Bernie Sanders Announces He Will Run for President in 2020 Election

'Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that works for the many, not just the few,' Jewish Vermont senator declares as he launches campaign

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2019 in Washington, DC, January 30, 2018.
AFP

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders announced on Tuesday that he intends to run for president in the 2020 election. 

Sanders, 77, announced his candidacy in a lengthy early morning email to supporters, pledging to build a vast grassroots movement to confront the special interests that he said dominate government and politics. 

"Our campaign is about creating a government and economy that works for the many, not just the few," Sanders said in the email, asking for 1 million people to sign up to start the effort. 

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The senator from Vermont launched his insurgent 2016 candidacy against Clinton as a long shot, but ended up capturing 23 state nominating contests and pushing the party to the left, generating tension between its establishment and liberal wings that has not entirely abated. 

This time around, Sanders has been among the leaders in opinion polls of prospective 2020 candidates, but he faces a field more heavily populated with other liberal progressives touting many of the same ideas he brought into the party mainstream. That could make it harder to generate the same level of fervent support as four years ago. 

He also is likely to face questions about his age and relevance in a party that is increasingly advancing more diverse and fresh voices, including those of women and minorities - groups that Sanders struggled to win over in 2016. 

The primaries and caucuses that determine the party's nominee begin in February 2020 in Iowa, and the Democratic winner is likely to face President Donald Trump, a Republican, in the general election in November. 

Sanders has been an unsparing critic of Trump, and in his email he called him "the most dangerous president in modern American history."

"We are running against a president who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction," Sanders said. 

Among those already in the Democratic race are fellow Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. 

"Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution. Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for," Sanders said in his email to supporters. 

Sanders, a political independent and democratic socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, said he would push in his campaign for many of the same issues that powered his 2016 bid and resonated with younger voters, including universal healthcare, raising the minimum wage, and free public college tuition. 

"Three years have come and gone. And, as a result of millions of Americans standing up and fighting back, all of these policies and more are now supported by a majority of Americans," he said. 

A former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, Sanders won a U.S. House of Representatives seat in 1990, making him the first independent elected to the House in 40 years. In 2006, he won a U.S. Senate seat and in 2018 was voted in for a third six-year term. 

His push against Clinton, a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state, was notable because few Democrats seemed inclined to challenge her claim on the nomination. Sanders' candidacy swiftly became a phenomenon, as he spoke to swelling crowds and garnered passionate support on social media. Unlike Clinton, he refused to take money from corporate political action committees, or PACs, relying on a flood of small-dollar donations. 

poll in August 2018 showed that the senator would defeat U.S. President Donald Trump in the upcoming election. 

The poll, conducted by Politico/Morning Consult showed that as of Wednesday, Trump was lagging behind Joe Biden, the former vice president, and Sanders. He lagged behind them by 12 points each.

Trump also lagged four points behind Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren.

The poll contacted 1,974 registered voters between the 16th and 18th of August. There poll claims a margin of error of two points.

Trump fared better against lesser known candidates who are also potential Democrat nominees, such as Senators Corey Brooker (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Kamala Harris (CA).