Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is apparently in the final stages of preparing an announcement to run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
An announcement from the second-place finisher in the 2016 Democratic primary is “imminent” according to two sources who confided to Yahoo News, making the Vermont senator the latest addition to an already crowded field of candidates.
“What the senator has this time that he didn’t have last time is he is the most popular elected official in the country right now,” one of the sources told Yahoo. “That’s light years away from 2016, when very few people knew who he was.”
“He’s already talking to staff and there are people he’s hiring. They’re nailing down contracts with vendors… All the movement is there for him to run,” a former Sanders staffer told the outlet.
Regardless of whether or not Sen. Sanders is in fact preparing to announce his intent to run in 2020, the source is right in that Sanders is the most popular elected official in America, according to an August 2017 Harvard-Harris poll finding that 54 percent of all Americans had a favorable view of him. Sanders is also the most popular likely Democratic candidate among nonwhite voters according to a CNN poll conducted in December.
Perhaps the best signifier of Sanders’ nationwide popularity is his tendency to draw large crowds whenever he gives a speech. This was on display in the leadup to the 2018 midterm elections, when Sanders went to both red and blue states to stump for Democrats running for Congress. Even in states President Trump won in 2016, like Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Bernie Sanders was able to draw out thousands for his stump speeches.
While Sanders hasn’t yet rolled out a 2020 policy platform, it’s safe to say he’ll have some competition amongst the left flank of the Democratic Party. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who has already launched an exploratory committee, has already rolled out a proposal to tax all wealth above $50 million, which she says could bring in as much as $230 billion in additional revenue each year. While Sanders ran to the left of Hillary Clinton in 2016, he hadn’t made taxing wealth a part of his agenda.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.