Election 2016

5 Great Things That Have Happened for Bernie Sanders Since He Announced

The Vermont Senator has a lot to be happy about.

Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Photo Credit: YouTube

Since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced that he was running for President, he's had a lot of things go his way. Here are the 5 best things that have happened to Bernie since he announced.

1.) He has 175,000 pledge volunteers already:  Sanders told Rachel Maddow, "I think the main thing is Rachel, is that we have a message that is resonating all across this country. And that is, the income and wealth inequality in this country is grotesque. Ninety-nine percent of all new income goes to the top one percent. The top one-tenth of one percent owns as much wealth as the bottom ninety percent, and meanwhile, the middle-class in this country continues to disappear. I think people want a candidate who is prepared to take on the billionaire class and say you know what, this country belongs to all of us, and not to a handful of billionaire families.”

2.) He raised $1.5 million dollars during the first day of his campaign: According to the Sanders campaign, 35,000 donors gave an average of $43.54 a piece. Even the Washington Post had to admit, "It is a surprisingly heavy haul for a candidate whom some in the Democratic chattering class have cast off as a gadfly and viewed as unable to wrest the nomination from the overwhelming favorite, Hillary Rodham Clinton."

3.) He just schooled Rand Paul on economics during a Senate hearing: While debating the state of senior nutrition, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul complained about the costs associated with the Older Americans Act. "It's curious that only in Washington can you spend 2 billion dollars and claim you are saving money." Sanders wasted no time shooting back, "Senator Paul is suggesting that only in Washington do people believe that spending money actually saves money. And I think that is the kind of philosophy that has us spending twice as much per person on healthcare as any other country on earth!"

4.) He's been able to definitively associate himself with a raise in the minimum wage: "Anyone who works 40 hours in a week in America should not be in poverty. That’s the simple reality," declared Sanders. This message should resonate with the sizable part of the population that justifiably believes it deserves a raise.

5.) People are speculating that his campaign could impact issues beyond the election: In Salon David Dayen explains that, "Sanders doesn’t have to win to achieve success. The potential here is to build an organizing apparatus for the ideas, to construct a coalition that supports a generous social safety net, progressive taxation and protection for labor."

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Michael Arria covers labor and social movements. Follow him on Twitter: @michaelarria