Bernie Sanders announced a few weeks ago that he will be running for President in 2020. He joins a crowded list of Democrats who want to unseat current president Donald Trump. Bernie was also involved in the Democratic primaries in 2016 where he lost to Hillary Clinton. So, what do we know about him? First, Bernie Sanders is currently a US Senator from Vermont. The 77-year-old is married to political consultant Jane Sanders. He has one biological son from a previous marriage and three stepchildren.
Bernie was born in Burlington, Vermont. Although he identifies himself as an independent, he has often caucused with Democrats in Congress. Sanders has held a number of high profile political posts in his career. Before he became a senator, he served as the Mayor of Burlington between 1981 and 1989. He also represented Vermont’s largest district in the House of Representatives between 1991 and 2007.
Sanders has often been cast as a progressive and his position on a number of national issues reflect this. On healthcare, for example, the senator is leading the charge towards universal health care. Medicare-for-all has also been embraced by most Democrats planning to run for office in 2020. In 2017, Sanders sponsored a bill in Congress that would have established a universal healthcare system but it didn’t pull through.
Bernie also has a soft stance on immigration. He believes that the US should offer a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He also supports comprehensive immigration reform and remains one of the toughest critics of Trump’s immigration policies. At one point he even called them “heartless.” In addition to this, Bernie has shown a lot of support for climate change initiatives. He was one of the co-sponsors of a resolution known as the “Green New Deal” that seeks to transition the United States to 100% clean and renewable energy over the next 10 years.
The senator from Vermont is considered one of the strongest candidates in the Democratic primary. In just ten hours after announcing his candidacy, Sanders raised over $4 million for his campaign. He also got over 150,000 donors. In the 24 hours after he joined the 2020 race, Sanders had raised over $6 million. He’s clearly someone who has got a lot of backing.
The big question, however, is if Bernie Sanders can beat Donald Trump? In general, Bernie Sanders is considered one of the strongest candidates in the Democratic Party. He has support all over the US to give the current president a tough time. The biggest challenge though will be to get through the primaries. Even though he is clearly among those leading the way, there are a few others in that list that feel confident of winning the Democratic ticket.
Joe Biden, who is widely expected to announce his candidature soon, is a man to watch. Let’s also not underestimate the many women who have shown their interest in the race. A big part of Democratic primary voters are women and this could favor Warren, Gillibrand, and Harris. However, Sanders is an experienced campaigner and this will tell in the long run.