Sanders to launch presidential bid
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill's Campaign Report: LIVE: Trump from Gettysburg | The many unknowns of 2020 | Omar among those facing primary challenges Trump's personality is as much a problem as his performance Sierra Club endorses Biden for president  MORE (I-Vt.) will officially launch a bid for the White House on Thursday.

A Democratic source close to the senator confirmed to The Hill that Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination in a statement later this week, before heading back to his home state for a campaign kick-off event early next month. 

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Sanders will be the first Democrat to formally challenge Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick Ron Johnson subpoenas documents from FBI director as part of Russia origins probe Juan Williams: Older voters won't forgive Trump for COVID MORE for the Democratic nomination, but he faces long odds. 

The former secretary of State has a huge lead over the field of potential Democratic contenders, taking 62 percent support in the latest Fox News poll released last week.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Health Care: Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for coronavirus over two weeks last month | Democrats deny outreach to Trump since talks collapsed | California public health chief quits suddenly On The Money: Administration defends Trump executive orders | CBO reports skyrocketing deficit | Government pauses Kodak loan pending review Harris favored as Biden edges closer to VP pick MORE (D-Mass.), who insists that she’s not running for president, came in second at 12 percent, followed by Vice President Biden at 9 percent and Sanders at 4 percent.

Still, many Democrats will be happy to see Clinton get at least a token challenger. They believe it could keep Clinton sharp as she prepares for the general election, and Sanders is a liberal favorite who will challenge her on policy issues from the left.

Vermont Public Radio first reported his decision. 

—This post was updated at 5:15 p.m.