders leads a hearing on ''The State of VA Health Care'' on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 9, 2014. | Photo: Reuters

Published 24 April 2016

The senator from Vermont was asked why he was trailing Hillary Clinton in 16 of the U.S. states with the highest levels of income inequality.

U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said that many of his losses at the ballot box were due to low-voter turnout among poor people, adding that this is "sad reality of American Society."  

During an interview with with MSNBC's "Meet the Press” scheduled to air full on Sunday, Sanders, who is trailing his rival candidate Hillary Clinton, was asked why Clinton had prevailed in 16 of 17 states so far with the highest levels of income inequality.

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“Well, because poor people don't vote,” Sanders told host Chuck Todd. “I mean, that's just a fact. That's a sad reality of American society.”

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As a whole, low-income voters cast their vote disproportionately less than their wealthier counterparts. In the 2014 election, Sanders pointed out that, “80 percent of poor people did not vote.”

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His comments suggest that citizens who are most disadvantaged and who need a change in conditions the most, actually participate the least in the electoral process. 

“If we can significantly increase voter turnout so that low-income people and working people and young people participated in the political process, if we got a voter turnout of 75 percent, this country would be radically transformed,” Sanders said during the taping of the segment. 

Political analysts argue that the demographic differences between voters and nonvoters have produced an electorate that is not representative of the general population.

During his campaign, Sanders proposed a variety of measures aimed at helping poorer voters, including raising the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid family leave and making tuition free at public colleges and universities.

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