The GOP, after a rocky start to the presidential election, has moved in the direction of populism with the emergence of populist candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Rand Paul and Donald Trump.
In the Senate, a few Republicans have been trying to put forward their populist credentials.
But the GOP’s populist appeal has been on display for far too long.
The party has lost ground in presidential politics.
This week, Sen: Sanders said Trump’s election could have dire implications for the economy and the world.
In another, Sen Paul, the Tea Party hero and Kentucky senator, called for a crackdown on the power of special interests.
But Sen. Paul has been a major player in the GOP in recent years.
When he was a presidential candidate, he ran on the platform of a more “populist” GOP.
But since he’s now running for president, he’s become the face of that “popular populism.”
He was endorsed by Paul’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who is now the White House chief strategist.
Paul’s populist message resonated with millions of people, especially in rural America and the Rust Belt.
But it’s now the GOP that is in the ascendancy.
Paul and his allies want to take advantage of the rise of populist voices in the Senate to win control of the Senate for the first time in 20 years.
But that means taking on the Tea Parties.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.
Va., a perennial Republican stalwart who is one of the most powerful senators in the country, is one GOP senator who’s been taking that message to heart.
He said his message to voters this week was that the GOP needs to “start from the bottom.”
He said in a CNN interview that populism has to start with “the middle class.”
“What we need to do is go to the roots of this country, and the people that have been marginalized for decades.
And that is the middle class,” Manchin said.
He told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he wants to use the term populist to describe the idea that the rich are getting richer and the middle classes are getting poorer, not the other way around.
“I think that populism is about what we’re doing in Washington, D.C., is what we want to do in the House of Representatives, and it’s the kind of leadership that I believe in and that I’m proud of.”
The populist backlash is not limited to the GOP.
The Democratic Party has had a populist wave of its own in recent months.
Sen: Rand Paul has a populist message that resonated in rural areas, and that’s been taken to heart by the party’s base.
But he said the Republican Party is losing ground in the presidential race.
“When we get into the White Senate, I think we’re going to have a lot of issues that are very similar to the populist rhetoric that has been heard on the campaign trail,” he said.
“It’s about the power that big business and the wealthy are having.”
And in the meantime, Sen Sanders is doing his best to rally voters behind him.
He’s using populist themes to energize the party base and make the case that he is the only person who can win.
Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has taken to Twitter to highlight the populist appeal of his campaign.
“The American people are tired of establishment politicians telling them what to do,” Sanders tweeted Friday.
“We are going to end the status quo by building a $15 minimum wage, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, protecting the middle-class, ending climate change, fighting for Medicare for all and expanding Social Security.”
He’s also tapped his platform of economic populism, saying that he’s the only candidate who’s committed to a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, including $15-an-hour wages and a $2 trillion infrastructure bank.
Sanders has been taking to Twitter a lot lately to rally support.
He made a splash at a fundraiser in Miami this week, holding a rally with more than 200 people and inviting them to join him in a chant of “I’m with Bernie.”
But the Sanders campaign is not alone.
Sen Paul has also been using populist rhetoric in a way that’s aimed at appealing to working-class voters.
In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Paul called for “reforming the economy to allow us to get back to a middle class economy.”
That’s a reference to the economic policies he has championed in his time in Congress.
But Paul’s populism is also aimed at making the GOP the party of the working class, rather than the other side of the argument about “small government.”
When he talks about the “millionaires and billionaires” who are getting rich off the backs of working people, he is drawing a contrast between the wealthy who are the biggest beneficiaries of the new economy and what he calls “job creators” who aren’t benefiting from the “pork barrel tax cuts, the deregulation, the privatization of our air, our water,