Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders retained a previously established lead and became the hands-down winner of the readers' choice for TIME's "Person of the Year," the magazine announced on Monday, beating out all his political rivals in the U.S. as well as notable individiuals from around the world by receiving nearly twice the support of the runner-up.
The results of the online poll arrived on the same day that Sanders released a sweeping action plan to deal with planetary climate change.
According to TIME:
The Vermont Senator won with a little more than 10% of the vote when the poll closed Sunday at midnight. That’s well ahead of Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was in second place at 5.2%, and Pope Francis, TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year, who finished third with 3.7%.
Sanders also placed far ahead President Obama (3.5%) and ahead other 2016 candidates, including Republican Donald Trump (1.8%) and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton (1.4%).
Though the editors of the popular mainstream magazine will announce their own choice for who they believe is the most influential person of 2015 on Wednesday of this week, they acknowledged that Sanders popularity among those participating in the readers poll has been constant since the survey was opened. "Sanders," the magazine noted, "has helped define the presidential race, calling for big-ticket progressive items from single-payer healthcare to tuition-free public universities. He has mobilized the Democratic Party’s liberal base and inspired massive campaign rallies across the country."
The 'Person of the Year' will be announced on NBC's Today show on Wednesday morning.
Reaction to Sanders' victory was making the rounds on Twitter: