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Bernie Sanders

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The legend himself.
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Starting arguments over Thanksgiving dinner
Persons of interest
Well, Bernie Sanders is an extremely interesting phenomenon. He’s a decent, honest person. That’s pretty unusual in the political system. Maybe there are two of them in the world, you know. But he’s considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat. His positions would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system. That’s now considered very radical.
Noam Chomsky, as interviewed on Democracy Now!, 28 April 2016[1]
We have heard a lot of talk in the halls of Congress about the need to create public-private partnerships – and that all sounds very good. But when the government adopts an industrial policy that socializes all the risk and privatizes all the profits that’s not a partnership. That is crony capitalism.
—The man himself [2]

Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (September 8, 1941–) is the senior senator from Vermont and former chair of the Senate Budget Committee.[note 1] Polls showed him the most popular national politician in the United States in 2017.[3][4][5][note 2] This political independent has occasionally, for tactical reasons, run as a Democrat throughout his political career.[6] Sanders was a candidate for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination before he dropped out and endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.[7] He announced his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination in February 2019,[8] and dropped out of the race on April 8, 2020.[9]

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Sanders graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in political science before entering politics.[10] He was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981, and was re-elected twice more before running for Congress.[11] After spending decades in obscurity, since 2015 Sanders has become a powerful force in American politics, in and out of the Democratic Party, helping to change the sociopolitical narrative of the country and revitalize the left wing. Incidentally, he is actually (distantly) related to Larry David,Wikipedia[12][13] who portrays him on the long-running sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.

Political career[edit]

Bernie Sanders in 1991.

In 1990 Sanders defeated the incumbent Republican for Vermont's only seat in the House of Representatives, after a failed attempt two years prior. In 2006 he won his Senate seat in a tight race against the richest person in Vermont, and was re-elected in 2012 with 71% of the vote. That year, he also argued in vain for challenging Obama in the Democratic primaries.[14][15]

Passing amendments[edit]

Of the 16 years that Sanders spent in the House, Republicans had a majority for 11 of them. However, the future Senator was highly effective at influencing Republican bills. From 1995 to 2007, 49 amendments were passed by roll call vote, 17 of them by Sanders. This was more than any other member of Congress and earned him the title of "amendment king" by Rolling Stone.[16] In total, Sanders was responsible for 73 other successful amendments during his time in Congress which is also on the high end.[17]

Moving bills[edit]

By the metric of moving bills, on the other hand, Sanders was much less effective and the least effective in the 115th Congress.[18]

  • He got his bills out of committee least often of all Senators.
  • He received the fewest number of bipartisan sponsors on his bills.
  • He came second-last among Senators serving 10+ years for leadership[19] as measured by cosponsorship of his bills.
  • He was third last among Senators serving 10+ years for garnering influential cosponsors of his bills.
  • He was tenth last among Senators serving 10+ years for introducing bills in 2018, and had no laws enacted.

During Sanders' entire career as Senator, he has only had 7 bills enacted into law in which he was a primary sponsor:[20]

  • S. 885 (113th): A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 35 Park Street in Danville, Vermont, as the "Thaddeus Stevens Post Office".
  • S. 2782 (113th): A bill to amend title 36, United States Code, to improve the Federal charter for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and for other ...
  • S. 893 (113th): Veterans’ Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2013
  • H.R. 5245 (109th): To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1 Marble Street in Fair Haven, Vermont, as the "Matthew Lyon Post Office Building".
  • H.J.Res. 129 (104th): Granting the consent of Congress to the Vermont-New Hampshire Interstate Public Water Supply Compact.
  • H.R. 1353 (102nd): Entitled the "Taconic Mountains Protection Act of 1991".
  • H.J.Res. 132 (102nd): To designate March 4, 1991, as "Vermont Bicentennial Day".

Sanders did successfully amend bills 57 times in his first nine years. On a year-by-year basis, Sanders passed 6.3 amendments which is below the average of 7.4.[21] However, Sanders did have a strong reputation as a bipartisan deal-maker when he served as Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman in 2014.[22]

One view of Sanders' poor performance is that it is not surprising given that the duopoly has been moving far to Sanders' right for decades, at least since Reagan, and FDR could not get his program passed by today's centrist Democrats. Given Sanders' position as left of virtually everyone in Congress, and with Republicans often in a majority, amending bills was a sound strategy. According to Craig Volden at the University of Virginia:

"He could have either resigned himself to that fate [a minority member whose bills go nowhere], changed the nature of his legislation and coalition-building strategy, or offered amendments on the floor," Volden said. "He chose the third of these paths, making him more influential in shaping policy than if he had taken the first path. Why he did not take the second path is an open question — likely linked to his ideological views."[23]

The explosive repudiation of this rightward trend caused the Bernie movement to explode in 2016 and Sanders's positions to zoom into mass popularity,[24] a socio-political reality reflected in recent elections. So — not an "establishment" politician…

Another view is that Sanders is poor at compromise and with building coalitions with colleagues. Some of his own staffers have described him as "rude, short-tempered, and, occasionally, downright hostile", and as someone who frequently yelled at meetings.[25]

Political views and policy positions[edit]

We should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden, and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.
—Bernie Sanders at the 2015 CNN Democratic debate in Las Vegas.[26]

Sanders runs as an independent, but caucuses with the Senate Democrats, describing himself as a "democratic socialist".[note 3] He agreed to vote with the party on all procedural matters in exchange for being assigned to committees as though a Democrat.[29]

Communist regimes[edit]

Sanders has been criticized for lavishing praise on the Sandinista and Castro governments in the 1980s.[30][31] Regarding the former, Sanders said in a 1985 interview, "Now, obviously, I will be attacked by every editorial writer in the [Burlington] Free Press with being a dumb dupe. Maybe I am. I was impressed by their intelligence and by their sincerity. These are not political hacks. You don't fight and lose your family and get tortured and go to jail for years to be a hack. They have very deep convictions."[32] When asked, while mayor of Burlington, whether he would condemn human rights abuses or curtailment of freedoms by left-wing regimes, Sanders responded by pointing out similar acts committed by the US government.[30]

In late February 2019, there was a photograph on Facebook with the caption claiming that Sanders marched with Fidel Castro and Ché Guevara in Cuba in 1959. In reality, the man misidentified as Sanders was Osvaldo Dorticós, President of Cuba from 1959 until 1976. 1959 was the year Sanders graduated from his high school in Brooklyn. According to his spokesperson, the first time he got on a plane was in 1961 to attend the University of Chicago.[33]

During Sanders' candidacy for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, in an interview with 60 MinutesWikipedia, when asked about his past praise for Castro, Sanders tried to deflect the issue by praising Castro's "massive literacy program", and Cuba's health care and education system under Castro.[34] Despite these praises, however, he criticized Castro’s government for being very authoritarian and its jailing of dissidents and clarifies that he supports change through democratic means.


Depleted uranium storage yard in Paducah, Kentucky.

Bernie Sanders believes the U.S. should liberate herself from fossil fuels not only because they are not renewable but because they contribute to (anthropogenic) global warming and climate change. He has argued for aggressive investments not just in green energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, but also in high-speed trains.[note 4] In 2011 (after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster), he called for a moratorium on the licensing of new nuclear power plants and the re-licensing of those currently in operation. Indeed, Sanders made clear his belief that nuclear energy should play no role in a future energy policy of the United States, citing concerns about the operational costs of nuclear power plants and the radioactive wastes they create. He is also critical of the amount of money the U.S. government has invested in nuclear energy.[35][36]

Now, of course, new reactors are more efficient and safer than their predecessors. What Sanders does not know is that nuclear recycling and reducing nuclear wastes are real possibilities, actively pursued by multiple countries, including the United States, at the moment. The U.S. could power itself for the next thousands of years using just the uranium it has already mined.[37][38] Meanwhile, researchers and engineers continue to work on ever safer and more efficient designs for nuclear power plants, sometimes even testing completely new concepts. These could potentially replace the 100 nuclear power plants currently operational in the U.S., but which are scheduled for retirement in the 2030s. Completely replacing them with renewable energy instead may not be a workable strategy.[39] Unlike nuclear energy, which is stable and efficient, the most popular forms of renewable energy, wind and solar, are inherently intermittent. The missing ingredient is thus a high-capacity and durable means of storing the electrical energy generated but not used. Unfortunately, the commonly used lithium-ion battery degrades far too quickly to be economically used for such large scales. Something better is in order.[40] Until the suitable battery technologies become commercially available and possibly even after that, nuclear energy continues to have an important role to play in the shift away from fossil fuels, especially at a time when demand for energy is on the rise. In fact, due to growing awareness of the need to reduce greenhouse emissions and the promise of nuclear power, many young engineers and entrepreneurs nationwide are investing in the next generation of nuclear reactors, collectively known as Generation IV reactors. Some of these could run on depleted uranium, (low-level radioactive) leftovers from the uranium enrichment process. At present, the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Kentucky, home to the biggest deposit of depleted uranium in the entire United States, has enough of this material to power the entire country for 750 years. Others are designed to consume thorium, which is safer, cheaper, and more abundant than uranium.[41] After decades of a "nuclear winter" for the industry, a nuclear renaissance is just around the corner.[39] It is wise not to derail this opportunity with anti-nuclear phobia.

A recently published analysis of well over 500 cities worldwide shows that over a hundred of them are at least 70% powered by renewable energy. One of them is Burlington, Vermont, which reached the 100% benchmark in 2015, the first American city to have done so.[42] Since he was its mayor, he could certainly take advantage of that connection, reminding voters that a complete break from fossil fuels is anything but a pipe dream. Market analysis shows that the renewable energy sector has been growing steadily, despite the efforts of Donald Trump to curtail it in favor of "beautiful clean coal".[43] In 2018, Georgetown, Texas, became the largest American city to be 100% powered by renewable energy. Given that its mayor is a Republican,[44] the issue of transitioning to renewable energy needs not be partisan.

Financial and economic policies[edit]

Sanders continues to champion many of the same causes as he did in the 1970s and 1980s such as income inequality, anti-racism and LGBT rights. He currently holds a 100% approval rating with the NAACP and the NHLA (National Hispanic Leadership Agenda).[45] He describes income inequality as the great economic, political and moral issue of our time,[46] and he has argued in favor of the Nordic social welfare model[47] and government-funded higher education at public universities.[48] Commenting on Pope Francis' call for a "just economy," Sanders said:

That message is also important for those of us living in the United States, the wealthiest nation in the history of the world. Why do the top .1 percent of our population own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent? Why are 20 percent of our children living in poverty, the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major industrialized country on earth? Why do 35 million Americans still lack health insurance, with many more underinsured? Why are 51 percent of African-American high school graduates unemployed or under-employed? Why do we have more people in jail than any other country on earth? Why are millions of Americans working two or three jobs just to survive economically?[49]

He has a long history of opposing deregulation (such as opposing the repeal of the Glass Steagall ActWikipedia) but did vote for the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000Wikipedia which prevented the SEC from regulating the credit default swaps that helped cause the credit crunch of 2008. He supports breaking up the big banks.[50]

His often-repeated claim that the three richest people in America earn more than the bottom 50% is correct.[51] Income inequality is a serious problem facing the nation today.


Sanders introducing legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, April 2017.

In 2018, Sanders introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (Stop BEZOS) Act, aimed at taxing the retail giant Amazon, which he claims is paying workers wages so low they have to rely on government assistance. (Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, is the world's second richest person.) In response to pressure from people like Sanders and from their own workers, the company announced that its U.S. workers will be paid at least $15 an hour.[52] Sanders commended Bezos for doing "the right thing" and urged other companies to follow his lead.[53][note 5]

He wants to assist workers in purchasing ownership of the businesses for which they work.[54]


Today's US is becoming even more unequal than Pre-World War I Europe. The way out is stronger investment in skills, higher paying jobs and a more progressive tax system. Sen. Sanders' estate tax bill, including a 77% tax rate on estate values above $1 billion, is an important step in this direction.
—Thomas Picketty[55]

Sanders filibustered for eight and a half hours in protest at the renewal of the Bush tax cuts in 2010.[56]

In February 2018, he held rallies in the Midwest against Trump's new tax plan, which gives more tax cuts to the rich than the poor.[57] In March, 2018, he hosted another town hall, this time on economic inequality, which attracted even more live viewers, about 1.7 million in total.[58] In an opinion piece published on The Guardian, Sanders warns that the media's obsessions with Russia and Trump's private affairs are distracting people from the issues that are actually important, namely economic inequality, something he can never stress enough.[59] Oddly, however, the Russians were supporting Sanders' campaign;[60][61] could it be that Sanders was the distraction?

In late January 2019, Bernie Sanders unveiled a proposal to raise estate taxes on the wealthy who inherit assets worth $3.5 million or more. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the limit for estate taxes is $11 million. Under the Sanders plan, assets whose values exceed $1 billion would be taxed at a rate of 77%. This plan would also eliminate the so-called "dynasty trusts," which enable wealthy people to transfer their wealth to their descendants without having to pay taxes,[62] and other loopholes. However, estate taxes for family farms will be cut.[63] This is intended to reduce the "obscene level of wealth inequality" and is yet another financing option for his single-payer universal healthcare proposal, dubbed Medicare for All.[62] The senator's office estimated that this tax hike would bring in an additional trillion dollars in government revenue. His tax plan is endorsed by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman (University of California, Berkeley)[note 6] and Thomas Picketty (Paris School of Economics).[55]

While public support for higher taxes has fallen from 77% in 1992 down to 62% in 2018, according to a Gallup poll, there is rising support for tax hikes on the wealthy among liberal voters, with Democrats being twice as likely to support higher taxes on the wealthy. In contrast, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is favored by only 8% of Democrats but about three quarters of Republicans and one third of Independents. Meanwhile, an NPR/PBS/Marist poll showed that although only 11% of voters in the 2018 midterm elections considered tax cuts to be an important issue, 60% wanted to reverse the tax cuts in order to fund Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.[64]

Free trade[edit]

Bernie Sanders has voted against every single free trade agreement, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),[note 7] Permanent Normal Trade Relation (PNTR) with China,[note 8] and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),[note 9] which he considers to be "disastrous." He said he did not want American workers to compete with their counterparts in countries such as Vietnam, where wages and standards of living are lower. He described this situation as a race to the bottom, one that benefits multinational corporations and low-wage foreign workers at the expense of the American working class.[65] He wants to introduce policies that encourage American corporations to create jobs in the United States, not abroad.[54]

Foreign affairs[edit]

Sanders has long criticized many aspects of US foreign policy, particularly the CIA's penchant for overthrowing the democratically elected leaders of other countries. Indeed, he once called for the agency to be abolished, but has demurred a bit on that during his presidential run.[66] In the 1980s, Sanders held a town hall assembly on US foreign policy with Noam Chomsky,[67] and traveled to Cuba to meet Fidel Castro, and to Nicaragua to meet Daniel Ortega, the Sandinistas' leader.[68] He also sent a letter to Margaret Thatcher denouncing her refusal to grant IRA members prisoner-of-war status.[69] In 1988 as Mayor of Burlington he tried to get it to be a sister city of Yaroslavl in the then-Soviet Union.[70]

He also supports drone strikes as long as they are used effectively and selectively and do not target innocent people.[71] This makes his position essentially no different from Clinton's.

In the PBS debate there was once more a focus on foreign policy, where Sanders said he is deeply critical of Henry Kissinger, calling him "one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern [American] history" whereas Clinton counts him as a friend and adviser.[72][73]

In late February, Sanders joined two other Senators, one Democrat and one Republican, in an attempt to end U.S. military involvement in the Yemeni Civil War using the War Powers Act of 1973.[74]

Sanders believes that President Donald Trump meeting North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un was "the right thing to do." He wants to persuade China and other nations in the Pacific Rim to put as much pressure on North Korea as possible in order to change their behavior.[75]

In all, the Sanders approach to foreign affairs includes a preference for diplomacy and international cooperation.[8][76]

Israel-Palestine conflict[edit]

Sanders supports a two-state solution where both Israel and Palestine have international recognition.[77] He has consistently voted for military funding for the IDF, but — remarkably in US presidential election politics — has also repeatedly spoken out about the suffering of Palestinians.[78] The American Prospect also credits Sanders with bringing the idea of conditioning aid to Israel into the political mainstream.[79] During a primary debate with Clinton in April 2016, Sanders described Israel's 2014 bombardment of Gaza as "disproportionate" and argued:

...if we are ever going to bring peace to that region, which has seen so much hatred and so much war, we are going to have to treat the Palestinian people with respect and dignity. Decimated houses, decimated health care, decimated schools. I believe the United States and the rest of the world have got to work together to help the Palestinian people. That does not make me anti-Israel. That paves the way, I think, to an approach that works in the Middle East.

As The New Yorker observed, such talk "represent[s] a striking departure from political orthodoxy" in a presidential campaign.[80] Sanders has never attended conferences for AIPAC;Wikipedia in 2016, Sanders was the only major presidential candidate not to deliver a speech to the group, though his campaign released the text for a speech he "would have given" had he attended.[81][82] Sanders has attended conferences for J Street,Wikipedia a relative "counterweight" to AIPAC that supports a two-state solution.[79] Sanders skipped AIPAC's 2019 and 2020 conferences (as did several other Democratic candidates that presidential primary cycle), and criticized the group for platforming "leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights." This earned him a displeased response from AIPAC, who called his comment "outrageous".[83][84]

Gun ownership[edit]

His views on gun control are a concern for many who support universally increased measures, as he supports gun control for urban areas but not rural areas.[85][86] During the primaries, he quickly flipped his more pro-gun positions, which were more popular with his Vermont constituents. However, his pro-gun stance has been a consistent position that he held throughout his political career prior to running for president, also demonstrative of his civil libertarianism. Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Sanders was so pro-gun that the National Rifle Association (NRA) donated to his campaigns and, word for word, told its Vermont members to "vote for the socialist".[87] Although they now rank his overall gun control record as a "D-". Apparently, he's actually quite pleased about this grade.[88]

Clinton repeatedly criticized Bernie Sanders for voting in favor of PLCAA (The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act) a 2005 law passed with the support of gun companies and the National Rifle Association that shields the gun industry from lawsuits when third parties "criminally or unlawfully misuse" their guns. Sanders has said he now supports repealing the law, but he continues to defend its key tenets.[89] He also voted against the 1993 Brady Bill which imposed a mandatory five-day waiting period because he believed that the federal government was overstepping its power.[90]

In 2009, Sanders, by then a senator, voted to allow firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains, as an amendment to the congressional budget. The amendment passed.[91]

In March 2018, he voiced his support for sensible gun control legislation at a student protest in Washington, D.C., some weeks after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The crowd welcomed him enthusiastically.[92]

Sanders favors instant background checks for gun purchases, removal of the gun-show loophole,[note 10] and a ban on assault rifles and on high-capacity magazines. He believes that states rather than the federal government should handle waiting periods for handgun purchases.[93]


While he supports immigration reform (including using "parole in place" in order to bring back already deported immigrants)[94] and detests xenophobia, his stance on open borders is that a huge volume of foreign workers would depress wages and threaten the welfare state and even the nation-state.[95] He voted against Ted Kennedy's bipartisan immigration reform in 2007[96] and for bipartisan legislation that could have allowed indefinite detention for immigrants,[97] though those bills are more nuanced than they appear, with various civil rights groups supporting and criticizing them.[98] He has said that immigration to the United States is a result of global poverty and hinted at support for reform of the role and behavior of the IMF and similar institutions.[99]

LGBT rights[edit]

In 1972 and 1976, when Bernie first ran for office in Vermont, he was an outspoken ally of the LGBTQ community; as a plank of his platform, he proposed the abolishing of all discriminatory laws pertaining to sexuality.[100] In 1983, after he was elected to be mayor of Burlington, Bernie backed the city's first-ever pride march, saying that "in the state of Vermont, people have the right to exercise their lifestyles."[101] In light of Sanders' pro-gay record, the Human Rights Campaign gave him a 100% approval rating in the 113th Congress[102] – an organisation which later supported Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee, and that Sanders later claimed (not without merit) was part of "the Establishment".[103]

Sanders generally opposed measures to ban gay marriage. He voted against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), one of only 57 people to vote against the measure in Congress – compared with 342 voting in favor in 1996.[104][105] However, Sanders' reasoning for opposing DOMA does appear to have changed over the years: his reasoning at the time was that the bill imposed on states' rights, a contrast to his later support for same-sex marriage nationwide.[106]

As both a congressman and later a junior senator from Vermont, he supported that state's 2000 civil union law and 2009 law legalizing same-sex marriage, the first time Sanders publicly spoke in favour of marriage equality for same-sex couples.[107] In 2011, Sanders said to the Advocate that: "I hope the president and all Americans join in supporting marriage equality", alongside a number of Democratic senators.[108]

In 2013, he co-sponsored the Uniting Families Act;Wikipedia this bill was primarily intended to allow LGBT residents and citizens of the United States to bring their partners into America, just as members of opposite sex couples are able to do.[102] When the Supreme Court overturned DOMA in June 2015, Sanders praised the historic ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country.

[Same-sex marriage] is a victory for same-sex couples across our country as well as all those seeking to live in a nation where every citizen is afforded equal rights […] I am very glad the Court has finally caught up to the American people.
—Sanders on the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalising same-sex marriage.[109]

Sanders also voted against "Don't ask, don't tell" in 1993[110] and has been a vocal advocate for its repeal for a number of years,[111] voting to repeal the policy in 2010.[112] A video of Sanders defending people whom Republican Senator Duke Cunningham referred to as "homos in the military" has also gone viral.[113]

In 2009, Sanders also voted against an amendment prohibiting same-sex couples from adopting children.[114]

As somebody who has consistently voted to end discrimination in all forms — who voted against DOMA way back in the 1990s — I will do all that I can to continue our efforts to make this a nondiscriminatory society, whether those being discriminated against are transgender, gay, black or Hispanic.[115]


When asked how he felt about body cameras being worn by lobbyists during meetings with politicians, Sanders did not actually answer the question. He said that he felt that lobbyists had an unbelievable amount of power in Washington and state legislatures, and that he [and his campaign] are waging what he called a political revolution to take power away from corporate America and from their lobbyists. He also mentioned having as much transparency as possible which would imply he is favorable to having lobbyists wearing body cameras.[116]

Military spending[edit]

Bernie Sanders has mentioned several times that he is for reducing military spending and would rather use diplomacy over military force,[117][118][119] however even though Mr. Sanders has frequently been critical of the military-industrial complex, he himself has been criticized by Citizens Against Nuclear Bombers in Vermont[120] for supporting stationing the F-35s at the Burlington Air National Guard Base. There were concerns that the aircraft would be nuclear capable, which has been refuted by officials, and that the aircraft would produce sound pollution. Additionally Vermont is part of the production chain, which provides 1,600 jobs and yields $200 million to the local economy, which is important because Vermont ranks 44/50 of the US states for economic growth, making it valuable to the state's economy.[121] While this might come off as hypocritical, in an interview with NBC Bernie said that the F-35 had huge cost overruns, and that the process and amount of money spent are legitimate concerns, but right now the F-35 is built and if it doesn't come to Vermont it will just go to another community.[122] He also later said along Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy and Rep. Peter Welch that if the aircraft did become nuclear-capable they would change their minds.

"In very clever ways, the military-industrial complex puts plants all over the country, so that if people try to cut back on our weapons system what they’re saying is you’re going to be losing jobs in that area,-"[123]

Nevertheless, as mentioned above, Sanders favors a non-interventionist foreign policy.

Public health[edit]

Sanders supports cigarette taxes, but not soda taxes, and ponders the legality of tobacco cigarettes, but did not call explicitly for an outright ban.[124] This is ironic because Eric Garner was killed during an arrest for ostensibly selling cigarettes on a street corner, a black market created by New York's cigarette tax which is so high it effectively constitutes prohibition. Sanders has also advocated for the decriminalization of marijuana.

In 1998, the House of Representatives approved a compact struck between Texas, Vermont and Maine that would allow Vermont and Maine to dump low-level nuclear waste at a designated site in Sierra Blanca, Texas. Sanders, at the time representing Vermont in the House, cosponsored the bill and actively ushered it through Congress. Located about 16 miles from the Mexican border, Sierra Blanca’s population is predominantly of Mexican ancestry. At the time, the community was about two-thirds Latino, and its residents had an average income of $8,000, although the low-level nuclear waste included "items such as scrap metal and worker’s gloves… as well as medical gloves used in radiation treatments at hospitals." However, supporters of the bill, which included Bill Clinton and most Democrats in Congress, were not intending to simply dump the waste at random; it would have an officially planned site separated from the community. In the end, however, the Sierra Blanca site was rejected by the Texas state legislature.[125]

In February 2017, Sanders and Senator Ted Cruz faced off in a CNN-hosted debate over Obamacare.[126]

President Donald Trump is well aware of the fact that American patients are subsidizing the affordable healthcare enjoy by the citizens of many other countries, calling it "global freeloading". With this in mind, in January 2019, Sanders and like-minded Congressional representatives dared him to support their legislative proposal to cut prescription drug prices in the United States by (1) encouraging competition between generic drugs and brand-name drugs, (2) allowing Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies, and (3) enabling patients to import drugs from Canada, where prices are lower. Prices are deemed "excessive" if they are higher than the median in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Japan. There was no immediate response from the White House.[127]

Medicare for All[edit]

We remain the only major country on earth that allows chief executives and stockholders in the health care industry to get incredibly rich, while tens of millions of people suffer because they can't get the health care they need. This is not what the United States should be about.
—Bernie Sanders in an op-ed for The New York Times[128]
Bernie Sanders discussing healthcare reform with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1993.

Bernie Sanders considers the lack of affordable healthcare in the United States a moral issue and proposed "Medicare for All" to address it. As its name suggests, this legislation seeks to expand Medicare to cover what it currently does not (completely) cover, including vision and dental care. It even goes above and beyond what some private insurance plans currently cover. While private insurance is presently part of Medicare, that would no longer the case under Medicare for All; nor would there be co-pays and deductibles. Medicare for All is a single-payer universal healthcare system. In order to fund this generous welfare program, Sanders proposed a payroll tax on employers and various new taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations.[128]

In late January, 2018, Sanders hosted a town hall on his signature universal healthcare proposal.[129] It attracted a live audience of over a million people.[130] Perhaps unsurprisingly, more and more Democrats are in favor of this proposal, signaling a significant shift.[131] A poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank, in March 2018 reveals that a majority of Americans support major reforms to the American healthcare system. Specifically, 59% support Sanders' Medicare-for-all proposal and 75% favor a public option or expansion of Medicare.[132] Another conducted by Reuters in June and July 2018 shows that a vast majority of Americans, 70%, now support single-payer healthcare.[133] However, support or disapproval depends sensitively on the way the question is asked, a poll conducted in January 2019 by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals. While 71% of Americans agree that healthcare should be a human right, support for Medicare for All drops to 37% if it means higher taxes and 26% if it leads to longer wait times. One sees that political discourse on this proposal remains in its infancy; public opinion is not yet stable.[134]

Medical service providers are also warming to the idea. Even though their payments may fall in the long-run, administrative costs and the amounts of paperwork will also decrease. What really matters to them is not reimbursement rates but net income. Healthcare spending could drop to Canadian levels. Sanders wants to phase Medicare for All in over a period of four years.[135]

Whereas Sanders could not find any co-sponsor for the bill just a couple years ago, by July 2018, there were at least 60 Democrats coming out in favor of it. Growing support for the idea is sufficient for Trump's Medicare and Medicaid administrator to strongly criticize the proposal, arguing that it is "socialism" and will end up being "Medicare for none."[136] In a delicious episode of irony, a study conducted at George Mason University, funded by the Koch Brothers, reveals that Medicare for all would actually save the American people two trillion dollars over a ten-year period. Sanders expressed his gratitude.[137][note 11] Estimates for the cost of the plan varies from $25 trillion to $35 trillion over a ten year period, according to various independent studies.[134]

By 2019, Medicare for All has become a major political issue for Democrats in Congress, as well as in state and local governments. Many try to control costs and expand coverage, including for illegal immigrants.[138] When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi proposed a bill that would strengthen the Affordable Care Act, Sanders rejected it, saying that the only "incremental" health reform bill he would support is his own Medicare for All. He stood alone in this, as many Democrats from centrists and moderates to progressives, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, support Pelosi's proposal.[139]


Sanders in 1959.

Sanders was active in the civil rights movement and was one of 250,000 who participated in Martin Luther King's March on Washington.[140] As the Chairman of the University of Chicago branch of CORE,Wikipedia he joined a sit-in against the University of Chicago and was arrested for resisting arrest.[141][142]

He has been criticized for signing Bill Clinton's Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement ActWikipedia of 1994, the single most influential piece of legislation on race issues he's been involved with to date, which heavily incarcerated racial minorities, but he did try to amend it and supported it because of its inclusion of the Violence Against Women Act.Wikipedia[143]

Sanders' outreach to African American voters during the 2016 election has been described as disastrous, but has mildy improved in his 2020 election campaign. However, he is still losing lots of African-American support to Joe Biden.[144]


Mass surveillance[edit]

A committed civil libertarian, Sanders opposes the NSA's domestic surveillance programs[145] and believes Edward Snowden should be treated leniently:

The information disclosed by Edward Snowden has been extremely important in allowing Congress and the American people to understand the degree to which the NSA has abused its authority and violated our constitutional rights…

Net neutrality[edit]

Bernie Sanders voted with another Independent, 47 Democrats and three Republicans in the Senate to retain net neutrality, using a law that allowed Congress to overturn regulatory actions by a simple majority vote. Net neutrality rules ensure consumers have equal access to the Internet and prevent service providers from favoring certain contents over others. Polls show overwhelming public support for the Obama-era regulation.[147]

Voting rights[edit]

Sanders believes that incarcerated people should be allowed to vote.[148]

When asked how he felt about ranked choice voting, Sanders said he was sympathetic to it and that it gave voters more of a choice to the candidates they support.[149]

War and peace[edit]

Sanders is opposed to the wars in Iraq[150] and in Afghanistan.[151][152] Sanders promised that if elected 2020 president, he would within the first one hundred days bring the best minds of the country together, military and non-military, in order to help get U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan. He did not specify how soon he would pull the troops out, but said he would do it as immediately possible.[153]

Woo and pseudoscience[edit]

The manner in which you bring up your daughter with regard to sexual attitudes may very well determine whether or not she will develope[sic] breast cancer, among other things.
—Dr. Bernie Sanders in 1969.[154]

In terms of medicine, Sanders' views on vaccinations are clear and science-based.[155] However, his stance on and promotion of alternative medicine,[154] such as his 2013 sponsorship of a bill that would waste government dollars on totally ineffective and unsafe CAM,[156] are rather alarming. Sanders has supported a range of crank medical ideas of the years, including the idea that sexual repression can cause cancer, that cancer is partly psychosomatic, that disease is due to the "ails of society". In letters the 28-year-old Sanders wrote to the Vermont Freeman, Dr. Sanders also believed that cultural forces were driving Americans to illness. Many of Sanders' most bizarre ideas were when he was younger, but as recently as 2010 Sanders spoke at a naturopathy conference and was endorsed by a naturopath.[154]

Sanders rejects climate denial,[157] but supports GMO labeling[158] (despite believing GMOs do not cause health problems),[159] something which some skeptics regard as a Trojan horse for the anti-GMO movement.[160] In a 2012 article that Sanders wrote for the Huffington Post, he supported a number of debunked conspiracy claims from groups like Moms Across America that biotech crops are harmful to the health of those that consume them. He also made the claim that there are no long-term animal studies on the health effects of GMOs and that "the long-term health study of genetically engineered food is being done on all of the American people".[161] One of the studies he supported in the article was about Bt toxin being found in the bodies of pregnant women and this being harmful to fetuses, a study which was debunked by many, including the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand regulatory body.[162]

In 2009/10, Sanders personally added in an amendment to an early form of the Affordable Care Act while it was in committee that made "complementary and alternative medicine" practitioners be considered legitimate medical professionals by the federal government for the purposes of healthcare. This not only allowed such woo peddlers to prescribe "medicine" to the public under federal support, but it also allowed such people to be included on the "wellness council" that was instated in the ACA bill to advise the President on health policy.[163][164]

2016 presidential bid[edit]

See the main article on this topic: 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination
It would be hypocritical of me to run as a Democrat because of the things I have said about the party.
—Bernie Sanders in 1990[165]

On 30 April, 2015, Sanders announced that he would seek the Democratic Party's nomination for president, running against Hillary Clinton. On the first day of his primary campaign, he raised more than $1.5 million from 35,000 people, and had 100,000 people register as supporters.[166] He pledged not to accept any money from super PACs or corporations, a pledge he kept.

Despite having successful and unconventional fundraising, Sanders' campaign spending was completely conventional, including large purchases of minimally effective advertising. Sanders' chief strategist, Tad Devine, was largely responsible for driving the ad purchases, resulting in a $10 million commission that was split between Devine's company (Devine Mulvey Longabaugh) and another consulting firm, Old Towne Media.[167] Devine's previous major project before the Sanders campaign was advising Ukrainian autocrat Viktor Yanukovych and his political party.[168]

The strength of Sanders' grassroots donor base was evident when a pro-Hillary super PAC ran a smear piece against him.[169] In response, Sanders emailed his supporters to ask for a $3 donation. He raised more than a million dollars in two days.[170][171] Sanders repeated the trick when his record on guns was attacked in an ad run by a Martin O'Malley super PAC. This time he raised $800,000.[172]

His campaign message largely focused on economic inequality, the corrupting influence of money in politics, and his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He has stated that Middle Eastern countries should be the main force against ISIS. He has thus far focused on domestic policy, leaving his foreign policy agenda murky beyond a few grand outlines, like his moderate pro-Israel stance and his moderate anti-war position.

Sanders defeated Clinton by a wide margin in the New Hampshire primary.[173] On Super Tuesday, he won his home state of Vermont by over 70 points, as well as Minnesota, Colorado and Oklahoma. Clinton, however, crushed Sanders in the South, with decisive wins in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and most notably, delegate-rich Texas.[174]

Unlike most other candidates in the 2016 presidential race from both major parties (especially his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton), Sanders did not have many endorsements from office-holding members of his party, largely due to his political affiliation as an independent. Only one other Senator and nine sitting members of the House endorsed him,[175] including: Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva,Wikipedia Tulsi Gabbard, Peter Welch,Wikipedia and Alan Grayson.Wikipedia It should be noted that in addition to the handful of federal officials, Sanders did enjoy some support from state representatives, primarily from Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.[176]

Sanders' supporters pointed to aggregate polling consistently showing he was the stronger candidate against Donald Trump and other potential Republican nominees, results that persisted through the primaries.[177][178] However, he was also a largely untested candidate to the general public, who were far more familiar with Trump or Clinton. Due to his far-left positions by American standards, which have historically been unpopular and the opposition research Republicans had against him,[179] it is debatable whether his poll numbers would have held up. On the other hand, polls have also shown that a majority of Americans prefer a single-payer healthcare system over the Affordable Care Act (let alone no health plan at all).[180] Not insignificantly, polls have also shown Bernie being the most favorably viewed politician in the United States,[181][182] in contrast with Donald Trump, who was one of the most unfavorably viewed presidential candidate in US history.[183]

Minority voters[edit]

Cornel West, at a #BernieInAL Rally, by DW Nance 2

When the votes through Super Tuesday were tallied, Sanders was shown to be competitive or ahead with young people (of any race or gender), primarily those describing themselves as liberal or very liberal. He was, however, badly outpolled among both white and black voters in the South.[184][185] Sanders' extremely poor performance among older minorities would ultimately seal his fate.

During the Democratic debate in Brooklyn, Sanders said: "Secretary Clinton cleaned our clock in the Deep South, no question about it, that is the most conservative part of this great country. But you know what, we’re out of the Deep South now. And we're moving up." Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight criticised this line of thinking,[186] though Sanders did, indeed, win many primaries outside of the South.

The Sanders campaign highlighted his endorsement of Jesse Jackson for president in 1988,[187] and pointing to pictures of him chaining himself to a black protester[188] and organizing Chicago sit-ins in 1962.[189] His upset win in Michigan gave supporters hope that his civil rights record was beginning to resonate with the black community, but Clinton's 83%-16% win in Mississippi meant she gained delegates overall despite losing Michigan.

Sanders' loss in New York effectively ended the race. Exit polls indicated that, although he won comfortably with under-40s, he was unable to overcome Clinton's lead with older voters, both women and blacks.[190] Sanders vowed to fight on, but finally announced he was "winding down" his campaign after losing the final primary in California by a wider than expected margin.

The "BernieBros"[edit]

In 2016[edit]

It's likely that many disaffected voters who wanted Elizabeth Warren to run flocked to Sanders.[191] As Warren almost certainly would have done had she run, Sanders ran to the left of Hillary Clinton. Due to Clinton's deep unpopularity in some areas, especially the mountain states and West Virginia, Sanders also paradoxically picked up many more conservative Democrats,[192] in many areas matching Obama's 2008 performance.

Bernie and Jane Sanders at at the Agriculture Center at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo taken by Gage Skidmore.

Nevertheless, and borrowing from Clinton's 2008 campaign playbook which slammed Obama supporters as "Obama Boys,"[193][194][195][196] some establishment Democrats and others such as Robinson Meyer, a writer for The Atlantic who coined the term,[197][198][199] claimed neo-reactionary "Bernie Bros"Wikipedia were picking Bernie just because he wasn't a woman (Shillary). The Gawker-run blog site Jezebel has a write-up on this phenomenon,[200] and the Sanders campaign's concerns about them. This tactic unsurprisingly infuriated some female Sanders supporters:

There are literally millions of women who support Sanders over Clinton. A new Iowa poll yesterday shows Sanders with a 15-point lead over Clinton among women under 45, while one-third of Iowa women over 45 support him. A USA Today/Rock the Vote poll from two weeks ago found Sanders nationally "with a 19-point lead over front-runner Hillary Clinton, 50 percent to 31 percent, among Democratic and independent women ages 18 to 34." One has to be willing to belittle the views and erase the existence of a huge number of American women to wield this "Bernie Bro" smear.[201]

Some of the examples of "BernieBros" were women, including conservative women who weren't Clinton supporters. Female Sanders supporters on Twitter were accused of being "functional" "bros" and the like, to try to redeem the tactic. But as one writer put it:

Not all Sanders supporters are dicks. Not all Sanders supporters have dicks. The mainstream left-leaning press's attempts to insist otherwise are a shameful indictment of the fact that many of them are in the tank for Clinton — and they don't like being called on it.[202]

Regardless, Sanders denounced any supporters of his who may be sexist.[203]

In 2020[edit]

The BernieBros notably did not cease from supporting Bernie's 2020, and has included the doxxing of two Nevada Culinary Union workers who were critical of Bernie's healthplan.[204] After ending her campaign for President, Warren indicated that Sanders' condemnation was unpersuasive, stating, "We are responsible for the people who claim to be our supporters and do really dangerous, threatening things to other candidates." and noting that it was a particular problem for Bernie's supporters.[204]

As confirmation of Warren's statement, Bernie,[205] his speechwriter (David Sirota) and his press secretary (Briahna Joy Gray) have all appeared for interviews on Chapo Trap House,Wikipedia which is strongly associated with the so-called 'dirtbag left',[204] and anti-civility.[206]

A myth?[edit]

A study of Tweets conducted by computational scientist Jeff Winchell found that Sanders supporters' behavior was not different to that of other candidates.[207] The code for Winchell's analysis is available in GitHub,[208] but the analysis has not been published (or peer reviewed) for what it's worth. The code, as described, only measured degree of emotive positivity or negativity of supporters' Tweets.[207][209] It did not measure the rather more serious activities that alleged Bernie Bros have been accused of: doxing and harassment.[210]

The "Sanders Effect," moving the party left[edit]

The Sanders candidacy and the enthusiasm behind it forced Clinton to move somewhat leftward – or to at least speak that way – as the campaign season moved along.[211] Sanders was allowed to appoint five members to the committee charged with forming the DNC Party Platform in 2016, appointing such folks as Keith Ellison and Cornel West (a staunch Obama critic[212]).

The platform committee agreed to adopt many of Sanders' policies, and the Clinton camp offered several concessions: abolishing the death penalty, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, preserving and expanding Social Security, even reinstating an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall.Wikipedia[213] It did not include opposing the TPP, but it did include a caveat where any free trade deal would need to protect workers' rights and the environment if it hoped to pass with Democratic support. He was unable to get amendments that called for a policy imposing a tax on carbon and a national moratorium on fracking, and he could not get the committee to denounce illegal Israeli settlement building, but the committee agreed on supporting a two-state solution that guarantees Israel's security and Palestine's independence.

DNC convention[edit]

Once leaked emails showed that Debbie Wasserman Schultz had been biased against Sanders in the primary, she was forced to resign as head of the DNC.[214] Finally, just before he was to make his speech at the DNC Convention, Sanders supporters and Clinton delegates agreed to strip the autonomy of two-thirds of superdelegates, forcing them to vote with how their states vote in the primary.[215]

"Our Revolution"[edit]

Sanders has become increasingly popular in the left wing of the Democratic Party, especially since a wingnut won against a liberal for the second time in the past five elections. Many find him to be the American parallel to Corbyn, moving the formerly center-left party which had moved to centrism in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s back to the center-left.

"Our Revolution" (ISBN 978-1-250-13292-5) has also become massively popular among the left wing of the Democratic Party, as anti-establishment sentiment rises among Millennials and Zers on the left and right, in a sort of neo-Counterculture similar to that of the Baby Boomers.

Justice DemocratsWikipedia and Brand New Congress are also PACs formed by former Sanders supporters attempting to elect progressives to national office. They're working together with National Nurses United and other groups to continue grassroots activism throughout the country.

Sanders-affiliated candidates won in down-ballot elections in 2017, partially reversing a long, steep trend of Democrats losing.[216][217]

Endorsement of Clinton[edit]

Hillary Clinton understands that we must fix an economy in America that is rigged and that sends almost all new wealth and income to the top one percent. Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. She believes that we should raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And she wants to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure — our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants.[218]
—Bernie Sanders

On July 12, 2016, Sanders reluctantly endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States, knowing that it was better to unite against the then-presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump,[219] citing some of Clinton's left-wing credentials:

In return, Clinton admired Sanders for "[bringing] people off the sidelines and into the political process", as well as "energiz[ing] and inspir[ing] a generation of young people who care deeply about our country".[221] For supporting Clinton, many Sanders supporters accused Bernie of being a sellout to the Democratic establishment (reviving the talk of Bernie Bros);[222][223] Jill Stein from the Green Party accused Sanders of attempting to "have a revolutionary campaign [with]in a counter-revolutionary party",[224] and Trump – who never sees a populist bandwagon he can't join – said that Sanders "has totally sold out to Crooked Hillary Clinton".[225]

However, during the primary, Sanders repeatedly criticized Clinton for her somewhat more right-wing and hawkish views: Hillary had adopted a more hawkish attitude towards the War on Terror, with a particular emphasis on increased mass surveillance methods and longer terrorist watch lists to supposedly defeat terrorism.[226] She has also:

In spite of the fact of being behind in the pledged delegate count and mounting pressure for him to drop out, Sanders refused to concede for quite some time, using his remaining leverage to influence the Democratic Party on legislative agenda, arguing that defeating Trump should not be their only goal.[235][236] However, Sanders later said that he would be willing to cooperate with Hillary Clinton in order to prevent a Trump presidency,[237] a promise he has since made good on (as seen above).

Concerns had been risen about there being a large number of so-called Bernie-or-bust voters; polls seemed to show that these people were but a significant minority.[238] Polling close to the election put the number of Sanders' core supporters who planned to vote for Clinton as high as 90%,[239] not in fact very far off from the margins by which Clinton supporters voted for Obama in 2008 after her own primary loss.[240] Clinton's loss in the election and her narrow margins in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin, suggest the fears may have been right after all.[241]

Would Bernie Have Won?[edit]

The unanticipated rise of Bernie Sanders' popularity can be seen as a continuation of a movement of social agitation that saw its first expression in Occupy Wall Street.[242] This movement of politically active young adults is grossly dissatisfied with the Democratic Party's politics and is pushing the national political discussion further left than many Democrats have been willing to go.

Many see Hillary Clinton's loss to a deeply unpopular candidate like Trump as indicative of the Democrats' inability to turn out votes on any level, municipal, state or federal. After Clinton lost to Trump, the pundit Matt Yglesias declared the party "a smoking pile of rubble":

Republicans control the House, and they control the Senate....

In state government things are worse, if anything. The GOP now controls historical record number of governors’ mansions, including a majority of New England governorships. Tuesday’s election swapped around a few state legislative houses but left Democrats controlling a distinct minority. The same story applies further down ballot, where most elected attorneys general, insurance commissioners, secretaries of state, and so forth are Republicans.

…the story of the 21st-century Democratic Party looks to be overwhelmingly the story of failure.[243]

In June of 2016, when it was clear that Clinton had secured the nomination, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi observed about the Sanders phenomenon: "This was a barely quelled revolt that ought to have sent shock waves up and down the party, especially since the Vote of No Confidence overwhelmingly came from the next generation of voters."[244]

They ought to be horrified to their marrow that the all-powerful Democratic Party ended up having to dig in for a furious rally to stave off a quirky Vermont socialist almost completely lacking big-dollar donors or institutional support....But to read the papers in the last two days is to imagine that we didn't just spend a year witnessing the growth of a massive grassroots movement fueled by loathing of the party establishment...

When Trump won the general election, angry Sanders supporters launched the meme "Bernie Would have Won," which went viral:

After the election, Sanders supporters raged against the DNC machine on Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites. The "Bernie Would've Won" meme takes a myriad of forms, but all express the same idea: that Sanders, had he been given the chance, would have taken down Trump.[245]

Sanders played some political capital at the Democratic Convention, and "was given unprecedented say over the Democratic Party platform,"[246] but the Congressional Black Caucus unanimously shot down his proposals for open primaries and the removal of superdelegates, a mechanism adopted by establishment Democrats to "protect" incumbents from the grassroots.[note 12] To what extent the Bernie contingent can effect desperately needed change in the party without these reforms remains to be seen. Democrats who want to win in the future, however, may have to accommodate the Bernie voters.

Poll after poll during the primaries indicated Sanders would have beaten Trump by wider margins than Hillary Clinton, which suggested that even though the polls predicting a Clinton win over Trump turned out to be wrong, that the larger margin of win Sanders consistently enjoyed would have meant victory. And indeed:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would have beaten Donald Trump by a historic margin if he had been the Democratic nominee, according to a private pre-election poll provided to The Huffington Post. The national survey of more than 1,600 registered voters, conducted by Gravis Marketing two days before the general election, found that Sanders would have received 56 percent of the vote while Trump would have won 44 percent. The poll was commissioned and financed by outgoing Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat who endorsed Sanders in the presidential primary.[248]

Unfortunately for Sanders, the Republicans had plenty of tricks up their sleeves for a Bernie nomination, which would have made for the most one-sided attack campaign since 1988:

Here are a few tastes of what was in store for Sanders, straight out of the Republican playbook: He thinks rape is A-OK. In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men. Yes, there is an explanation for it—a long, complicated one, just like the one that would make clear why the Clinton emails story was nonsense. And we all know how well that worked out.[179]

At least some feminists thought that although the 1972 essay by Sanders was bad, the response to it by Sanders in 2015 was infuriating.[249][250]

Other attacks, many dubious and trivial — and debunked here[251] — included:

  • The fact he was on unemployment until his mid-30s.[179]
  • His support of the Sandinistas and Castro, which could have cost him Florida.[68]
  • Him supposedly violating campaign finance laws.[179][better source needed]
  • The failure of his proposed healthcare system when it was attempted in Vermont.[179]
  • His focus on college education, with fewer plans for non-college educated voters.[179]
  • His bill to send nuclear waste to a poor Hispanic community in Texas.[125]

These factors could still put Sanders in a difficult position against Trump, perhaps still even lose. Though Trump himself had shrugged off several scandals, he was faced against someone else who was also perceived as dishonest and was covered in scandals, to be fair. Still, others have argued that it was Trump's anti-establishment rhetoric that helped him shrug off scandals to begin with, and that Bernie could more than match this:

So then, what undermines the power of right-wing populism? Progressive populism! By telling a more compelling story about the causes and culprits of working people’s economic woes, progressive populists like Bernie Sanders are able to seriously weaken one of the central pillars of the right-wing populist appeal. First of all, Bernie could equally wield the power of being an anti-establishment outsider candidate in a populist moment. As such Sanders was also uniquely positioned to go after Trump as a particularly scorn-worthy member of the billionaire class — to frame Trump as a poser who adorns himself with the superficial trappings of populism, while he enriches only himself.[252]

According to political scientist Brian Schaffner’s analysis of the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES), 12 percent of Sanders voters backed Trump, and 9 percent voted third party.[253] In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, the three states that determined the outcome of the election, Schaffner estimated that 9%, 18%, and 16% of Sanders voters voted for Trump, respectively.[254] However, an even greater number of Obama voters, close to 8 million, voted for Trump as well, so an even greater blame lies on Clinton for not keeping these voters.[255] This was enough to cost Clinton the election.[256] Had Sanders won the nomination, it is possible that he would have won all of Clinton's 227 electotal votes. The support of “Bernie-or-Bust” voters could have given him victories in another few key states, resulting in a victory in the electoral college.

With so much debate over hypotheticals, you'd almost think whoever won would get to be President for real. But with no way to test their claims in an actual campaign setting, bloggers and pundits aren't likely to stop shouting at each other any time soon.

After defeat[edit]

Bernie Sanders at the National Walkout Day in Washington, D.C., protesting gun violence in schools.

When it comes to running in the 2020 presidential election, his age is not an issue.[257][note 13] By late 2017, he made preparations by boosting his credentials, addressing weak spots (especially in foreign policy), working with his fellow Senators to craft policy (like Medicare For All), and engaging in productive conversations on various issues of genuine importance to voters.[258] He has been visiting dozens of states across the country, especially those Trump won in 2016.[259] Prior to his running, it was suggested that he may need to talk to his natural ally Elizabeth Warren, Senator from Massachusetts, first to avoid having them both run for President in 2020.[260]

Despite his defeat in the 2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination, support from Sanders became a valuable asset for ambitious Democrats seeking to run for political office in the 2018 midterm elections.[261] In February 2018, Sanders announced that he will release a book titled Where We Go From Here (ISBN 9781250163264), detailing his vision for the future of the progressive movement.[262] However, his endorsement does not imply electoral success. Very few of the candidates he personally endorsed won their primaries. Nonetheless, Sanders and his ideas continue to gain traction among voters. He may be losing some battles now, but not the war, not least since his ideas continue to become more and more mainstream.[263] This is especially true among younger voters, who are keenly aware of the economic inequalities facing the nation today.[264]

While not everyone agrees with his ideas, as is expected in a democracy, public opposition against Sanders on the Internet is dramatically exaggerated. A March 2018 fight on Twitter over Bernie Sanders reveals an entire network of fake accounts, using pictures and personal details of the dead or unknown living people.[265][note 14] Whether we like it or not, social media networks are playing an increasingly important role in political discourse, and so far, their influence has not always been positive.

2020 presidential bid[edit]

...I wish Bernie well. It'll be interesting to see how he does [in the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination]... You got a lot of people running, but only one person is going to win.
—Donald Trump, in response to Bernie Sanders announcing he was running for President in 2020.[266]
They're friends. They're good people. What we've got to show the world is that we can run a serious, primary process without trying to destroy each other, without character attacks.
—Bernie Sanders, immediately before the opposite happened.[267]
Bernie Sanders at a rally in Navy Pier, Chicago, March 2019.

On February 19, 2019, Bernie Sanders announced his second bid for the Presidency. His campaign claimed it raised a million dollars within three and a half hours of launching. His core policy positions—such as raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and tuition-free college education—continue to capture the imagination of young voters. Indeed, they are no longer "radical" but are now the pillars of the left-wing of the Democratic Party. President Donald Trump wished Sanders good luck.[8]

By April 2, 2019, his 2020 campaign has raised more than $18 million from individual contributions, more than all the other Democratic candidates.[268] A poll conducted in March 2019 by Quinnipiac University showed that Bernie Sanders is one of the most popular contenders on the crowded Democratic platforms for registered Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents. Eager to have a candidate who stands a good chance to take on President Donald Trump, issues such as age, race, or gender take a backseat compared to electability and shared values.[269]

In mid-April 2019, Sanders released ten years of his tax returns. Royalties and sales of his book, Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In, helped make him a millionaire. He paid an effective tax rate of 26% in 2018.[270]

While President Trump publicly mocks Sanders by calling him "crazy Bernie," Trump privately respects and praises the Senator for his ability to draw huge crowds, and to quickly raise funds for his campaign. This reflects Trump's fondness for being a political outsider and a populist. Trump was disturbed by how Sanders performed at a town hall with Fox News. However, Trump does not consider Sanders to be a serious electoral threat, at least not yet.[271] In a similarly surprising move, conservative commentator Ann Coulter said she might vote for Sanders if he retained his stance against illegal immigration, arguing that it would depress wages in America.[272]

Following a popular vote win in the Iowa Caucus and wins in the early States of New Hampshire and Nevada, Bernie Sanders was considered the current front runner for the nomination.[273][274] However, his old weaknesses with black voters came back to haunt him,[275][276] particularly among older voters (as with 2016), who vote at higher rates than young black people.[277][278] He received significant support from people of Latino,[278][279] Asian,[280] Arab, and/or Muslim backgrounds.[281][282][283] A lot of working class whites who stuck with him against HRC abandoned him this time.[284][285] Thus, March was one long string of defeats (other than, most significantly, California — where he won a plurality) that broke his campaign — first he under-performed on Super Tuesday, then he got clobbered March 10 and March 17,[286] widening the delegate gap. Although both candidates were still far from the 1,991 delegates needed to clinch the nomination at that point, Bernie would have needed to win more than half of the remaining delegates, which was so ridiculously unlikely that Biden became the de facto nominee.[287]

However, even in losing, Bernie still had the youth vote from every single demographic under the age of 35.[288] He eventually endorsed Joe Biden, who would later defeat Donald Trump.

Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee[edit]

Due to seniority rules, Sanders became the chair of the Senate Budget Committee after Democrats took control of the Senate in 2021 on the backs of Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, who beat both Georgia Republican Senators. With Vice President Kamala Harris as head of the Senate and the tie breaking vote, Sanders now has every intention to bypass the filibuster by pushing for reconciliation (meaning only simple majority votes and not super majority 60+ votes like under Barack Obama) and push for every progressive policy he had advocated for on the campaign trail. His vote was crucial in passing the American Rescue Plan of 2021, a 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus bill that included 1400 dollar stimulus checks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenge on Neera Tanden[edit]

Neera Tanden, head of the Center For American Progress, became infamous for her public and outspoken opposition to Bernie Sanders, calling for cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security while opposing single payer healthcare. Her vocal bashing of Sanders supporters and other progressives ultimately led to her downfall. Biden nominated her to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget, having already shut down ThinkProgress as soon as they tried to unionize. Sanders grilled Tanden to her face, bringing up her history of abusive behavior and comments towards people she opposed, and signaled he would not vote to confirm her. Eventually, Tanden withdrew her nomination once Republicans, who also seethed at her criticisms of them, announced they would note support her either.[289][290][291]

Social spending and human infrastructure[edit]

By July 2021, Sanders chose to play hardball. With only the Covid bill passed halfway into Biden's first year as president, progressives and centrists were unable to work out a deal on the next big-time bill. Biden’s proposed jobs and families plans total more than $4 trillion in traditional public works and human infrastructure investments. Sanders, on the other hand, called for a much bolder $6 trillion budget, where Medicare would finally include dental, hearing aids, and eye care under its coverage. Sanders insisted to his Senate colleagues "not to focus on price tags" but rather on priorities, namely "helping the middle class, fighting climate change, aiding older adults." He pushed for the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes so the budget could pay for itself. Sanders would not budge on his $6 trillion dollar price tag, but once Senate Democrats crafted a $3.5 dollar budget as a compromise, Sanders sang a more conciliatory tone, accepting the compromise which surprised just about everybody who had gotten used to him being more of a "gadfly." Sanders' shift in tone was a tactic Sanders used to "coax moderate Democrats into going far higher than they might have otherwise felt comfortable." After he had insisted on shooting for the moon with a $6 trillion budget proposal, $3.5 trillion became far easier to envision for Senate Democrats to reach. This change in tactics for the former "gadfly" received praise even from former Obama alumni, such as David Axelrod, who called him "pragmatic but in a principled way." Sanders admitted he hesitated to shave two trillion off his original proposal, but yielded once he saw centrist Democrats surrender to his demands. The new $3.5 trillion budget has variously been called "transformative," "bold," and the biggest piece of reform since the New Deal, with even his colleagues like Tim Kaine saying Bernie is like "a human embodiment of shifting the Overton window," adding "We wouldn’t be there without him putting out $6 trillion." If successful, the current social spending bill will be the biggest ever passed by Congress.[292][293] Biden, true to his word, began rallying Senate Democrats to support Bernie's new budget proposal, which would only require reconciliation and thus avoid a filibuster from the Republicans.[294][295]

Under Sanders' new $3.5 trillion dollar budget proposal, major policies include achieving 80% clean electricity and a 50% economy-wide reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, expanding nutrition assistance and affordable housing, and extending the $1.9 trillion Covid stimulus plan’s provision lowering health insurance premiums for those who buy coverage on their own. More policies include creating a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, funding universal preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, expanding access to the summer EBT program (which helps some low-income families with children buy food outside the school year), funding free community college for all students, expanding the total amount of Pell Grants, increasing the maximum individual award, and extending the child tax credit expansion that was originally included in the Covid relief bill. There are climate-related proposals included in the budget too, including tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, a Civilian Climate Corps program for young people, and energy-efficient building weatherization and electrification projects. To fund the budget, Democrats have announced plans to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals. They also plan to fund "enhanced enforcement by the IRS," in order to crack down on people "who underpay or cheat on their taxes." Another piece of the pay-for equation will be new methane reduction and polluter import fees, to raise revenue and accelerate emissions reductions.[296] While it is still unknown if it will pass, Sanders has continued using his newfound influence to push Biden as close to the left as possible.

Relationship with President Biden[edit]

Perhaps the most important change for Sanders is his relationship to the White House under Biden.[297] As a longtime democratic socialist, Sanders often clashed with the Obama administration, having famously staged a 10-hour filibuster to stop Obama from renewing the Bush tax cuts, even calling for a primary against Obama himself in 2012. By contrast, Sanders always had an unlikely friendship with Biden, even to the point of refusing to personally attack Biden during the primary, which frustrated his advisors to no end. But now as Chair of the Budget Committee, Sanders has been reportedly leveraging his friendship with Biden to get as much progressive policy passed as possible. Even after losing the primary, Sanders still has the ear of President Biden, who has kept him close out of respect for their friendship. The first few months of Biden's presidency were characterized by protecting status quo, such as rebuffing the public option, continuing to feed a bloated Pentagon budget, stacking corporate influence peddlers in the administration, and refusing to take executive actions on student loan debt, climate change, marijuana rescheduling, and other such policies even before the minimum wage hike was defeated in the Senate. Things changed by July 2021, as Biden issued executive orders that curtailed monopoly power, a massive shift contrary to his nearly 40-year record of protecting big corporations. Observers, experts, analysts, and reporters close to the scene have all cited Bernie Sanders as the reason Biden shifted to the left on economic issues, such as an expanded child tax credit and subsidies for clean energy. Mainstream media channels have called Bernie "a trusted voice" in the White House because Biden values his friendship with Sanders, understands "the power of Sanders' supporters," has a shared "impatience" for getting stuff done as soon as possible, intends to learn from the mistakes of Democrats under Obama, has long admired FDR just as Sanders, and sees Sanders as a natural ally in being bolder than President Obama.[298][299][300][301][302]

Feud with Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema[edit]

Does Senator Manchin really believe that seniors are not entitled to digest their food and that they're not entitled to hear and see properly? Is that really too much to ask?
—Sanders criticizing Joe Manchin's cruelty.[303]

Sanders' friendship with Biden and more proactive yet pragmatic behavior in the Senate paid off. Biden, who wants to surpass Obama, and Sanders, who wants to get his priorities passed, coalesced around an agenda called "Build Back Better," which is essentially Sanders and Biden combining their priorities into a sweeping social welfare and infrastructure program. Build Back Better, the tentative name for Sanders' aforementioned reconciliation bill, would "invest in child care, create a national paid leave program, lower drug prices, make community college free, invest in affordable housing" and make the country’s power sector carbon-neutral by 2035. Under Sanders' framework, the $3.5 trillion used to pay for the bill would be offset by taxes on corporations and the wealthy. But as always, Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, two of the most conservative Democrats in all of Congress, refuse to support Sanders' $3.5 trillion dollar reconciliation bill, effectively obstructing their own party's agenda. As Chair of the Budget Committee, Sanders has final authority in the crafting of the bill, but Manchin and Sinema preemptively saying they will never support it has forced Sanders to call them out in public, accusing Manchin and Sinema for wanting to "cut childcare" for their donors' benefit.[304] Sanders has publicly criticized them for their intransigence. Multiple progressives, from Cori Bush and Ilhan Omar to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Pramila Jayapal (Chair of the Progressive Caucus), followed suit, repeatedly criticizing Manchin and Sinema with similar language as Sanders, namely by calling Manchin and Sinema "fundamentally un-serious," calling into question their lack of trustworthiness, their financial connections to major donors, their political "nihilism," and their conservative leanings which manifest in being unwilling to support social spending during a pandemic.[305][306][307][308][309]

Manchin and Sinema worked with Mitch McConnell to craft an infrastructure bill that would allow private companies to lease public infrastructure, which means their bill would privatize roads and force Americans to pay for more toll fees.[310] They passed the bill with Republican support in the Senate. That meant it was up to the House, who were still working out how to do Sanders' reconciliation bill. Centrist Democrats demanded a vote on the infrastructure bill before the reconciliation bill was finished. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged to move infrastructure in tandem with reconciliation, putting her in an unenviable spot where she had to balance the self-aggrandizing centrists like Josh Gottheimer and the newly empowered Progressive Caucus who finally had the numbers and hardball mentality to counterstrike. Progressives, buoyed by Sanders, in a great show of irony, made the "unity" argument against the centrists, implicitly and explicitly saying Bernie's agenda is Biden's agenda, and centrists holding up that agenda were undermining the president.[311]

Progressives, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Jamal Bowman, Cori Bush, and Pramila Jayapal, all refused to bite the bullet on infrastructure, believing that letting Manchin and Sinema get their infrastructure bill passed would lead to the death of the reconciliation bill and therefore the death of Sanders' bill as well as Biden's agenda. Their efforts were boosted when Biden, in a shock to many, publicly sided with the progressives, not only on passing reconciliation with infrastructure, but also in refusing to let infrastructure pass before reconciliation. Biden stressed repeatedly that passing social welfare is vital not only towards healing the nation and projecting strength abroad but also in preventing the death of democracy should Trump's people regain power against a failing Biden presidency.[312] Jayapal, as Chair of the Progressive Caucus, issued a caucus-wide whip, where at least twenty, at most fifty progressives were seriously willing to vote no on the infrastructure bill if it was held to a vote. Pelosi blinked and delayed the vote, pissing off the centrists and notching another victory for Sanders and the progressives.[313][314][315]

Sanders spent much of late September and early October directly attacking Manchin and Sinema, accusing them of selling out Biden's agenda to Big Pharma and dismissing suggestions that they could be persuaded after a meeting, saying "this is not a movie."[316][317]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. According to Republicans, this meant the apocalypse was about to ensue. Weirdly enough, however, the Earth is fine.
  2. For the curious, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the least popular.
  3. Various sources have disagreed as to what Sanders means by this: does Sanders mean that he is a "democratic socialist", or that he is a Democrat and a socialist? Either way, it's probably more accurate to say that Sanders is a social democrat, given his support for the Nordic model. This may seem pedantic, but it does actually make a difference, especially when comparing to European politics – the rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, for instance, as Corbyn comes from a traditional Labourite/socialist background
    "Bernie Is Not a Socialist and America Is Not Capitalist".[27]
    On the other hand Bernie Sanders supports employee ownership[28] and workplace democracy, which are standard positions amongst libertarian-minded socialists so it seems that he's somewhere between the mainstream left and the radical left
  4. There is an increased interest in high-speed trains in the United States.
  5. A note of caution is in order. Bezos was under no obligations to do this, given that the Stop BEZOS Act had a slim chance of passing Congress and being signed into law by President Trump. Furthermore, those who were being paid less than $15 an hour were low-skilled workers, and Amazon has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence and automation, including delivery drones.
  6. Saez and Zucman also analyzed and advised Elizabeth Warren's tax proposal.
  7. This deal was renegotiated by the Trump administration, and is now known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
  8. The Trump administration has been waging a trade war with the Middle Kingdom and is in the process of negotiating a new trade deal.
  9. The Trump administration withdrew the United States from this deal.
  10. This allows people to buy guns at shows without having to pass a background check.
  11. Although this is the best case scenario, one can still expect significant savings thanks to the massive bargaining power afforded by government intervention and universal coverage.
  12. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who would subsequently resign in disgrace as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, told CNN's Jake Tapper: "Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don't have to be in a position where they are running against grass-roots activists."[247]
  13. He maintains an active and healthy lifestyle, unlike Donald Trump the incumbent President of the United States.
  14. China is using similar tactics as a new form of censorship. They may not delete or ban critical views outright, given that the people behind them maybe overseas, beyond Chinese jurisdiction, but they will swarm them with pro-government contents.


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  172. Jason Easley. "Bernie Sanders Raises $800,000 Off Of Martin O’Malley Super PAC Ad Attacking Him".
  173. "US election 2016: Trump and Sanders win New Hampshire". BBC News.
  174. "Super Tuesday election results 2016 updates". Washington Post.
  175. 2016 endorsements (archived from June 28, 2016).
  176. "Sanders Democrats".
  177. "RealClearPolitics — Election 2016 — General Election: Trump vs. Sanders".
  178. "Sanders Beats All Top Republican Candidates In Latest Poll", HuffingtonPost, 2 December 2015
  179. 179.0 179.1 179.2 179.3 179.4 179.5 "The Myths Democrats Swallowed That Cost Them the Election" Newsweek.
  180. "Americans overwhelmingly support Bernie Sanders’ economic policies — so how’d we end up here?".
  181. Poll chart
  182. "Bernie Sanders Is the Most Popular Politician in America, Poll Says".
  183. "Donald Trump is the most unpopular presidential candidate since the former head of the Ku Klux Klan". Washington Post
  184. Philip Elliott / Charleston, S.C.. "Why Bernie Sanders Is Struggling to Win Over Black Voters".
  185. Janell Ross (4 February 2016). "Bernie Sanders’s real problem with black and Hispanic voters". Washington Post.
  186. "Clinton Is Winning The States That Look Like The Democratic Party". 15 April 2016.
  187. "19 Examples of Bernie Sanders' Powerful Record on Civil and Human Rights Since the 1950s". Alternet.
  188. "Shaun King- Bernie Sanders: HE'S CHAINED To 2 Black Women As They Resist Arrest In A Chicago Protest".
  189. Kim LaCapria (4 March 2016). "TRUE: Bernie Sanders Sit-in Photos From 1962". Snopes.
  190. Dan; Siddiqui, Sabrina; Gambino, Lauren (20 April 2016). "Hillary Clinton wins decisive victory over Bernie Sanders in New York primary", NBC: Huge Split Between Older and Younger Blacks in the Democratic Primary
  191. John Nichols (19 June 2015). "Ready for Warren Becomes Ready to Fight and Backs Bernie Sanders". The Nation.
  192. Some Democrats think Obama is too liberal. They’re supporting Bernie Sanders. by Dara Lind (Apr 11, 2016, 12:20pm EDT) Vox.
  193. Obama boys, you see. Yes, she really did go there…
    "WOW. Before the "Bernie Bro," Clinton supporters created the "Obama boy." No, seriously.". Daily Kos.
  194. Hey, Obama Boys, back off already!
  195. Before the Bernie Bros, there was the Obama boys
  196. Echoes of 2008: Bernie Bros and Obama Boys
  197. Hess, Amanda (February 3, 2016). "Everyone Is Wrong About the Bernie Bros; How a necessary critique of leftist sexism deteriorated into a dumb flame war.". Slate. 
  198. Meyer, Robinson (February 5, 2016). "It's Not Just Berniebros I coined the term—now I've come back to fix what I started.". The Atlantic. 
  199. Andrews, Natalie (February 8, 2016). "Bernie Sanders on Sexist Commenters: I Don't Want That Support". Wall Street Journal. 
  200. Joanna Rothkopf. "Bernie Sanders' Campaign Is Concerned About the 'Berniebro,' As They Maybe Should Be". The Slot.
  201. "The “Bernie Bros” Narrative: a Cheap Campaign Tactic Masquerading as Journalism and Social Activism". The Intercept.
  202. Clinton-Shilling Journalists Should Stop Slamming the Bernie Bros
  203. "Bernie Sanders Condemns Supporters' Sexist Comments About Hillary Clinton". The Huffington Post. 7 February 2016.
  204. 204.0 204.1 204.2 Elizabeth Warren’s exit interview is a warning for the dirtbag left: Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders supporters, and how online meanness backfires. by Zack Beauchamp (Mar 6, 2020, 11:50am EST) Vox.
  205. Bernie Sanders Interview by Chapo Trap House (Oct 4, 2019) YouTube.
  206. What Will Become of the Dirtbag Left? The gleeful vulgarians of “Chapo Trap House” fight for irony in the age of Trump. by Jia Tolentino (November 18, 2016) The New Yorker.
  207. 207.0 207.1 There is hard data that shows "Bernie Bros" are a myth
  208. Political Tweet Negativity by Jeff Winchell, GitHub.
  209. Candidate's Twitter followers don't differ much in the chance someone's tweets are negative. New Update: Adds Microsoft's Deep Learning-based sentiment analysis algorithm. It predicts the chance of positive text. Textblob's algorithm rates tweets from -1 (neg) to 1 (pos). by Jeff Winchell (March 6, 2020) Twitter (archived from 2 Apr 2020 16:53:05 UTC).
  210. The raging controversy over “Bernie Bros” and the so-called dirtbag left, explained: The Bernie Bro stereotype is reductive. But there’s a specific group of Sanders fans that pose a real problem for him. by Zack Beauchamp (Mar 9, 2020, 1:35pm EDT ) Vox.
  211. "Has Clinton’s Move to the Left Backfired?".
  212. "Why Did Bernie Sanders Put an Obama-Hater on the Democratic Platform Committee?". 24 May 2016.
  213. "Democrats just approved a draft of their party platform, and Bernie Sanders' influence is clear".
  214. Dan Roberts in Philadelphia, Ben Jacobs in Washington and Alan Yuhas in New York (July 25, 2016). "Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign as DNC chair as email scandal rocks Democrats". The Guardian.
  215. DNC Votes to Keep Superdelegates, But Sets Some Conditions by Zaid Jilani (July 23 2016, 6:18 p.m.) The Intercept.
  216. Democratic Socialism Is Having a Very Good Year at the Ballot Box: They’re singing “Solidarity Forever” and winning elections in states across the country. by John Nichols (November 13, 2017) The Nationa.
  217. They felt the Bern in Somerville: Sanders-inspired candidates win aldermen seats by Danny McDonald (November 08, 2017) The Boston Globe.
  218. Bernie Sanders Endorses Hillary Clinton for President, The Wall Street Journal (full speech). Jul 12, 2016 11:35 am ET
  219. Roberts, Dan (June 24, 2016). "Bernie Sanders: I will vote for Hillary Clinton – to stop Donald Trump". The Guardian.
  220. (July 12, 2016). "Full text: Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton". Politico.
  221. Lee M. J.; Merica, Dan and Zeleny, Jeff (July 12, 2016). "Bernie Sanders endorses Hillary Clinton". CNN Politics.
  222. Leupp, Gary (July 14, 2016). "Don't Call Him "Bernie" Anymore: the Sanders Sell-Out and the Clinton Wars to Come". CounterPunch.
  223. (July 12, 2016). "'Bernie is a sellout': Sanders supporters blast him for endorsing Hillary Clinton". RT International.
  224. Gass, Nick (July 12, 2016). "Jill Stein shreds Sanders' Clinton endorsement". Politico.
  225. Donald J. Trump (12 July 2016). "Tweet Number 752859250628648962". Twitter. "Bernie Sanders, who has lost most of his leverage, has totally sold out to Crooked Hillary Clinton. He will endorse her today - fans angry!" 
  226. Kurtzleben, Danielle (June 13, 2016). "In Wake Of Orlando Shooting, Clinton Suggests Broader Terrorist Watch Lists". 
  227. Roberts, Dan; Gambino, Lauren (November 19, 2015). "Hillary Clinton calls for more ground troops as part of hawkish Isis strategy". The Guardian. 
  228. Golshan, Tara (July 18, 2016). "Trump on Pence's vote for the Iraq war: "He's entitled to make a mistake" On Clinton: "She's not"". Vox. 
  229. Hillary Clinton Bio: The Political and Personal Life of a Former First Lady by Tom Murse (Updated July 03, 2019) THoughtCo.
  230. See the Wikipedia article on Political positions of Hillary Clinton § Anti-terrorism and domestic surveillance.
  231. Hillary Clinton Comes Out Against Abolishing The Death Penalty: This is the Democratic front-runner’s first mention of the contentious issue on the 2016 campaign trail. by Cristian Farias (10/28/2015 03:19 pm ET Updated Oct 28, 2015) Huffington Post.
  232. Cabaniss, Will (September 2, 2015). "The fact-checker's guide to viral graphics contrasting Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders". PunditFact.
  233. Hillary Clinton stated on October 13, 2015 in in the first Democratic debate: On the Keystone XL pipeline by Lauren Carroll (October 14, 2015) PolitiFact.
  234. Hillary Clinton's 5 takes on the Keystone Pipeline by Theodore Schleifer (Updated 0048 GMT (0848 HKT) September 23, 2015) CNN.
  235. "Bernie Sanders just made it official—he isn't dropping out".
  236. "Bernie Sanders offers a concession-style speech — without a concession".
  237. Roberts, Dan (17 June 2016). "Bernie Sanders: I will work with Hillary Clinton to stop Donald Trump". The Guardian. 
  238. "Will Bernie Sanders supporters rally behind Hillary Clinton now? Here’s what we know.".
  239. Kennedy, Kelsey (July 26, 2016). "Despite the Bernie-or-bust contingent, 90% of Bernie Sanders' core supporters now back Clinton". Quartz.
  240. Theodoric Meyer (September 17, 2017). "Sanders scoffs at Clinton’s claim he didn’t do enough to help her". Politico.
  241. Sides, John (24 August 2017). "Did enough Bernie Sanders supporters vote for Trump to cost Clinton the election?" Washington Post.
  242. Building a Movement: From Occupy Wall Street to Bernie Sanders by Jesse A. Myerson (16 April 2016) teleSUR (archived from June 19, 2016).
  243. The whole Democratic Party is now a smoking pile of rubble: The down-ballot party has withered, and Obama’s policy legacy will be largely repealed. by Matthew Yglesias (Nov 10, 2016, 11:00am EST) Vox.
  244. Democrats Will Learn All the Wrong Lessons From Brush With Bernie: Instead of a reality check for the party, it'll be smugness redoubled by Matt Taibbi (June 9, 2016 9:22PM ET) Rolling Stone.
  245. The "Bernie Would've Won" meme: What is it, where did it come from and is it true? by Julia Tilford (Dec. 22, 2016) Mic.
  246. Sanders wins greater say in Democratic platform; names pro-Palestinian activist
  247. We need more questions like this one from Jake Tapper to Debbie Wasserman Schultz by Callum Borchers (Feb. 12, 2016 at 12:45 p.m. PST) The Washington Post.
  248. New Pre-Election Poll Suggests Bernie Sanders Could Have Trounced Donald Trump
  249. On Bernie Sanders' 1972 Essay by Melissa McEwan (May 29, 2015) Shakesville.
  250. Looking For Bernie, Part 1: Sanders '72 by Aphra Behn (July 14, 2015) Shakesville.
  251. Bernie Sanders: A Loser’s Life? A meme about Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders displayed questionable accuracy and relevance. by David Mikkelson & Dan Evon (4 February 2016) Snopes.
  252. [2]
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  254. WI: 9% of Sanders voters voted for Trump. MI: 8% of Sanders voters voted for Trump. PA: 16% of Sanders voters voted for Trump. 3/n by Brian Schaffner (3:34 PM - 22 Aug 2017) Twitter (archived from 6 Mar 2020 03:50:57 UTC).
  255. Just How Many Obama 2012-Trump 2016 Voters Were There? Using different surveys to try to answer an oft-asked question by Geoffrey Skelley (June 1, 2017) Sabato's Crystal Ball, University of Virginia Center for Politics.
  256. Sanders -> Trump voters… WI: 51k MI: 47k PA: 116k Trump win margin… WI: 22k MI: 10k PA: 44k ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ by G Elliott Morris (6:16 PM - 22 Aug 2017) Twitter (archived from 24 Aug 2017 15:36:16 UTC).
  257. Bernie Sanders stirs Texas crowd, is he running for something?. BBC News. March 10, 2018.
  258. Bernie makes moves pointing to 2020 run. Politico. November 27, 2017.
  259. Bernie Sanders is spending a lot of time in Trump country. Here's why. CNN. March 11, 2018.
  260. How Sanders and Warren Will Decide Which One Runs for President. The Atlantic. Accessed August 28, 2018.
  261. Bernie Sanders Wants to Be A Kingmaker in the Race for Congress. Mother Jones. February 24, 2018.
  262. Sanders To Publish Book, 'Where We Go From Here,' After Midterms. CNN. February 21, 2018.
  263. Bernie Sanders Is Losing Primary Battles, But Winning A War. NPR. June 8th, 2018.
  264. Bernie Sanders Socialism Moves to Democratic Mainstream. The Hill. August 17, 2018.
  265. How A Twitter Fight Over Bernie Sanders Revealed A Network Of Fake Accounts. Huffington Post. March 14, 2018.
  266. Word for Word: President Trump on Bernie Sanders. C-SPAN. February 19, 2019.
  267. 'I like Joe:' Bernie Sanders offers measured criticism of Biden in Iowa. CNN. May 6, 2019. Accessed May 7, 2019.
  268. Sanders Tops Democratic Fundraising, So Far, As Harris And Buttigieg Draw Big Sums. NPR. April 2, 2019. Accessed April 2, 2019.
  269. Poll: Biden, Bernie, Beto lead Democratic pack. Politico. Accessed April 2, 2019.
  270. Bernie Sanders releases 10 years of long-awaited tax returns. Associated Press. April 15, 2019. Accessed April 22, 2019.
  271. Trump Calls Bernie Sanders Crazy, Praises Him in Private. The Daily Beast. April 22, 2019. Accessed April 22, 2019.
  272. Ann Coulter says she’d consider vote for Bernie Sanders. Fox News. April 18, 2019. Accessed April 22, 2019.
  273. Five Thirty Eight: Bernie Sanders is the front-runner
  274. The Atlantic: Bernie Sanders is the Democratic front-runner
  275. How Bernie Sanders lost black voters, July 10, 2016
  276. Mother Jones: Bernie Sanders lost the Black vote, March 10, 2020
  277. Maya King (September 2, 2019). "Why black voters are backing two old white guys". Politico.
  278. 278.0 278.1 (March 24, 2020). "Young People of Color Shaped Key Super Tuesday Primaries". CIRCLE (Tufts University).
  279. Jennifer Medina (November 8, 2019). "‘Tío Bernie’ Is Courting the Latino Votes He Needs to Win". The New York Times.
  280. Chris Nichols (March 9, 2020). "Did Bernie Sanders Win ‘People Of Color’ In California, And Was It ‘Not Even Close’?". PolitiFact.
  281. Jaweed Kaleem (September 22, 2019). "Why many Muslims treat Bernie Sanders like a rock star". The Los Angeles Times.
  282. Josefin Dolsten (October 25, 2019). "No Coincidence That Bernie Sanders Is a Favorite Among Muslim Americans". Haaretz (Jewish Telegraphic Agency).
  283. Holly Otterbein (March 8, 2020). "Sanders courts Muslim voters for Michigan edge". Politico.
  284. How Bernie Sanders lost the white working class, March 7, 2020
  285. Working class whites deserted Bernie Sanders in the MidwestMarch 12, 2020
  286. March 17 primary: Biden sweeps Sanders as coronavirus casts shadow over voters
  287. 2020 Dem primary delegate count
  288. Dems sound alarm about Biden's young voter problem
  289. "Neera Tanden Grilled Over Statements, This Time by Bernie Sanders," Alan Rappeport, New York Times.
  290. "Bernieworld seethes over Tanden as OMB nominee," Holly Otterbein, Politico
  291. "White House pulls Tanden nomination," Phil Mattingly and Kate Sullivan, CNN
  292. "Strange but true: Bernie takes a 'very pragmatic' turn," Burgess Everett and Laura Barron-Lopez, Politico
  293. "Bernie Sanders moving out of 'gadfly role' in Senate, former Obama adviser says," Tim O'Donnell, The Week
  294. "Biden rallies Senate Democrats on spending goals after they reach $3.5 trillion budget deal," Kevin Breuninger, CNBC
  295. "Biden Makes A Push For Democrats To Unite Around $3.5 Trillion Budget Plan," Deirdre Walsh, NPR
  296. "Democrats’ $3.5 trillion budget package funds family programs, clean energy and Medicare expansion," Christina Wilkie, CNBC
  297. "Sanders seeks chance to put his stamp on government," Alexander Bolton, TheHill
  298. "Bernie Sanders has forged a remarkable bond with Joe Biden — is that a good thing?" Norman Solomon, Salon
  299. "Bernie Sanders has real influence: Vermont's longtime outsider has become a trusted voice in the Biden White House," Ashley Semler, CNN
  300. "Biden's radical economic agenda," Felix Salmon and Dion Rabouin, Axios
  301. "Biden's New Deal: Re-engineering America, quickly," Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, Axios
  302. "Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders working closely together on $3.5 trillion national rebuilding proposal," MarketWatch
  303. "Sanders criticizes Manchin’s use of 'entitlement society,' pushes for specifics in negotiations," Yahoo News
  304. "Sanders Calls Out Moderates For Being 'Vague' On Build Back Better," Tara Golshan, Huffington Post
  305. "Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin’s Nihilistic Bipartisanship," Michelle Goldberg, New York Times
  306. "Scoop: Sanders’ Sinema spat," Alayna Treene, Axios
  307. "What’s Wrong With Kyrsten Sinema?" Michelle Goldberg, New York Times
  308. "Progressives AOC, Bush unload on moderate Manchin over infrastructure bills," Benjamin Siegel, CBS News
  309. "Waiting for ‘Manchema’: House liberals grow exasperated with two Democratic senators as Biden agenda struggles," Marianna Sotomayor, ABC News
  310. "How The New Infrastructure Deal Could Lead To More Fees and Tolls," Kevin Robillard, Huffington Post
  311. "Biden and House Democrats unite behind his agenda, but they say more time is needed," Deirdre Walsh, NPR
  312. "Biden Backs Progressives Amid Capitol Hill Impasse," by Ben Jacobs, New York Magazine
  313. "House progressives finally flex their power," Li Zhou, Vox
  314. "Progressives flex power to push Biden's safety net bill. A bigger fight awaits," by Sahil Kapur, NBC News
  315. "Buoyed by Biden, progressives optimistic after forcing delay on infrastructure vote," by Teaganne Finn, NBC News
  316. "Bernie Sanders dismisses sitting down with Manchin and Sinema to settle their big differences on the Democratic social spending bill: This is not a movie," Joseph Zeballos-Roig, Business Insider
  317. "Bernie Sanders isn't holding back anymore, accusing Sinema and Manchin of selling out Biden's agenda to Big Pharma," Ayelet Sheffey, Business Insider