For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Survey Says: Large Majority of Progressives Want Bernie Sanders to Run for President

WASHINGTON - Sparked by recent comments from Sen. Bernie Sanders that he might run for president in 2016, the online activism group polled its U.S. members this month on whether Sanders should run. The response was an overwhelming “Yes.”

“Nearly 20,000 people responded to our survey, from every state in the nation,” said cofounder Jeff Cohen. “Though not a scientific sampling, it reflects Bernie Sanders’ huge popularity among progressives. And that there’s a ready-made base for him – or perhaps another progressive candidate – in a campaign that challenges the Democratic establishment and ostensible frontrunner Hillary Clinton.”

An independent organization endorsed by many widely-respected progressives (including Daniel Ellsberg, Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich, Jim Hightower, Glenn Greenwald and Naomi Klein), emailed a simple two-question survey to all of its members known to be U.S. residents, more than 300,000 people. Almost 20,000 responded. Here are the results:

Do you want Senator Bernie Sanders to run for president in 2016?

  • Yes:  15,450  81%
  • No:      1,803    9%
  • Not sure:  1,881 10%

Would you be more likely to support a Bernie presidential campaign if he were to run inside Democratic caucuses and primaries – or, if he ran as an independent candidate?

  • Inside Democratic caucuses/primaries:  8,179  45%
  • Outside as an independent:   4,430   24%
  • Not sure:   5,561   31%

Cohen commented: “While a spectrum of our country’s progressive base represented in our online membership is overwhelmingly supportive of a Sanders campaign, there’s less of a consensus on strategy – with those favoring an inside the Democratic caucuses and primaries approach about 2 to 1 over those wanting an outside approach.” is an activism, advocacy and lobbying organization that almost never supports candidates or electoral campaigns, as mentioned in its email that circulated the Sanders survey: “RootsAction rarely focuses on elections because, quite frankly, few politicians make us enthusiastic.” Read the full email here.



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Action for a Progressive Future (the organization that runs RootsAction) is a nonprofit, progressive, public policy advocacy group that will engage citizens in the democratic process and help make sure legislators hear their voices.

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