Bernie Sanders: ‘Poor people don’t vote…that’s just a fact’

Updated

Sen. Bernie Sanders has built his campaign on a message of combating income inequality, but that message doesn’t seem to be resonating in many of the states with the country’s highest levels of income inequality.

Of the 25 states with the highest levels, 17 have held primaries so far — and Hillary Clinton has won 16 of those contests.

The presidential campaign: Bernie Sanders
The self-described democratic socialist is known for pushing change on income inequality, college affordability and criminal justice reform.

When asked why he thinks he’s losing in those states, Sanders responded, “Well, because poor people don’t vote. I mean, that’s just a fact.”

In an interview airing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” this Sunday, Sanders described voter turnout among low-income Americans as “a sad reality of American society, and that’s what we have to transform.”

He credited his campaign with working to bring more young people into the voting process. He explained that they have “had some success with lower income people. But in America today, in the last election in 2014, 80% of poor people did not vote.”

The Sanders campaign pointed NBC News to this Salon.com article that shows roughly 25% of those making under $10,000/year voted in the 2014 midterm election based on Census data.

Politifact has previously examined Sen. Sanders’ claim that “75% of low-income workers chose not to vote” and characterized his comments as “a bit off.”

This story first appeared on NBCNews.com.

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders: 'Poor people don't vote...that's just a fact'

Updated