Bernie Sanders Wants To Be More Than Another Ralph Nader

By entering the 2016 race as a Democrat, not an Independent, Bernie Sanders will be able to share the debate stage with frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders Wants To Be More Than Another Ralph Nader
Getty Images / Win McNamee

Every presidential race has its fair share of longshot candidates.

In 2016, Bernie Sanders says he won’t be one of them.

“I don’t want to run a futile campaign. If I run, I want to run to win,” Sanders said while at a Brookings Institution event. 

Sanders — a self-described socialist whose liberal agenda includes a single-payer health care system and breaking up big banks — has nowhere near the name recognition as the presumptive Democratic nominee. 

And it shows. Sixty-two percent of Democrats surveyed in a March CNN poll said Hillary Clinton was their top choice. Just 3 percent named Sanders.

The senator from Vermont has been compared to other well-known independents who've run for president, like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader. (Video via NBC, Nader For President

"Are you willing to be the son of Ralph Nader?"

"No, I will not," Sanders said while at a Brookings Institution event. 

Of course, Sanders differs from them in a big way. He’s running not as an Independent, but as a Democrat — and that has its advantages.

“If you run within the Democratic caucus, the Democratic primary system, including the Democratic caucus here, it’s much easier to get on the ballot in states, you're going to be able to engage in debates much easier,” Sanders said.

Even if his campaign is a long shot, that doesn't mean it won't matter. 

Giving Clinton a progressive challenger could, if nothing else, pressure Clinton to move to the left on issues like trade and Wall Street reform. (Hillary For America

Really then, the more apt comparison for Sanders might be Howard Dean — another Vermont politician who appealed to the Democratic Party's Liberal wing back in 2004. (Video via Fox News

Though Sanders probably wouldn’t be fond of the comparison. Dean himself has already endorsed Clinton.  

This video includes images from Getty Images and music by Suplington / CC by NC SA 3.0.