Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign

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Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign
Bernie Sanders 2020 logo.svg
Campaign2020 United States presidential election
Primaries2020 Democratic Party primaries
CandidateBernie Sanders
AffiliationDemocratic Party
(although serving as an Independent in the Senate)
AnnouncedFebruary 19, 2019
HeadquartersBurlington, Vermont[1] Washington, D.C.[2]
Key peopleBen Cohen (national co-chair)[3]
Ro Khanna (national co-chair)[3]
Nina Turner (national co-chair)[3]
Carmen Yulín Cruz (national co-chair)[3]
Faiz Shakir (campaign manager)[4]
Jess Mazour (political director)[5]
Analilia Mejia (political director)[6]
Briahna Joy Gray (press secretary)[7]
SloganNot me. Us.[1]

The 2020 presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, the junior United States Senator and former Congressman from Vermont, began with Sanders's formal announcement on February 19, 2019. The announcement followed widespread speculation that he would run again after finishing as the runner-up in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries.

Sanders was initially considered an underdog in the 2016 race, but is considered a front-runner in 2020 with a strong fundraising base from his previous campaign. Sanders raised $6 million in the first 24 hours of his announcement, beating out Kamala Harris's $1.5 million for the highest amount raised on day one. Sanders raised $10 million in the first week since launching his campaign. Within the 1st quarter of the fundraising cycle the Sanders campaign raised $18.2 million, the highest in the democratic field.

The national co-chairs of the campaign are Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen, Rep. Ro Khanna, Our Revolution President Nina Turner, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz,[3] and the campaign manager is Faiz Shakir.[4]


Sanders at his second presidential rally at Navy Pier in Chicago, March 2019

Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign is his second run for the Democratic nomination, following his campaign in the 2016 primaries.[8] He entered the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries as a heavyweight candidate, as compared to his prior 2016 underdog campaign.[9]

Sanders joined the 2020 race with the advantages of a large online donor base and having his policy ideas accepted into the Democratic mainstream.[10] In a crowded field of primary candidates, Sanders had the largest infrastructure in waiting but was likely to see his supporter base fragmented, as compared to his head-to-head campaign in 2016.[11] While policies such as single-payer healthcare and tuition-free public colleges have entered mainstream Democratic thought since his 2016 campaign, some Democratic leaders doubted the breadth of his appeal.[10]

On February 19, 2019, Bernie Sanders announced on Vermont Public Radio that he was running for the 2020 United States presidential election.[12] On the same day, he announced his campaign in an email to his supporters and in an interview with John Dickerson on CBS This Morning.[13]


Sanders entered the race with a fair amount of controversy surrounding his candidacy. This was largely due to allegations of harassment within his campaign. Aides claimed it was a sexist work environment that included sexual harassment, and that female aides were paid less than their male coworkers.[14] Sanders claims he was unaware of harassment, stating "I was a little busy" with running for president to have been aware of the details of the environment.[15]


On March 15, 2019, Sanders' campaign announced that its workers had unionized with UFCW Local 400, making it the first-ever major presidential campaign with a unionized workforce.[16] The Sanders' campaign has promised to offset its greenhouse gas emissions while traveling by contributing to renewable energy projects.[17]


Fundraising totals are a closely watched because they are an indicator of a candidate’s support. Within three-and-a-half hours after his announcement, Sanders had raised over $1 million from small donations from all 50 states, quickly overtaking the amount rival candidate Kamala Harris raised in the first full day after her presidential announcement.[18] Within 12 hours, Sanders had raised over $4 million from 150,000 donors,[19] and in the first 24 hours following his announcement, Sanders raised $5.9 million from 225,000 individual donors, with the average donation being $27.[20] Within a week of his announcement Sanders had raised $10 million from 359,914 donors; donors who did not donate to his 2016 campaign stood for 39% of the donations, and registered Republican donors numbered approximately 12,000.[21] By April 1, Sanders had raised $18.2 million, leading the amounts raised by all other Democratic candidates. About 20 percent of donors were new supporters and the average donation was $20.[22]

Speaking events[edit]

Sanders during a presidential rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, March 2019
Sanders at a rally on March 24, 2019 in San Francisco

Sanders held a kickoff rally in Brooklyn, New York on March 2, 2019, with an estimated crowd of around 13,000 in attendance. In addition to his well-known positions on income equality and societal reform, Sanders also spoke about his personal life, which was something that he had hesitated to do in his first presidential campaign. Sanders spoke about the influence that his working-class upbringing in Brooklyn and the experiences of his father, a Jewish immigrant who had fled from anti-Semitism and poverty in Poland, had on his life. Sanders said "I know where I came from, and that is something I will never forget. Unlike Donald Trump, who shut down the government and left 800,000 federal employees without income to pay the bills, I know what it's like to be in a family that lives paycheck to paycheck."[23]

On March 3, Sanders spoke in Selma, Alabama at a commemoration event held to remember the civil rights march known as Bloody Sunday. Later that day, Sanders held his second rally in Chicago, Illinois. As at his first event, he spoke about income and social equality, but in Chicago, Sanders spoke more extensively against racial disparities. Sanders discussed his personal involvement in the civil rights movement, including his leading role in the 1962 University of Chicago sit-ins and his participation in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.[24]

On April 15, Sanders participated in a Fox News town hall moderated by Brett Baier and Martha MacCallum. According to Nielsen Media Research, the town hall attracted more than 2.55 million viewers, with Fox seeing an increase of total viewers by 24 percent and 40 percent in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic, surpassing the ratings of all prior 2020 Democratic presidential candidate town halls.[25] Sanders drew cheers from the audience on several occasions as he spoke about healthcare and other policies.[26]

Staff and leadership[edit]

On February, 21, 2019, Sanders' campaign announced its national campaign co-chairs: Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen, Rep. Ro Khanna, Our Revolution President Nina Turner, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.[3]

The campaign manager is Faiz Shakir,[4] the political directors are Analilia Mejia and Jess Mazour,[6] and the communications director is Carli Stevenson.[5] Other staff and advisors include deputy political director Sarah Badawi;[6] deputy press secretary Belén Sisa;[27] senior advisors Pete D’Alessandro and Kurt Ehrenberg;[5] and foreign policy advisor Matt Duss.[28] Shakir's role as campaign manager makes him the first Muslim campaign manager for a major party U.S. presidential campaign, and the first Pakistani-American to hold the position.

Political positions[edit]

A self-described democratic socialist and progressive, Sanders is pro-labor rights and emphasizes reversing economic inequality to limit the power of the wealthy so there is “democratic socialism for working families, not just Wall Street, billionaires and large corporations." He advocates for universal and single-payer healthcare, paid parental leave, as well as tuition-free tertiary education. Sanders views global warming as a serious problem,[29] and he brought the need for aggressive climate action to national attention in his 2016 run. In 2019 he announced support for Green New Deal legislation.[30] On foreign policy, Sanders broadly supports reducing military spending, pursuing more diplomacy and international cooperation, and putting greater emphasis on labor rights and environmental concerns when negotiating international trade agreements. On social issues, he stands for immigration reform, abortion rights for women, opposition to the death penalty, LGBT equality, and recognition of Black Lives Matter concerns.[31]


Major current or former American politicians who have endorsed Sanders include Patrick Leahy, Nina Turner, Ro Khanna, and Peter Welch.[32][33] This stood in stark contrast with 2016, when Sanders had little to no support from prominent political figures. Political organizations including Brand New Congress and Our Revolution have also endorsed his candidacy.[34][35]

Notable individuals who have endorsed Sanders include Danny DeVito, Randy Bryce, and Shaun King.[36][37][38]

Historical significance[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bernie 2020". Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Otterbein, Holly. "Sanders campaign to be based in both D.C. and Vermont". POLITICO.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Perticone, Joe (February 21, 2019). "Bernie Sanders announces new national co-chairs: Our Revolution President and former Ohio State Sen. Nina Turner, Rep. Ro Khanna, San Juan Puerto Rico Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Ben & Jerry's co-founder Ben Cohen". @JoePerticone. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Resnick, Gideon; Stein, Sam; Ackerman, Spencer (February 19, 2019). "Bernie Sanders Hires Top Progressive Advocate, Faiz Shakir, as Campaign Manager". The Daily Beast.
  5. ^ a b c Jaffe, Alexander (March 12, 2019). "Bernie Sanders Makes Top Iowa, New Hampshire Hires for 2020". US News and World Report. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Dovere, Edward-Isaac [@isaacdovere] (February 19, 2019). "Sanders aides had been pushing to get a diverse campaign staff. Top leadership goes to that goal:@fshakir, from Harry Reid and ACLU, will be campaign manager, @Analilia_Mejia will be political director, @Sarah_Badawi will be deputy political director" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Seitz-Wald, Alex [@aseitzwald] (March 19, 2019). "New hires for Bernie Sanders' comms shop: The Intercept's Briahna Joy Gray joins as national press secretary, David Sirota comes on board as senior comms adviser and speechwriter" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "Bernie Sanders Enters 2020 Presidential Campaign, No Longer An Underdog". NPR. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Otterbein, Holly (February 19, 2019). "Sanders launches second bid for presidency". Politico. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  10. ^ a b Burns, Alexander; Martin, Jonathan (November 6, 2018). "Warren Is Preparing for 2020. So Are Biden, Booker, Harris and Sanders". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  11. ^ Burns, Alexander; Flegenheimer, Matt; Lee, Jasmine C.; Lerer, Lisa; Martin, Jonathan (January 21, 2019). "Who's Running for President in 2020?". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331.
  12. ^ Kinzel, Bob (February 19, 2019). "He's In For 2020: Bernie Sanders Is Running For President Again". VPR. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  13. ^ "Bernie Sanders announces 2020 run: Full transcript". CBS This Morning. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
  14. ^ NPR: Bernie Sanders Responds to Allegations of Sexism and Harassment on 2016 Campaign
  15. ^ The Daily Beast: Former Bernie Sanders staffers complain of harassment and unequal pay
  16. ^ a b Resnick, Gideon (March 15, 2019). "Bernie Sanders' 2020 Campaign Becomes the First Ever to Unionize". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  17. ^ Kaufman, Alexander (March 21, 2019). "Bernie Sanders Campaign Becomes 2020's First To Promise To Offset Carbon Emissions". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 22, 2019.
  18. ^ Henney, Megan (February 19, 2019). "Bernie Sanders raised $1M within hours of announcing 2020 bid". Fox Business.
  19. ^ "The Latest: Sanders' 2020 campaign raises $4M in half a day". Associated Press. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  20. ^ Thomas, Ken [@KThomasDC] (February 20, 2019). "NEWS: @BernieSanders announces he's raised $5.9 million online in the first 24 hours since his presidential announcement. 225,000 individual donors. Average donation of $27" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Goldmacher, Shane (February 25, 2019). "Bernie Sanders raises $10 million in less than a week". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  22. ^ John, Whitesides. "Bernie Sanders raises $18.2 million for White House run, takes fundraising lead". Reuters. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  23. ^ Krieg, Gregory. "'I know where I came from!': Sanders begins 2020 campaign with personal speech in Brooklyn". CNN. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  24. ^ Otterbein, Holly. "In Chicago, Sanders talks race". Politico. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  25. ^ Concha, Joe (April 16, 2019). "Bernie Sanders Fox News town hall draws more than 2.55 million". The Hill.
  26. ^ Sunkara, Bhaskar (April 16, 2019). "How wide is Bernie Sanders' appeal? This cheering Fox News audience is a clue". The Guardian. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  27. ^ Bowden, John (March 1, 2019). "Sanders hires DACA protected undocumented immigrant as deputy press secretary".
  28. ^ Richardson, Davis (February 6, 2019). "How One Advisor Bolstered Bernie Sanders' Foreign Policy Credentials Ahead of 2020". Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  29. ^ Totten, Shay (January 15, 2007). "Sanders to push global warming legislation in Senate". Vermont Guardian. Retrieved August 4, 2009. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, said Monday he was making good on at least one of a handful of campaign promises — introducing a bill designed to cut U.S. contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions in the next decade. ... Sanders added that construction of new power plants is "extraordinarily expensive" and he would prefer to see federal funding support used to expand the development of sustainable energy, as well as biofuels.
  30. ^ Olivia, Rosane. "Bernie Sanders Enters 2020 Race, Promises Own Version of Green New Deal". EcoWatch. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  31. ^ Alex Seitz-Wald (November 19, 2015). "Bernie Sanders explains democratic socialism". MSNBC.
  32. ^ Burke, Michael (February 19, 2019). "Leahy endorses Sanders for president". The Hill. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  33. ^ "Bernie Sanders Is the Democratic Front-Runner". The Atlantic. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  34. ^ "Bernie in 2020". Our Revolution. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  35. ^ Brand New Congress [@BrandNew535] (February 19, 2019). "Yes! And when we accomplish that we better have a Congress in place to back that President up! Let's get to work for 2020!" (Tweet). Retrieved February 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
  36. ^ DeVito, Danny [@DannyDeVito] (February 20, 2019). "Bernie 2020" (Tweet). Retrieved February 20, 2019 – via Twitter.
  37. ^ Bryce, Randy [@IronStache] (February 19, 2019). "Yes! Thanks @johncusack! We will find some good trouble to get into. You're only about an hour's drive south of me" (Tweet). Retrieved February 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
  38. ^ King, Shaun [@shaunking] (February 19, 2019). "YES! I am so glad that @BernieSanders is running. He will energize and engage voters in all 50 states. I've gotten to know and love Bernie over these past few years and he is among the most principled leaders in the world. He makes this race better in so many ways" (Tweet). Retrieved February 19, 2019 – via Twitter.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

External video
Bernie Kicks off 2020 Campaign in Brooklyn on YouTube