tonight. with five day with five days until the midterms, bernie sanders crisscrossing the nation with purpose. >> with your help, we're going to have the highest voter turnout. >> the vermont senator visiting 30 states, endorsing nearly 90 candidates, and fueling efforts to shift the political tide left. the big question, will he take a second swing at the oval office in 2020? plus, the native american community fighting back. >> we're going to mobilize our people like we've never mobilized before. >> north dakota once again thrust into the national limelight on the heels of the pipeline controversy. now, a voter i.d. law that some say is suppressing voters, and the stars standing with them. >> the state is named after them
>> good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight, with five days and counting, bernie sanders playing his part in the midst of a mad dash to the midterms finish line. the vermont senator, the darling of the liberal wing of the democratic party, knows full well voter turnout means everything. abc's david wright meets sanders on the road as he covers major ground to motivate the masses. >> senator bernie sanders! >> reporter: maybe the junior senator from vermont. >> if i were a republican looking out at this crowd, i would be very nervous. >> reporter: for this crowd here in wisconsin, he's a rock star. senator bernie sanders has been making the rounds in lots of states ahead of the midterms. >> it looks to me like oceanside is ready for a political revolution. >> reporter: the white hair, the rumpled suit, and that unmistakable accent.
>> i'm here today to end one party rule in washington. >> reporter: a gentle reminder of what might have been and maybe, just maybe, could be still. >> got a lively crowd here. >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: backstage in kenosha, talking strategy with illinois congressional candidate garcia, sanders down plays the idea of a big blue wave. >> anybody thinks this is going to be easy, the democrats are going to end up with a 20-vote majority, is absolutely dead wrong. the republicans can still hang on. they can still win this thing. >> reporter: he's doing everything in his power to get out the vote. the kenosha venue is a uaw hall, blue-collar voters one and all. >> what is it that bernie sanders brings to the table when it comes to an event like this? >> excitement and vision for the future. >> reporter: voters here fit the same profile as the ones that helped donald trump win wisconsin on the promise of america first. >> you don't see me with a hat
on me that says make america whatever again. >> reporter: they're all for protecting the steel industry, bringing back manufacturing jobs and helping america's farmers. they're just not for trump. >> no, we're not coming in as a blue wave. we're coming in as a blue tidal wave. >> reporter: tidal wave. as bernie sanders himself says, it all depends on the turnout. >> in 2014, we had the lowest voter turnout in modern american history. in 2018, with your help, we're going to have the highest voter turnout. >> reporter: sanders has never really stopped campaigning since 2016. >> hello. >> reporter: the quixotic campaign he launched for the presidency, tilting at windmills, ended up gathering an astonishing head of steam. now bernie's campaign has become a movement. >> here's the radical idea. are you ready?
here it comes. maybe, just maybe, we should have a government that represents the needs of the middle class and working people of this country and not just wealthy campaign contributors. there you go. i know it's a radical statement. hey, i'm going to stick to it. >> reporter: remember all those small dollar donations sanders used to talk about during the 2016 campaign? >> and you know what that average contribution was? $27. >> reporter: turns out there was a lot of money left over, most of it rolled over into our revolution, a political action committee fielding some 200 progressive candidates for state and local office. in the past few weeks, sanders has crisscrossed the country, ginning up support in 11 states, hoping he'll soon have some company on capitol hill. so in indiana. >> we're going to come together and elect liz watson as the next congressperson. >> reporter: in colorado, states
where he beat hillary clinton in 2016. >> joe, your next member of the united states congress. >> reporter: in nevada. >> i'm here today to help elect jackie to be the next united states senator from the great state of nevada. >> reporter: finally, this week, in florida. >> your job is to elect andrew gillum. your job is to have the highest voter turnout for a midterm election in florida history. >> around the country, there is a new generation of bernie sanders style candidates running, and even in red parts of the country, they want him to come campaign for them. >> reporter: all told, since the 2016 election, he's visited 30 states. you have certainly made a dent in the democratic party. now it seems like you're trying to make a real difference with a slate of candidates across the
country for everything from the senate down to local elections. who are you most excited about in that crowd? >> well, we have great candidates. >> reporter: democratic randy bryce is running in wisconsin's first congressional district, the seat currently held by house speaker paul ryan. when you entered this race, i gather you were a bit of a sacrificial lamb, you were the long shot and suddenly you're the front runner. >> we've been able to put together something that hasn't been put together in the 20 years that paul ryan has been here. >> reporter: bryce is an iron worker by trade and a former volunteer on bernie's 2016 campaign. >> i've heard they call you iron stache. >> i've been called that. >> reporter: and i also read that your campaign not only supports unions but is unionized. >> we're the first in american politics to unionize, absolutely. >> with your help and with help from people all across this country, we were able to repeal paul ryan. >> all over this country, people
like randy who were never really involved in electoral politics before, you're seeing that. young people, people of color, women, suddenly they are running for office and they are winning. so i think come november 6th, washington, d.c., is going to be in for a big surprise. >> reporter: the pendulum has swung to the right. there's no question about it. and i see that you want to swing it to the left. there are those who would say in a polarized, divided country, we ought to find common ground in the middle. >> yeah, i think that's right and i think if you look at the issues that we're talking about, that is the common ground. and the american people very strongly want a government that represents them and not just the 1%. >> reporter: so you're redefining the middle. >> yeah. and it's not just me. look at the polling. all these things that i'm telling you, that's what the american people want. >> sanders points to the success andas ke alexandria ocasio-cortez in brooklyn, a young progressive, now at age
29, poised to become the youngest member of congress, and she'd be the only democratic socialist in the house. >> reporter: the issue is not just november 6th but also 2020. does the democratic party have the bench needed to take trump? >> i think there are a lot of people out there who have experience, who have knowledge and who are prepared to take on the big money interests who dominate our economy and our political life. >> reporter: including bernie sanders? >> well, i'm now focused on 2018. i'm working as hard as i can. >> reporter: so he's not ruling it out. >> he's hiring back a lot of his old staff. he's starting to fund raise for himself and keep money in a war chest. he's going back to those early important states like iowa and nevada and new hampshire. >> reporter: but in 2020, he'll be 79, 9 years older than donald trump was when he took the oath of office, the oldest man ever
elected president. >> there are folks, forgive me, who say sanders, biden, even clinton, getting a bit long in the tooth. time for fresh faces. >> i think what the media should be focusing on are the issues impacting the american people and the political leadership will follow that. >> reporter: first things first, sanders insists. there will be plenty of time to discuss that after the midterms. i'm david wright for "nightline" in kenosha, wisconsin. up next, the stars standing fierce with native americans in the battle over north dakota's voter i.d. law. if these packs have the same number of bladder leak pads, i bet you think bigger is better. actually, it's bulkier. always discreet doesn't need all that bulk to protect. because it's made differently. the super absorbent core quickly turns liquid to gel,
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this special edition of "nightline," countdown to vote, continues. north dakota is home to one of the nation's key senate races. tonight, native americans are in a fierce battle over voter identification laws, and their right to vote. abc's mary bruce has more on when a reservation may not be considered your residence. >> reporter: vast and untouched, north dakota has been the sacred land of several native american tribes for thousands of years. >> standing rock is in the center of the united states, and it's probably the heart of this country. >> reporter: and most recently, this land, a political flash point. that highly publicized conflict over the dakota access pipeline, the plight of these native americans championed by advocates and celebrities like actor mark ruffalo and musician dave matthews. >> everybody knows what they
stood up against enormous odds to try and prevent this pipeline from going through. peacefully, kindly, remarkably. >> reporter: now once again, this community is under the spotlight. >> make sure you update your i.d., patty. >> reporter: this time, because of a new i.d. law some say is intended to make it more difficult for residents here to vote just before the midterm election. >> as long as i get to the polls and i have to push and shove my way with a piece of paper, i'll get there. >> reporter: about 60% of native americans in north dakota live on reservations where many residents lack street addresses because the u.s. postal service does not provide them with residential delivery services, so many native americans use a p.o. box to receive their mail. but now in order to vote, you have to have a residential address. that didn't used to be a problem, because there were other ways to prove your residency, like signing an affidavit or having a poll worker vouch for you.
but in 2013, the state legislature did away with those back-up options, making it harder to vote, especially for native americans who live on reservations. >> we have not been fully colonized to put everything in square streets and boxes. >> reporter: phyllis young is a native american rights activist. >> we've lived openly and so now we're being forced to create streets and name addresses for our voting rights. >> reporter: a legal battle over the new law ensued with the u.s. supreme court upholding it on october 9th. >> do you have your valid i.d. or no? >> reporter: leaving the native american community scrambling to ensure residents have the proper identification to cast their vote. >> do you guys need a ride out to vote or anything? >> no, we have a car. >> reporter: here at the get out the vote headquarters, a team has been working nonstop for weeks. >> they've got a valid i.d. for some of them. >> some of these --
>> you got to go back. okay. >> and we're going to mobilize our people like we've never mobilized before. it's a critical election nationwide. it's going to make a difference in the congress, in the leadership in this country. >> reporter: critics say it smacks of voter suppression, but secretary of state alvin says the law was needed, that his office had difficulty verifying voter identities. >> there was about 3,600 that we couldn't on election day, 97% to 98% of the people that will come to vote will have a state issued i.d. and will be able to vote with no problem. that last 2% to 3%, we're doing everything we can to let their options be known. >> reporter: that 2% to 3% affected, most likely native american voters, and because this group tends to vote for democrats, the new voter i.d. law matters a lot to senator
heidi heitkamp. she's the only statewide elected century in a teachly red state that wept for president trump by a large percentage. she's recently faced backlash for voting against the confirmation of supreme court justice brett kavanaugh. >> i can't get up in the morning and look at the life experience that i've had and say yes to judge kavanaugh. >> if it all comes down that decision for some voters, was it worth it? >> yep. i made a judgment based on what i saw and what i heard, and this is a judgment that's not just about the voters today. this is about 30 years of voters in north dakota, 30 years of people, and to me, i have no regrets. are you really? oh my gosh. >> reporter: heitkamp won her seat in 2012 but roughly 3,000 votes so she's keenly aware that every vote counts. >> the first thing you have to be concerned about is that
people who have a right to vote won't be able to vote. >> reporter: secretary of state jaeger denies the voter i.d. law was designed to disenfranchise native americans. >> nothing has ever happened in this office to target anybody. >> reporter: but just this week, one of the tribes, along with six individuals, took emergency legal action, seeking relief from this requirement that native americans who live on or near reservations prove a residential address. and across the state, activists are trying to rally local and national support. >> what we want to do is really inform people about their power as voters here in the state, and the effect of this law has created a disparity for american indian voters. >> reporter: prairie rose seminole is helping to raise awareness about the new i.d. requirements. >> how much power do we have? let me hear you. >> reporter: with a massive get out the vote concert. headlined by dave matthews. >> so let's vote and continue to
fight so that we can try and turn it right. ♪ >> the people that are being affected by this law in north dakota are people who have lived on this land for thousands of years. ♪ come out, come out, no use in hiding ♪ >> the state is named after them. and they're being asked to prove, again, that this is their home. it is despicable. and i find it unforgivable. but it's the law. so, we have to deal with it. >> reporter: matthews began working with standing rock before the dakota access pipeline conflict, adopting the local elementary school he says now twice in recent years this community has had to lead by
example. >> people brought their disappointment and their hopelessness here to stand with them, which is a weight which lifts you up and also is a burden, and it's remarkable how successfully they've and how gracefully they've come out of that so far. >> introducing the great white ruffalo. >> reporter: actor mark ruffalo is also putting his star power behind the issue. >> these people have a reason, plenty of reasons not to vote, and i get that, you know? but i will say this. whoever wins, you better do right by these people for once. >> the system has failed us, but we can't change it unless we show up and when we start
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of course, we hope you'll be right here on election night. i'll be joining george and david and our powerhouse political team from the field. our midterm coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. it's going to be a big night. abc news is america's midterm destination with abc news live, the 24/7 streaming service on all your devices and abcnews.com. thanks for watching "nightline." good night, america. here are the facts.leading attacks against prop c. the city's chief economist says prop c will "reduce homelessness" by creating affordable housing, expanding mental-health services, and providing clean restrooms and safe shelters with independent oversight, open books, and strict accountability measures goes to solving our homeless crisis. vote yes on c. endorsed by the democratic party,
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