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With Dick Van Dyke's nod, Sanders seeks hipster replacements

"I can't understand why, according to the polls, he's having problems with older citizens like me," Van Dyke, 94, said.

Actor Dick Van Dyke's video endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders for president lit up social media Friday night as the 94-year-old co-star of the original "Mary Poppins" tried to persuade people of his generation to vote for the candidate known for his younger supporters.

Sanders, 78, already enjoys unusual support from voters native to the digital age as he seeks the Democratic nomination for president. Van Dyke wants to see more of his cohorts, who aren't big social media users, get behind the Independent senator from Vermont.

In the video posted to Sanders' Twitter account Friday evening, Van Dyke says, "It just doesn’t make sense to me that he’s not getting my generation. And I want to urge my generation to get out and vote for him, please."

NBC News exit poll data from the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary earlier this month found Sanders was the top choice among those 44 or younger, and he fared even better with the 18-to-29 crowd. Voters 45 and older were more likely to prefer Sen. Amy Klobuchar, 59, D-Minnesota, and Pete Buttigieg, 38, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Van Dyke endorsed Sanders in 2016, when the senator was known for drawing throngs of much younger fans in Bernie-themed hipster T-shirts.

The actor noted that he's about a generation older than Sanders. Van Dyke was born in 1925 and belongs to what's called the Greatest Generation or G.I. Generation, known for fighting World War II.

"I have all my marbles," said the star of his eponymous, 1960s television show. "I could run for office if I wanted to."

He cited President Donald Trump's expansion of executive power in calling the 2020 presidential election "probably the most important one since the end of World War II."

Some responses on Twitter expressed relief that Van Dyke was trending because of the endorsement and not because of the actor's health.

Others welcomed the endorsement as endearing for both Van Dyke and Sanders.

"This man is endorsed by both Ariana Grande and Dick Van Dyke and you still don’t think he’s the unity candidate," tweeted GQ Magazine culture writer Gabriella Paiella.

"The buried lede here is that Dick Van Dyke looks incredible for 94???" tweeted BuzzFeed News reporter Rosie Gray.

Van Dyke said Sanders is a good choice for folks his own age.

"I think somebody younger, like Bernie, is just a perfect candidate," he said.