In his 2016 presidential campaign, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders emphasized the phrase “political revolution.” He entered the Democratic primary in 2015 as a virtual unknown, polling around 5 percent and trailing frontrunner Hillary Clinton by more than 55 points at this point in that campaign. By the end of a long and hard-fought primary, he broke fundraising records, inspired a network of grassroots volunteers, and came remarkably close to securing the Democratic nomination. Though he didn’t win, he laid the groundwork for his political revolution.
Almost everything is different this time around. Between the 2016 campaign and today, Sanders became a household name and one of the most popular politicians in America. Within the first 24 hours of announcing his campaign on February 19, he raised nearly $6 million from more than 220,000 individual donors. His campaign has more cash on hand than the leading Democratic Party campaign organizations. Sanders is now a clear frontrunner to face President Donald Trump in 2020.
Just as he was in 2016, Sanders is the best choice in 2020. Often smeared as a left-wing equivalent to Donald Trump, Sanders does capture some of the anti-establishment energy that animated Trump supporters. Unlike Trump, Sanders is genuinely anti-establishment, with decades in public service and progressive policies to back it up. His strengths – being sincere, incorruptible, and a lifelong crusader for working-class issues – play perfectly to Trump’s weaknesses as a corrupt, serially untruthful billionaire.