What Is Bernie Sanders' Net Worth? This Is How He Compares With The Rest Of The Candidates
Upon his entrance into the 2016 presidential race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has not only loudly identified as a socialist democrat, but also a champion for the middle-class and a member of their ranks. However, given all the senator's big talk about closing the gap between the hugely rich and the middle class, what exactly is Bernie Sanders' net worth? As of 2015, according to the U.S. Senate's website, Sanders' average net worth stands at $420,512. Sanders' reported income for the year of 2014 was a modest $174,000. Well, modest for a politician.
As a socialist democrat, Sanders is open about his revolutionary goals for wealth redistribution, to close the record-high wage gap between America's rich and its middle class. He has also taken a hard stance against America's billionaire "oligarchs," whom he blames for middle class struggles. On many occasions, Sanders has loudly demanded the closing of tax loopholes for large corporations and millionaires.
A large factor in Sanders' growing popularity is his fiscal connection to the "common man," and his reputation for honesty, both of which are somewhat corroborated by his earnings. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sanders in 2012 ranked 84th of 100 senators in the U.S. Senate with a net worth of about $460,506. One year later, in 2013, his net worth dropped significantly by about $130,000 to $330,507, lowering his rank in the Senate to 86.
Sanders' net worth is more the exception than the rule in Washington. Hillary Clinton has impressive numbers in the polls, an indication she is on course to win the Democratic primary, but she's faced scrutiny for her large net worth and allegations that she hid her wealth and was dishonest about her family's income. According to a government filing, the Clinton family's earnings as of 2014 are at about $30 million. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates that as of 2015, that Hillary Clinton's net worth is around $21.5 million.
Sanders' other rivals for the 2016 presidential election, for the most part, also have substantially higher net worths — that is, with the exception of the Republican-backed Marco Rubio, whose net worth of $443,500 is barely higher than Sanders'. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Libertarian Rand Paul's net worth is $1.33 million, while Republican Ted Cruz's is $3.17 million. Republicans Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum both come in at $5 million. Former governor of Florida Jeb Bush ranks as the second wealthiest candidate with a net worth of about $10 million. But all of that pales in comparison to former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, whose large net worth of $245 million reportedly cost him 20 percent of the 2012 voting pool.
In an election where, according to a poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, one of the two biggest voter concerns is the "influence of wealthy individuals and corporations," Sanders' considerably low net worth in the political arena could be one of his greatest assets. Sure, his current economic platform and his long history of supporting civil, women's, and gay rights throughout the 1960s before President Obama fully committed to gay marriage is impressive. But Sanders' ability to walk the walk when it comes to mitigating excessive wealth could be key in attracting voters.
Images: Getty Images (3)