Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders on the cover of the September 17, 2015 issue of TIME Magazine.

Bernie Sanders Just Won TIME’s Person of the Year Reader’s Poll—And It Wasn’t Even Close

The democratic socialist came out far, far ahead of both Clinton and Trump.

BY Lauren Gurley

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Sanders’ campaign has been a gravitational force, pushing Clinton to embrace positions and rhetoric far to the left of where she has previously stood on major issues.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders won the online reader’s poll for TIME magazine’s 2015 Person of the Year—receiving just above 10 percent of the vote when polling concluded Sunday night. Sanders came out far ahead of other presidential candidates, trumping Donald Trump (1.8 percent) and vanquishing his main contender, Hillary Clinton (1.4 percent), who stills carries a strong lead in national polls.

Since the start of the 2016 presidential race, Sanders’ campaign has been a gravitational force, pushing Clinton to embrace positions and rhetoric far to the left of where she has previously stood on major issues. Though pundits do not currently project that Sanders will triumph in the Democratic primary, he has received unprecedented press coverage for a progressive candidate, galvanizing mass audiences in his call for a “political revolution” that will help dismantle rampant class inequality in the United States.

Coming in second and third places were Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai with 5.2 percent and Pope Francis with 3.7 percent. Sanders also beat other notable political and cultural figures including President Barack Obama (3.5 percent), Stephen Colbert (3.1 percent), German Prime Minister Angela Merkel (2.4 percent) and pop singer Adele (2.3 percent).

The reader's poll award does not secure Sanders TIME's Person of the Year title. If Sanders wins, he will be the first presidential candidate to receive the award since it was first given out in 1927. TIME editors will reveal their decision for Person of the Year during NBC’s Today Show on Wednesday morning. 

Lauren Gurley is a contributing writer to Rural America In These Times. She has previously contributed to the American Prospect, Quartz, and the South Side Weekly. She graduated from the University of Chicago in June 2015 with a degree in Comparative Literature. You can follow her on Twitter: @laurenkgurley.

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