(JTA) — Readers of Time magazine chose Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as Person of the Year, according to a poll by the magazine.
Sanders, a Vermont senator who is Jewish, self-identifies as a Democratic socialist and is challenging former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Sanders’ polling numbers have exceeded expectations, but he still trails Clinton by a wide margin.
Sanders easily outpaced his rivals in the Time survey, receiving more than 10 percent of the vote, with the runner-up, Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, at 5.2 percent. President Barack Obama, Pope Francis and talk-show host Stephen Colbert rounded out the top five vote-getters. Francis won the honor in 2013.
A presidential candidate has never earned the distinction prior to winning the election. In the poll, Clinton and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump each received less than 2 percent of the vote. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received 1 percent.
Time will reveal its Person of the Year on Wednesday.