New DNC rule would exclude candidates like Sanders — but likely not Sanders himself

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
(Image credit: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Friday adopted a new rule that would exclude candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the runner-up of the party's 2016 presidential primary race. The rule says candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination must themselves be registered Democrats and must "run and serve" as Democrats. Sanders campaigned for the Democratic nod but is an independent.

Sources familiar with the rule change process told Yahoo News it was not intended to target Sanders personally, and that if he wishes to run in 2020, he can simply list himself as a Democrat to get on the ballot. Because Sanders runs for, but does not accept, the Democratic nomination for his Senate seat, the Democratic Party of Vermont considers him a de facto member. Other outsider candidates might have a more difficult time establishing their Democratic credentials.

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