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.

Lauren Kaori Gurley

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

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.

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.

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 Kaori Gur­ley is a staff writer at VICE’s Moth­er­board on the labor beat. She is a for­mer con­tribut­ing writer to Rur­al Amer­i­ca In These Times and In These Times intern. You can fol­low her on Twit­ter @laurenkgurley.
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