Readers of Time have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind Bernie Sanders to be named Person of the Year.
In a poll of Time readers conducted over several weeks, more than 10 per cent of respondents said that presidential candidate Bernie Sanders should be named Person of the Year, well ahead of any other presidential hopeful.
Trailing sanders in the poll were Malala Yousafzai, who just over 5 per cent of readers supported for the award, and Pope Francis, who finished third with 3.7 per cent of support.
Other presidential candidates were far behind the independent Senator from Vermont. His rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton, saw just 1.4 per cent of respondents showing their support. Sanders also placed far ahead of President Obama.
However, the readers’ poll does not decide who Time will name Person of the Year. The magazine’s editors will make that decision based on who has influenced the news the most this year. The choice will be revealed on Wednesday morning.
Sanders has been a unique voice in the presidential race, predominantly attracting the support of students and young people across the United States. His progressive agenda, which includes free college tuition, single-payer healthcare and campaign finance reform has been popular among younger voters.
He has also attracted support from unlikely places, including the Republican Party. His vision is resonating with millions across the United States. Voters have also fallen in love with his progressive record in congress, his consistent policy positions, and his unorthodox campaign style, which excludes negativity and personal attacks.
Countless celebrities and influencers have also backed Sanders’ presidential bid, including the co-founder of Apple Computer, Steve Wozniak and artists such as Neil Young. Other powerful names in Sanders’ corner include Wil Wheaton, Mark Ruffalo and Danny DeVito.
Nevertheless, Sanders has his work cut out for him, currently trailing Hillary Clinton nationally for the Democratic nomination. His competitiveness in early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire, however, have cast a shadow of doubt over Clinton’s chances of winning the nomination.
While campaigning, Sanders continues to represent his state of Vermont in the Senate.