Following his 2020 presidential candidacy announcement, Sen. Bernie Sanders sent shock waves throughout the Democratic Party once again as his campaign contributions broke records. Receiving almost $5.9 million from 223,000 donors in the first 24 hours of his announcement eclipsed the previous first day record-holder Kamala Harris with $1.5 million from 38,000 donors. Sanders is not new to breaking records and having the political establishment underestimate him. In his 2016 primary campaign against then contender Hillary Clinton, he amassed 43 percent of the popular vote and beat Clinton amongst young voters. Along with his record for the most individual dollar donations, he’s still seen as an outsider by many of his political peers.

“Make no mistake about it, the powerful special interests in this country, have unbelievable power and they want to maintain the status quo. They have unlimited amounts of money to spend on campaigns and lobbying and have huge influence over the media and political parties,” Sanders said in his announcement video.

Some of the criticisms Sanders faced in his 2016 campaign was the lack of representation and diversity in his political staff. Many people in the mainstream media wrote off Sanders and his staff as being too white and male oriented. However, with the outcome of the primary election and Sanders doing particularly well amongst women and Black/Latinx voters, many began smearing him for waiting too long to concede the Democratic nomination and endorse Hillary Clinton.

“We have been criticized, correctly so, for running a campaign that was too white and too male oriented, and that is going to change. We are going to have a very diverse campaign staff, and we are going to do a better job at reaching out to every community in this country,” Sanders said in an interview on The Young Turks.

Gearing up for the campaign trail, Sanders revitalized and changed the face of his staff. Some of his recently appointed campaign staff are Faiz Shakir, the first Muslim-American manager of a major presidential campaign, Analilia Mejia who is of Colombian-Dominican descent will be the political director and Carmen Yulin Cruz, the Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

With over 70 percent approval rating amongst American citizens, Sanders’ Medicare for All proposal will be at the forefront of his campaign. Some of his other popular policies are universal college for all, criminal justice reform and the legalization of marijuana.

With many recent Democratic candidates now adopting Sanders’ long-time popular policies, some worry that his age, gender and race will set him back. Looking at possible nominees such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker that have previously been against the legalization of marijuana, universal healthcare and increasing taxes on the rich, one can distinguish who is serious about these proposals and who will fight to get them passed once in office.

Sanders has a long history of fighting for these common sense reforms and offers detailed specifics on how to get the country there. His popular support amongst the everyday citizen and campaign donations speak for themselves. Sanders is quite possibly the strongest candidate to run against President Trump and would undoubtedly beat him in the general election.

To learn more about his proposed policies and campaign, visit https://berniesanders.com/.

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