Senator and presidential hopeful, Bernie Sanders, has won the Time reader poll for the most influential person of 2015, beating out the democratic front-runner and other world leaders, but has been left off the magazine’s short list for contenders.
With polling ending Sunday at midnight, on Monday it was announced that Sanders won with over 10% of the vote — nearly double the amount of the second runner up, Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, who had 5.2% of the vote. Third runner up with 3.7% was Pope Francis, who took the title in 2013. Shockingly however, he was not listed on the magazine’s short list to win.
The eight contenders the magazine chose include Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi — the leader of ISIL, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump. Sanders was inexplicably left off of the list.
President Obama came in 4th place, with 3.5% of the vote, while other world leaders finished far behind Sanders, such as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with 2.9%, German Chancellor Angela Merkel 2.4%, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with 2.2% each, and Russian President Vladimir Putin with 2.1%.
Sanders’ rival for the democratic nomination and current front-runner, Hillary Clinton, only received 1.4% of the vote, shockingly coming in even behind hate-monger Donald Trump. The GOP front-runner received 1.8% of this year’s reader votes.
While Sanders may still be behind Clinton in the polls, he has been drawing awe-inspiring crowds to his campaign stops and shattered records for the number of people donating to his run. Snubbing Super PAC’s, his campaign has been financed by everyday Americans, averaging around $30 donations.
His message of equality, single-payer healthcare, women’s rights, police reform and tuition-free public universities has clearly energized a very determined portion of the electorate, particularly women and younger voters. The democratic socialist has even bested Clinton in number of female donors.
“A lot of people have given up on the political process, and I want to get them involved in it,” Sanders told TIME in a September cover story. “In this fight we are going to take on the greed of the billionaire class. And they are very, very powerful, and they’re going to fight back furiously. The only way to succeed is when millions of people stand up and decide to engage.”
While the people have clearly spoken on who they believe deserves the title for 2015, ultimately the decision will be made by the magazine’s editorial staff. Never before have they named a presidential candidate their person of the year prior to the end of their campaign, though the magazine has decided that Donald Trump deserves to remain in the running.
Beyond being a presidential candidate, Sanders has been fighting for equality for all for five decades, and has accomplished much along the way. His unwavering passion is clearly inspiring many. He sticks to discussing important topics that people care about and refuses to get sidetracked by scandals or mudslinging. From Black Lives Matter to Planned Parenthood, Sanders is unafraid to take a strong and passionate stance on issues that other politicians tend to tiptoe around, and the people have noticed.
In 2014, the magazine awarded the honor to the “Ebola fighters.”
This year’s winner will be announced on Wednesday on NBC’s Today show, but many argue that their ignoring the vote of the people leaves the award rendered meaningless.
Featured image via Cassandra Fairbanks/Bipartisan Report