Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats face critical 72 hours Overnight Health Care — Presented by Altria — Manchin nixes Medicare expansion Manchin shutting down Sanders on Medicare expansion MORE (I-Vt.) is reportedly set to announce his second presidential campaign.
Yahoo News reported Friday night, citing two people with direct knowledge of his plans, that Sanders will make his announcement "imminently."
Sanders senior adviser Josh Orton pushed back on Twitter, writing that "no decision is imminent," adding, "Enjoy your weekend."
No decision is imminent. Enjoy your weekend. https://t.co/v3tMRxztsP— Josh Orton (@joshorton) January 25, 2019
"I haven't heard anything, and I get mixed signals from the insiders I talk with," a source familiar with the talks told The Hill. "But he has basically been doing everything he needs to do to prepare, so at this point I expect he probably will."
One of the sources cited by Yahoo News said Sanders has been encouraged by multiple national polls showing him near the top of a crowded pack of possible Democratic candidates.
Sanders has widely been viewed a possible top-tier candidate in 2020 after challenging Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE for the Democratic nomination in 2016.
Recent polling figures have suggested he could expect higher popularity among African-American and Hispanic voters in 2020 compared to 2016. He also has reportedly been heartened by polling that showed him as the most popular politician in the country.
“What the senator has this time that he didn’t have last time is he is the most popular elected official in the country right now,” one source told Yahoo News. “That’s light years away from 2016 when very few people knew who he was.”
A third source told Yahoo News that Sanders would announce a presidential exploratory committee.
“He’s already talking to staff and there are people he’s hiring. They’re nailing down contracts with vendors … all the movement is there for him to run,” a former Sanders staffer told Yahoo News.
Sanders burst onto the presidential scene in 2016 with a progressive campaign that proved more competitive than election prognosticators expected. Though he ultimately failed to get the Democratic Party’s nomination, he succeeded in electrifying the party’s progressive wing and pushing the party further to the left.
Sanders is likely to enter a primary field that could see as many as 30 candidates run in 2020, including a number of senators and former government officials from diverse backgrounds.
Updated: 10:50 p.m.