Meet Bernie Sanders: The Most Underestimated Candidate In The 2016 Presidential Race

Anyone who has bothered to pay the slightest bit of attention to the 2016 presidential race is likely to recognize at least four names: Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Jeb Bush.

Most voters could probably name at least something about Clinton, Trump, and Bush due to their colorful and much-storied political backgrounds, but unless you happen to be a true political junkie or a real fan of the senator, Bernie Sanders likely remains a sort of enigma looming over the campaign trail. Despite his lack of major celeb status, Sanders draws the largest crowds so far in the 2016 presidential campaign, which is no small feat for such an unknown candidate, CNN reported.

“In just the past week, 28,000 people showed up to see Bernie Sanders in Portland, Oregon, including about 9,000 people who were content to watch the Vermont senator on giant screens in the overflow area. Another 28,000 people joined him in Los Angeles.”

Even Sanders’ antithesis Donald Trump acknowledges that Bernie is a serious contender, telling reporters at a press conference in Birch Run, Mich., Tuesday, “He’s getting the biggest crowds, I’m getting the biggest crowds.” Of course, that’s where the similarities between the unlikely rivals pretty much begins and ends, with supporters on both sides undoubtedly hoping for a debate (and soon) involving the outspoken candidates.

One major difference is that Sanders has vowed he won’t personally attack Clinton – although she’s his main opponent in the run for the Democratic nod – and also promises not to run negative campaign ads, The Hill reported.

“I’ve never run a negative ad in my life. I believe that, in a democracy, what elections are about are serious debates on political issues. Let’s be clear, to say that people disagree on issues and point out those issues, that’s what a debate is about. Let me tell you, I run vigorous campaigns.”

Meanwhile, Trump’s strategy so far has relied heavily on spewing as much pompous rhetoric and vitriol as possible at anyone and anything that even hints at standing in his way in order to attract attention, as Politico pointed out in an article earlier today.

Also, there’s Sanders’ obvious difference when it comes to issues of wealth and income inequality, which is – to put it mildly – not on Donald Trump’s radar, unless you count scorning the topic. In fact, CNN Money reports that the real estate tycoon has been suspiciously “light on economic policy details so far,” while Bernie Sanders has been very clear about the economic direction he would take the country, should he wind up in the White House next year, outlining it repeatedly in his campaign speeches to growing crowds nationwide.

“This campaign is sending a message to the billionaire class: Yes we have the guts to take you on.”

The bottom line? Voters who aren’t familiar with Bernie just yet should take note: This campaign is “on the move” to quote the candidate himself. And yes – statistically speaking – Bernie Sanders really could be elected the next president of the United States.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]