In 2016, Bernie Sanders took the country, and the world, by surprise. The dark horse candidate from Vermont, of whom the majority of Americans had never heard prior to his campaign, managed to pull off an unprecedented grassroots fundraising effort and cement himself as one of the most popular, if not the most popular, politicians in the country despite losing the Democratic nomination.
This time around, he has once again surprised us. In the first twenty-four hours after announcing his candidacy for president, the Sanders campaign reportedly received an unbelievable $6 million in donations.
Now, Sanders has announced that his campaign is boasting one million volunteers, in "every congressional district in this country, who are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work to make sure that we win the Democratic nomination, that we defeat Trump and that we transform the economic and political life of our country."
Post and Courier
Sanders is a dark horse no longer. Indeed, many center-left critics now portray the Vermont senator as having overstayed his welcome. Other candidates have adopted (at least the rhetoric of) many of his platforms that a 2016 America considered radical. The Overton window now opens on single-payer healthcare, free college tuition, strict regulation of the financial sector, combating lobbying influence and many other social-democratic planks that were previously inadmissible in the court of public political opinion.
The right is also attacking Sanders over an allegedly hypocritical disconnect between his private life and political ideals. They point to his three houses as evidence that he is a fake socialist.
In their coverage of this story, Fox News points out, "Still, according to Forbes, Sanders has one of the lowest net worths among prospective presidential candidates, with an estimated net worth of approximately $700,000. In comparison, fellow left-wing firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has an estimated net worth of approximately $7.8 million."