Even though many Democrats blame him for Donald Trump’s election—and his rivals think he’ll fade

He’s a 77-year-old socialist who’s abrasive when he’s in a good mood, and who’s still blamed by many Democrats for Hillary Clinton losing to Donald Trump. But go ahead, try to argue that Bernie Sanders isn’t the front-runner in the 2020 Democratic race right now.

After making his second presidential run official on Tuesday, Sanders blew past every other announced candidate’s early fundraising numbers—$3.3 million in the first few eight hours, more than double the huge $1.5 million Kamala Harris raised in the whole first day—and he’s expecting to easily hit the 1 million website sign-ups he asked for as a first show of support for his campaign.

For all the more conventional Democrats who greeted the news of his candidacy with sighs of “Oh no!” or “Give me a break,” no one else running could do that.

Then there’s where he stands in early polls, behind only Joe Biden. Or the argument Sanders’s own pollster has been making: that he will have surprising strength in parts of the country where he connects with many of the same disaffected voters who backed Trump, or who were too turned off by what’s become of politics to vote at all in 2016.

Read More