Is Bernie Sanders Running For Re-Election? The Independent Senator Has A Lot Of Good Options Ahead

Bernie Sanders may have lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton, and he may have even conceded to stumping for his one-time opponent. However, the Vermont senator's popularity is still holding strong, especially with the younger set. With all that encouragement, is Sanders running for re-election?

The Vermont senator will have some time to decide. His current senatorial term does not end until 2018. By that time, Sanders will be a less-than-youthful 77, and it's not certain he would want to campaign and then serve for another six years. Then again, Sanders certainly showed that at age 75 he could run an energetic campaign.

Sanders certainly appears to have remained popular, perhaps even more so than when he began his presidential campaign. After he bowed out of the presidential race and made his way back to the Senate, his colleagues from both sides of the aisle effusively welcomed him back, a notable reminder of his solid reputation and extensive reach with not only fellow Senate members. Republican Sen. John McCain reportedly embraced Sanders and cheered "Welcome back, Bernie!," according to Newsweek.

Sanders has been a senator for nearly a decade, and Vermont would likely be happy to have him back. He won the state with 86 percent of the vote during the primary. Not so fast though — nothing's set in stone for this legislator. That Sanders hasn't applied for re-election could mean he's ready to bow out of politics and run away to his Vermont retreat with his wife that he caught so much flak for earlier this year. Or, like some people are hoping, perhaps it means he's holding out for another presidential run in 2020.

Regardless of whether Sanders decides to run for a third term as senator of Vermont or consider a presidential bid, he may be in the best political position of his career. His unexpected popularity and strength this election and his ability to be a formidable challenge to Clinton has forced his former opponent and many other Democrats further left and closer in line with his values, such as on college debt. He may even be poised to be the chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

It looks like Sanders have plenty of options in his immediate future, even if the White House isn't one of them.