Hillary Clinton is going to have some company running for the Democratic presidential nomination; Independent Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders has decided to run for president as a Democrat. On Tuesday, April 28, 2015, Vermont Public Radio reported that Sanders will announce his intentions on Thursday, April 30 and will make his official announcement and launch in late May at Burlington’s City Hall, where he was once mayor in his home state of Vermont.
Sander considers himself a progressive, and democratic socialist and very liberal, he aims to take away the liberal vote from moderate Hillary Clinton, who is a considered a foreign policy hawk by many Democrats. Some of the issues he supports are resolving income inequality and “expanding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”
The Vermont senator would be receiving most of his funds from individual donors as opposed to political action committees, with the exception of PACs run by labor unions that support him. Sanders will not accept donations from corporate PACs. Sanders told USA Today, “I’m not going to outspend my opponents, that’s for sure.” Progressive Democrats of America has been working and campaigning to convince him to run since spring 2015.
Sanders becomes the second Democrat to declare his candidacy after Clinton. Sanders however, does not fare well in the polls, and would probably not be able to overtake Clinton in the primaries to win the nomination. In the most recent nationwide poll conducted by Fox News, Sanders only had 4 percent support a stark contrast from Clinton’s 62 percent. The latest CNN/ORC poll has Sanders at 5 percent support as opposed to Clinton’s 69 percent. The last ABC News/Washington Post poll also had Sander’ support at 5 percent to Clinton’s 66 percent support.
Sanders, 73 is “the son of Polish-Jewish immigrant father and a New York-born mother,” he is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and previously was chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. He is the longest serving Independent in Congress, he was first elected in 1990 to the House of Representatives, and first elected to the Senate in 2006. He never was a Democrat, having only belonged to Liberty Union Party in the 1970s. Sanders does caucus with the Democrats, and had been undecided until recently on whether he would run as president as a Democrat or independent and but decided he would be more effective as a Democrat.
Bonnie K. Goodman is the Editor of the Academic Buzz Network, a series of political, academic & education blogs which includes History Musings: History, News & Politics. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies, both from McGill University, and has done graduate work in Jewish history at Concordia University as part of the MA in Judaic Studies program. She covers US, Canadian & Israeli politics, with a particular focus on the Obama presidency, Congress, domestic policy, and elections.