Is Sanders now the Democrats’ front-runner?

It's too early to know what impact Bernie Sanders will have on an already crowded field of Democrats seeking the party's nomination to run for president.
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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is giving it another go. In an interview last week with “CBS This Morning,” Sanders announced he would be seeking the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential election. The 2020 race will be Sanders’ second consecutive bid as a Democratic candidate after an unsuccessful run against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Co-host John Dickerson asked what will be different this time around, and Sanders answered: “We’re going to win.”

The self-claimed Democratic Socialist continued.

“It’s not about defeating President Trump or defeating the Democratic Party – it’s about pushing a grassroots movement to lay the groundwork for transforming the economic and political life of the country.”

Since 2016, the 77-year old socialist’s platform points have remained the same. Sanders strongly stands for expanded healthcare, making higher education free, raising the minimum wage to $15, prison reform to spending a trillion dollars to repair the nation’s infrastructure, etc. through taxing big corporations and Wall Street.

When first presented, Sanders’ arguments seemed a little radical to the American people but in three years these same points are now becoming noticeably more mainstream – and a majority of the America’s Democratic leaders now support them.

Christopher Daniels, a political science professor at Florida A&M University, says he commends Sanders for running again. But Daniels added he has mixed views on the points in question.

“I think it’s great for Sanders to bring focus to these issues, especially during this time, but many politicians have argued taxing the big corporations before,” Daniels said. “What does it mean for the employees of these big companies? Lay-offs, shorter hours, fewer benefits? These are things he should consider.”

It’s not clear if Sanders’ can stand out in a crowded pool of 11 official Democratic candidates, and the few who are still on the fence about running in the 2020 election such as former Vice President, Joe Biden.

Candidates may be a part of the same party and agree on similar policies, yet they still have their issue they want to push.  

Sanders’ Medicare-for-all bill was recently co-sponsored by fellow presidential nominees Senators Kamala Harris, Kristen Gillibrand, Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren. Furthermore, another nominee, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, co-sponsored Sanders’ recent $15 minimum wage bill.

Denver Smith, a graduating physical therapy major and former chief of staff for FAMU SGA, notes that the anything can happen during the primaries. 

“Bernie Sanders’ biggest roadblock is getting the Democratic nomination. The primary elections can go either way because they are so many strong individuals, but it looks like they’re not on one accord,” Smith said. “So honestly, I’m not too confident in him winning.”

Sanders is undoubtedly entering the race as a top contender compared to the other candidates. The day after Sanders’ announced his candidacy, he raised $5.9 million and in a week, has raised $10 million from almost 360,000 donors, according to New York Magazine.

“They can call me a radical, but I believe people are inherently entitled to healthcare, the best education they can get, to live in a clean environment, and decent paying jobs,” Sanders told CBS.