In case you were wondering what made Bernie Sanders decide to run, here's a story addressing that very question from Vermont's NPR station:
For the past few months, Sanders has been traveling around the country promoting his economic message. He says he decided to run when he determined that there was enough support for his issues.
"I do perceive that there is the support on the part of millions of working families who want to fight back and make sure that their kids can have the quality of life which they deserve," he says.
Sanders says he also had to be certain that he could raise between $30 and $40 million in the next eight months in order to wage a meaningful campaign.
"Can I take these guys on? Can we raise enough money to run a credible and winning campaign? And I've concluded that there is enough support out there from the middle class of this country,” Sanders says. “We're not going to outspend these other guys --they will outspend me five to one --but we can raise some money that we need to run a credible and winning campaign."
Sanders is the longest serving Independent member of Congress although he caucuses with the Senate Democrats. He says entering the Democratic primary made a lot more sense than running as an Independent candidate.
"So it's not a totally foreign concept for me,” he says. “But I think I'm comfortable with the path that I've chosen and I think that it will be allow me to get the message out most effectively to engage in debates and I think it's the right course of action."
Sanders says he's not running just to bring attention to his core economic issues; he says he's running to win.
"My path has been unusual,” he notes. “An underdog my whole political life and nothing new about that so, yeah, do I think we can win this thing? Yes, I do."