The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the labor-oriented, social democratic political organization, is backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in his 2020 run for president. The DSA’s National Political Committee leadership team announced its support for Sanders late Thursday.
“We’re building a mass movement to take on the billionaires and win a society that puts people over profit,” DSA tweeted.
During his 2016 primary campaign, Sanders declared himself a democratic socialist and said it is “imperative” to “create a government that works for all and not just the few.” He added that the U.S. government should not “own the means of production.”
The DSA has seen a surge in membership since then, from 6,100 members to 56,000 members today. The organization endorsed Sanders in 2016 and more recently backed Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib in their runs for Congress in the 2018 midterms.
In a press release, DSA called Sanders “the only socialist in American history with a serious chance of winning the presidency.”
“Bernie Sanders is part of an incredible revival of resistance to billionaires and their corporations,” said DSA National Director Maria Svart, who added that Sanders will need the support of a long-term “massive, multi-racial working-class movement.”
The Vermont Senator raised $5.9 million from more than 223,000 donors in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential bid on Feb. 19. Sanders has put forth a progressive campaign platform, supportive of Medicare for All, a $15 federal minimum wage, and has endorsed a version of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal.
Jeremy Gong, a member of the DSA’s National Political Committee told The Guardian that Sanders is the candidate with the best chance of defeating President Trump in 2020.
“Specifically because he has a working-class political agenda, as opposed to an elite, or moderate, or corporate-friendly agenda that is not exciting to anyone electorally — except a very small number of either Democratic party diehards or upper middle class or wealthy people,” said Gong.