U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is in Berkeley this weekend campaigning for East Bay stalwart, Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
The Vermont senator is hoping to drum up support for fellow progressives in the midterm election; his Berkeley appearance completes a nine-state, cross-country tour campaigning for midterm candidates.
As Berkeley is arguably the bluest of districts in an already blue state — "the most woke district in the nation" according to Lee — it begs the question why Sanders included it in his tour when he could have been stumping in less liberal, more highly contested districts.
"Things like this, they get people involved, they get people to turn out," said Rafael Botello, a UC Berkeley student who attended the rally. "They get people to canvass and work for these candidates. So I definitely don't think it's a waste of time."
Cynthia Papermaster offered another possibility for why Sanders presence could pay off — literally.