Their common wellspring is the economy's decades-long failure to deliver the big gains in living standards that Americans became accustomed to in the post-World War II boom times. For a while, America's receding dominance of the global economy was masked by a surge in two-paycheck households as women entered the workforce, by dramatic expansion of both consumer credit and government borrowing, by surging stock values and real estate prices that inflated household wealth.
Sanders translates that failure into outrage against Wall Street and the "millionaires and billionaires" who have prospered in the increasingly integrated global economy. That message holds powerful appeal to Democratic liberals, including young voters saddled with large repayment burdens for the borrowing that allowed them to pay for college.
"Tonight we serve notice to the political and economic establishment of this country that the American people will not continue to accept a corrupt campaign finance system that is undermining American democracy," the Vermont U.S. senator said in his New Hampshire victory address. "We will not accept a rigged economy in which ordinary Americans work longer hours for lower wages while almost all new income and wealth goes to the top 1 percent."
Despite his personal fortune, Trump has voiced similar sentiments. He invokes his own experience as a donor as an example of campaign finance corruption, rips hedge fund managers for dodging taxes, and joins Sanders in blasting the pharmaceutical industry for reaping undeserved profits.
The difference in his message, targeted toward the Republican Party's swelling ranks of working-class white voters, is in his identification of external threats to Americans' economic well-being. His strongest emotional appeal lies in the issues of immigration and trade.
"We are going to make America great again," he told New Hampshire supporters in his victory speech. "But we're going to do it the old fashioned way. We're going to beat China, Japan. We're going to beat Mexico at trade.