These days it seems that just about everyone who’s anyone is running for president. Within the last week, three new Republican candidates have made official announcements, with even more to follow. Up until the general election, conservatives will focus on the Republican possibilities, yet it is also important to be up to date on who we’re up against in this election cycle. Hillary Clinton is favored to win, but on May 1, a new candidate entered the race and deserves our attention: Senator Bernie Sanders.

Clintion announced April 12, saying that she’d be “hitting the road to earn your vote- because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.” I suppose for those on the left who don’t feel like joining the Clinton caravan, there’s another option. Sen. Sanders (I-VT) is a proclaimed socialist (making the May Day announcement more poetic) who is ready to go toe to toe with other candidates. The talking point that’s been going around the last few days from Sanders appearance on George Stephanopolous’ show is that Sanders said “don’t underestimate me.” Peter Beinart at The Atlantic  said “that may be good advice.” Right now, Sanders is not a household name, unless you’re thinking of the Colonel. But Beinart goes on to explain:

By conventional standards, Sanders’ candidacy is absurd: He’s not well known, he doesn’t have big money donors, he’s not charismatic, and by Beltway standards, he’s ideologically extreme. But candidates with these liabilities have caught fire before.

All of Beinart’s examples of these types of candidates never got elected or even on the ticket, yet the all “gave authentic voice to the grievances of their time.” For a culture that’s crying out against the 1%, a socialist ideologue really is in the perfect position to do this. He said that “We need a political revolution in this country and I want to lead that effort.”

He went on to give credit to Clinton, saying that “I respect her and I like her, but…maybe it’s a time for a real political shake-up in this country.” It’s funny, that kind of rhetoric sounds an awful lot like those on the right- but where conservatives want the country to look like the America its founders had intended, Sanders would rather have America look like Norway or Sweden.

Nevertheless, he still needs to standout against Clinton, so as he tries to do that, he will tackle the trade deals to which he is opposed as well as inequality, tax avoidance by the rich and climate change. This will be easier for him to do, considering that he’s in a smaller pool of candidates and he’s currently in office, so he can have more of the spotlight.

Sanders is almost a week it,  and he’s doing well so far. According to Dan Riehl at Breitbart, he “raised $1.5 million on his first official day as a candidate, and that’s more than most, if not all, top-tier Republicans raised.” Clinton has neglected to report her first day fundraising reports, but she probably just deleted them anyway.

On top of financial support, Sanders has Senator Dick Durbin’s (D-IL) support.  This is noteworthy, as Durbin was the first senator to voice support for then Senator Barack Obama back in 2007. Now, he’s singing Sanders’ praises, saying “he’ll be an intellectual force that will cause all the candidates to reflect on our roots and that will be a good thing.” The Democratic party will have to take a good look in the mirror with Sanders in the field. This may be a good thing for those seeking to go against the Democrats in the election, since this smaller pool of candidates, including Clinton, will be subject to more media scrutiny. This is, of course, assuming that the candidates will appear for the press.

Republicans will be subjected to the normal amount of scrutiny from the media, which can be brutal. Given that it seems the entire party is running, their task will be differentiating from among themselves rather than going against “the enemy.” In turn, this may present a stronger candidate for the general election, to really take on the rampant liberalism that is wearing on the American government.

To look more into the field, check out Editor-in-Chief Zachary Freeman’s “2016 TCC Pre-Season Presidential Picks!”