As the Democratic presidential race heats up, Bernie Sanders has emerged as the front runner, leading Joe Biden by several percentage points in a recent Quinnipiac poll. But is Sanders even a Democrat?
The senator from Vermont has previously been labeled an Independent, specifically a Democratic Socialist. Historically, Sanders has chosen to caucus with the Democrats while maintaining his independence.
However, per new rules rolled out by the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2020 elections, Sanders has now pledged his allegiance to the party.
The oath reads, in part: “I am a member of the Democratic Party. I will run a Democrat, accept the nomination of my Party, and I will serve as a Democrat if elected.”
The new loyalty pledge was prompted, at least in part, by Sanders’ 2016 campaign. Many people criticized the self-avowed Democratic Socialist for choosing to run as a Democrat.
Although he lost the nomination to Hillary Clinton, he seems determined to play by the Democrats’ rules this year in order to get his chance to go head-to-head against Donald Trump.
In the run-up to the 2016 nomination, Sanders criticized the DNC for the so-called superdelegates who pledged early support for Clinton.
The DNC has decided to scale back the influence of these delegates for the 2020 election. Only time will tell if that makes a major difference for Sanders–but as of right now, he has a slim lead over his closest competitors.
However, Sanders filed to run as an Independent for his Vermont Senate seat, where he is up for reelection in 2024.
Bernie is 78 years old–one year older than Joe Biden and 5 years older than Trump. By the time the 2024 election rolls around, he’ll be 82. Is that too old to run for office, regardless of his party?