The Senator of Vermont might be considering a return to the campaign trail sooner than some people think. A Bernie Sanders' presidential run in 2020 could reportedly be on the table, according to one of his senior advisors. This news comes recently after Sanders announced his bid to run for a third straight term in the Senate as an Independent candidate.
In an interview on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" on Tuesday, Jeff Weaver, one of Sanders' senior advisors and his 2016 campaign manager, said that Sanders is strongly considering another presidential run as the Democratic candidate.
"Voters in Vermont will certainly vote for him come [November]," Weaver said (in reference to Sanders' bid for senator), then added, "Nationally, he's considering another run ... When the time comes I think we’ll have an answer to that. But right now he’s still considering it."
In a later conversation with USA Today, Weaver further explained Sanders' thinking. "What motivates him is the desire to have a new president in the White House," Weaver added, "and a heavy consideration is, who is the best person to beat Trump in 2020.'"
Sanders' likelihood of making another presidential run is especially important because, as CNN notes, he (along with former Vice President Joe Biden) is one of the more experienced and well-known political contenders in the Democratic field.
What's more, Sanders has a massive level of national support with younger generations. According to The Washington Post, more people under the age of 30 voted for Sanders in the 2016 election than they did for Clinton and Trump combined, by a significant margin.
Sanders announced his Senate re-election bid on May 21 in a twitter thread where he declared himself to be anti-Trump, and also emphasized his intent to run a grass-roots campaign. Sanders has been outspoken in the past about his desire to get "big money" (otherwise known as Super-PACS, or political spending operations backed by corporations and wealthy individuals) out of American politics.
"It is my intention to run a strong grassroots campaign throughout Vermont and I look forward to your support," Bernie tweeted in his announcement thread. He also tweeted, "If reelected, you can be sure that I will continue to be the fiercest opponent in the Senate to the rightwing extremism of Trump and the Republican leadership."
In another tweet, Sanders spoke of the frightening and unprecedented times he believes the American people are currently living in. "We have a president who is not only a pathological liar," Sanders wrote, "but someone who is trying to win votes by dividing our nation up based on the color of our skin, our country of origin, our religion, our gender or our sexual orientation."
According to The Hill, Sanders was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1990, with his first entry to the Senate in 2006. Though The Hill predicts an easy win for Sanders in Vermont come November (Vermont is a traditionally blue state), that doesn't necessarily mean anything concrete for a presidential run.
Though Sanders is ranked to be the top Democratic contender for 2020 by The Washington Post, he is closely followed by Biden, as well as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, California Senator Kamala Harris, and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
During his 2016 presidential run, Sanders was known for his radical vision of free college tuition (as well as the elimination of student debt), the need for campaign finance reform, a "medicare for all" health care system, and the importance of prioritizing initiatives to combat climate change.
In the thread announcing his bid for reelection to the Senate, Sanders emphasized the importance of focusing on action rather than lamenting the acts of the Trump administration. "Being anti-Trump and anti-Republican is not enough," he tweeted. "We need to continue our fight for a progressive agenda which will take on oligarchy, and improve the lives of working people throughout our country."
Sanders is running in the Vermont race as an Independent candidate; he will face competition against Democratic contenders Folasade Adeluola and Jon Svitavsky.