Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders is about to announce his second run for the White House according to a report by Yahoo News published this afternoon:
Two sources with direct knowledge of his plans told Yahoo News that Sanders, an independent and self-described “democratic socialist,” plans to announce his presidential bid imminently. While Sanders has been considering a bid for months, one of the sources said he was emboldened by early polls of the race that have consistently showed him as one of the top candidates in a crowded Democratic primary field. In particular, the source said Sanders was heartened to see numbers indicating he is one of the leading candidates among African American and Latino voters, two groups he was perceived as struggling with in 2016.
The source also alluded to a spate of recent polls that show Sanders as the most popular politician in the country. They attributed Sanders’ strength in the polls to the base and name recognition he built with the prior presidential bid.
“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,” the source said. “That’s light years away from 2016, when very few people knew who he was.”
Another thing Sanders has going for him this time around is potential support from the left’s current it-girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She’s too young to run for the White House herself but it’s not hard to imagine her traveling the country as she did prior to the 2018 elections, pitching her support to Bernie and helping him work up sizeable crowds of young people.
Feel the Bernette.
I think Bernie has a real shot this time. He’s already introduced himself and the Overton window has clearly shifted on his brand of politics. Also, I don’t see who could possibly challenge him for the hearts and minds of the left wing of the Democratic party. Once again that’s where all the energy seems to be, not with the more establishment candidates. The fact that the DNC’s behavior will be under a microscope and that Democrats changed the rules regarding superdelegates means he won’t be fighting such an uphill battle this time.
The downside, of course, is that this time he won’t be running against a terrible candidate named Hillary Clinton. This time he’s probably going to wind up facing off with a younger, more articulate minority woman (Kamala Harris) who doesn’t have Hillary’s decades of baggage. And even if she’s not the far left candidate in the race, the appeal of electing the first black woman president will certainly kick in at some point. Bernie may come from the wing of the party that most priorities identity politics but he’s also less likely to benefit from it.