“The question we have to ask ourselves is which of the candidates out there is going to win in [swing states]. That is the challenge,” Sanders said.
Bernie Sanders, self-declared democratic socialist and United States senator, said midterm election victories from progressive candidates across the country prove progressives could win the White House in 2020.
For the first time in U.S. history, more than 100 women, women of color, LGBT, and Native Americans were elected to Congress and the Senate. Republicans have maintained the majority in the Senate, while Democrats upset the balance of power in the House of Representatives.
“It’s not just that many of them are women or people of color – many of them are progressives who won their elections demanding Medicare for All, demanding raising the minimum wage to US$15 an hour, and making public colleges and universities tuition free,” Sanders told The Guardian.
Sanders, Vermont’s newly re-elected senator, popularized the term Democratic Socialist when he was running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primaries.
Now, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have acquired almost 50,000 members since Trump’s 2016 election, according to the DSA.
“Inspired by Bernie Sanders’s message of a moral economy and his call for a political revolution, a new generation is eager to take up the cause of democratic socialism,” the DSA said in a statement.
Now that Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives, the possibility of seriously investigating allegations of collusion are far greater.
“I think that it is absolutely imperative that the Mueller investigation looking at possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russians must be allowed to proceed unimpeded," Sanders said. "If it is not allowed it would constitute an obstruction of justice and that would, in fact, be an impeachable offense. My hope is that Trump is smart enough to understand that.”
Already, Democrats in Congress have vowed to investigate Trump’s removal of Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. Trump has spent months criticizing Sessions since he stepped away from the collusion inquiry, March 2017.
“It’s not an accident that as the media is discussing last night’s defeats for him and the progress that Democrats have made, he wants to change that discussion immediately by firing Sessions,” said Sanders.
As for which progressive candidates would be running in the 2020 elections, it remains to be seen.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of DSA backed by Sanders, and the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, is perhaps one of the most widely known Democratic Socialist politicians in the U.S.
However, she would be ineligible to run for president in 2020. By law, candidates for U.S. presidency must be at least 35 years old.
Sanders himself hasn’t announced a candidacy yet. He said he would give voters “a chance to breathe,” he told The Guardian. “I want the strongest candidate that we can have so that we can beat Trump – that is the most important,” he said.