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This post is part of Election Projection's continuing series introducing each 2016 presidential candidate. Follow the link at the end for more information on Bernie Sanders, including personal information, family status, education and past political experience, as well as links to Sanders' biography and ideological positions.

As a self-proclaimed socialist seeking the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders is unique among this year's presidential candidates. Liberal is not a label he shies away from - except that it might be a bit conservative for his liking. As mayor of Burlington, Vermont, during the 80's, Sanders established a relationship with the then-Soviet city of Yaroslavl. He left to initiate the sister city project right after his wedding, causing some to say he honeymooned in the USSR.

The purpose of his trip was not to honeymoon in Russia, but his affinity to communist causes is unmistakable nonetheless. In honor of Burlington's relationship with Yaroslavl, Sanders hung a Soviet flag in his mayoral office. He showed solidarity with the Marxist-Leninist Sandinistas in Nicaragua by traveling to Managua to celebrate the sixth anniversary of Daniel Ortega's rise to power. From a policy standpoint, Sanders favors single-payer socialized medicine in the U.S., higher taxes on the wealthy, increased regulation on corporations, same-sex marriage and abortion on demand.

After making a splash early in this election cycle, Sanders has retreated a bit in the polls, solidifying the inevitable march of Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination. He was never a serious contender for the party nod - he's technically not even a Democrat - but his uber-liberal messages have resonated with the left-wing of the Democratic Party and drawn massive crowds all over the place. But all this is just fanfare. If there is one effect he's having on the race, however, it is that Clinton cannot be as free to posture to the middle with Sanders pulling her left in the primaries.

Democratic Nomination Odds:  2% (as of 11/17/15)
30-day Trend:  DOWN
Candidate Page:  Bernie Sanders, 2016 Presidential Candidate

posted by Scott Elliott at 9:20am 11/17/15 :: link
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