Bernie Sanders says he’s a millionaire and, to support the claim, plans to release his tax returns on Monday. He’s planning a “tax day” release on April 15th. This also marks the day Sanders plans to hold his town hall on Fox News. While many of Fox News’ pundits have been highly critical of Sanders, the senator likely sees it as an opportunity to reach out to conservative voters.
So where does Sanders’ millions come from? The senator claims that his best-selling book “Where We Go From Here” has blessed him with newfound wealth. While Sanders may be a millionaire, he remains among the least wealthy members of the Senate. His 2017 disclosure forms showed $1.06 million in income, mostly due to book royalties. Many other members of the Senate, however, come in after establishing their wealth.
Sanders has long identified as a Democratic Socialist and has advocated for increased taxes on the wealthy, companies, and some financial transactions. It’ll be interesting to see if Sanders’ millionaire status alienates his base. Either way, expect Sanders to continue to put his money where his mouth is and to continue to call for tax increases.
Sanders is one of the frontrunners for the Democratic primary. While Sanders runs for office in Vermont as an independent, he caucuses with Democrats. Real Clear Politics suggests that he is trailing only Biden by just a few points. Through March, Sanders was polling at 24.5 percent to Biden’s 26 percent.
Sanders struggled to drum up the minority vote in 2016, when he challenged Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. However, recent indicators suggest that his support is rising among Latino and black voters. Such support could be enough to get him over the hump come the 2020 primaries.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has yet to declare whether he will run for president. While Biden enjoys the strongest support among any single candidate, the Democratic electorate has become increasingly progressive since 2016. If progressives throw their weight behind a single candidate, Biden might struggle.