After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) handily beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, it's worth taking a look at how unlikely the media considered his bid less than a year ago.
When he announced his campaign on April 29, the general consensus was that Sanders was a long shot who would drive Clinton to the left during the campaign. Those who put forth this consensus included The Huffington Post, which covered Sanders' announcement by writing that "Sanders isn't expected to mount a serious challenge to Clinton, but he does have an important opportunity to shape the debate in months to come."
The New York Times similarly suggested Sanders would play a role in shaping the conversation of the campaign, but noted the Vermont independent faced a steep challenge.
"Mr. Sanders’s bid is considered a long shot, but his unflinching commitment to stances popular with the left -- such as opposing foreign military interventions and reining in big banks -- could force Mrs. Clinton to address these issues more deeply," the Times wrote while covering Sanders' initial announcement. The Associated Press also noted that Sanders will "start his campaign as a distinct underdog against Clinton, who remains the dominant front-runner."
Since then, Sanders has received over 3 million campaign contributions.
CNN initially questioned Sanders' viability because he was not a registered Democrat.
"Sanders caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate but is an unlikely candidate for the Democratic nomination, primarily because he has never been a registered member of the party and calls himself a 'democratic socialist,'" said a story on CNN.com. But a June Gallup poll released two months after Sanders announced his candidacy found that 47 percent of voters would consider voting for a socialist for president.
Politico wrote off Sanders' candidacy almost immediately, publishing an item in Politico Caucus the day after Sanders announced his campaign under the headline "Dems to Bernie: Fat Chance." The item quoted "the most important activists, operatives and elected officials in Iowa and New Hampshire," and 93 percent of those on the Democratic side said Sanders would not win their state.
In addition to winning New Hampshire, Sanders finished just behind Clinton in the Iowa caucuses.