The 2016 election has been a strange and surprising one, and the rise of two highly publicized candidates symbolize this unexpectedness: Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Few experts would have predicted that a reality TV star and an avowed democratic socialist would inspire strong bases of support in a U.S. presidential election.
The two candidates are not mirror-images in most ways. Donald Trump is currently leading in national polls over his Republican rivals, while Sanders is trailing Clinton. Sanders has been a senator for a decade, while Trump has never held any political office. Trump’s fame and extreme personality make it practically unfair to compare him to any other human being. But both candidates share a narrative of serving as a potential spoiler to their respective party establishments, and pundits are frequently nonplussed by the success of each.