With the 2020 election coming up, many potential Democratic contenders have popped up on the map. However, from Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), it is no doubt that these Democrats, who are more-so aligned with the center, are lacking the aspects that many Americans, particularly progressive ones, desire. Since 2016, registered voters have given support to left-wing policies as substantiated by the polls. For example, according to a poll conducted by Reuters, around 85 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of Republicans, and 70 percent of registered voters support a, “policy of Medicare For All,” and that 78 percent of Democrats, 40 percent of Republicans, and 60 percent of registered voters support, “free college tuition.” Other polls also provide evidence of America’s favorable shift towards these policies, as according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, almost 6 in 10 Americans support increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour.
Given the rise of popularity towards these progressive measures, who then has the capacity and ability to win the Democratic nomination and the general election? The answer lies with America’s most popular politician and senator: Bernie Sanders (D-Vt). According to Morning Consult, Sanders is the most popular senator in America. This should come as no surprise because according to Gallup, Sanders’ favorability among voters has consistently outweighed unfavorability.
The notion that Sanders is America’s most popular and beloved senator was propped up by the reaction towards his 2020 presidential announcement. Within 24 hours of his announcement, Sanders was able to raise $5.9 million in comparison to Harris’ $1.5 million in the same timespan. Sanders, who is undoubtedly the Democratic frontrunner, has a likely chance of securing the nomination and possibly the presidency in 2020. From his 2016 campaign, he has the potential to tap into voters, as he has profound name recognition, and the fact that voters already know his 2020 platform—one that is strikingly similar to his 2016 platform. For example, Sanders, in 2016, campaigned on the idea of “Medicare-for-all”—a theme he continues to run on today. However, the leadership and diversity of Sanders’s campaign should not be ignored as it will likely appeal to Democratic voters. His campaign has hired the leadership of Faiz Shakir, a former aide to former Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and the first Muslim to lead a presidential-campaign.
However, what separates Sanders from other progressives like Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)? While Warren and Sanders are the most well known progressives who have entered the Democratic primary, there is much that distinguishes them. For example, Sanders identifies himself as a “democratic socialist,” while Warren has stated that she believes in markets, and that she is a “capitalist.” Although both candidates may share the same vision when it comes to domestic policy, foreign policy is what truly distinguishes Sanders from Warren. For example, Sanders is willing to cross certain lines, as was the case when he has criticized Israel for making Gaza an “open-air” prison, whereas Warren defends Israel’s brutal military actions in the Gaza strip. Warren warns against U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, but Sanders goes further and warns against regime change while also discussing America’s disastrous history in Latin American Countries.
Senator Bernie Sanders is the candidate that the Democrats need, and the one that the American people want. Sanders has so much influence that he has pushed the Democratic party to the left — all while retaining his popularity among Americans. Not only does Sanders stick out in the long list of Democratic contenders, but he can also defeat President Donald J. Trump in the 2020 election. In 2016, polls showed that Sanders would have defeated Trump by average spread of 10 points, an exceptional number in comparison to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers, which had an average spread of 2 points. With the progress that Sanders has made since 2016, it is likely, if not apparent, that Sanders can secure the Democratic nomination and defeat Trump in 2020.