DSA's endorsement process is outlined in a 15-page "Report from the Exploratory Committee for the 2020 Presidential Primary" submitted on Jan. 18, 2019.

Democratic Socialists of America

March 22nd, 2019
Contact: Lawrence Dreyfuss

Democratic Socialists of America Endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for President

New York, NY - March 22nd, 2019 - DSA’s National Political Committee (NPC) voted to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders for president at a special meeting on Thursday.

The endorsement vote is a culmination of a process that has unfolded in the 56,000-member organization over the last three months, from debates at the local chapter and regional level, to an advisory poll in which over 75% of eligible members voted to support an endorsement. The NPC is the DSA’s highest elected body between national conventions, and with its vote to endorse Thursday night, the DSA is officially moving forward with an independent campaign to elect Bernie Sanders and advance a class-struggle agenda.

Sanders is the only democratic socialist running for president in 2020, and the only socialist in American history with a serious chance of winning the presidency. Sanders’s platform — Green New Deal, Medicare for All, College for All, ending cash bail, strengthening unions, and a living wage — would transform American society by ending the worst forms of poverty and inequality while empowering workers to fight for even more.

“Bernie Sanders is part of an incredible revival of resistance to billionaires and their corporations,” said DSA National Director Maria Svart. “Democratic socialists are proud to join with Sanders, his millions of supporters, teachers and other workers on strike across the US, and students protesting climate change across the world in fighting for a society that puts people over profit. But even as we endorse Sanders, we know that no single president can do this alone: only by building a massive, multi-racial working-class movement for the long term can we fight back against the capitalist class. We just have to remember: we have the power if we stand together.”

As Sanders himself said at a rally in Iowa this month, the billionaires and corporations who control US politics “are so powerful, they have so much money, that no one person, not the best president in the world, can take them on alone. The only way we transform America is when millions of people together stand up and fight back.”

Since Sanders and his program are popular among a diverse base of millions of workers, his run for president offers unprecedented opportunities to build that movement. This week at the UCLA picket lines in California, Sanders made clear that his campaign will be helping to build the working-class movement in this country: “What we are seeing all across this country is a war being waged against the working people of America. And the time is long overdue for the American people to stand up, to say enough is enough.”


The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has over 56,000 members and 250 local groups (as of March 2019) building working class power while establishing an openly democratic socialist presence in United States’ communities and politics.

[ed. text of press release should read NEW YORK, NY - March 12, 2019 not May]
Democratic Socialists of America
March 12th, 2019
Contact: Lawrence Dreyfuss


NEW YORK, NY - May 12, 2019 - Members of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) have voted overwhelmingly in an advisory poll to endorse Bernie Sanders for president in 2020, a crucial step in the endorsement process for the 56,000 member organization.

The final results of the advisory poll, issued to members by DSA’s National Political Committee (NPC) on March 5th, were 76% Yes and 24% No. The poll received responses from 13,324 DSA members, representing 24% of eligible membership. According to the DSA’s National Electoral Committee, this is the greatest number of members to participate in a democratic decision in the history of DSA.

Since Bernie Sanders announced his 2020 campaign for president, the Democratic Socialists of America have undertaken a democratic process to determine whether or not to support Sanders. Before DSA can endorse Sanders, the NPC must vote. The NPC will be meeting the evening of Thursday, March 21st to consider the membership poll and vote on endorsement. The results of this meeting will be sent to membership via email promptly afterward.

DSA grew into the largest democratic socialist organization in the United States, with over 250 groups across all fifty states. After Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign, Trump’s 2016 victory, and the election of younger democratic socialist leaders to Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the question of whether or not to endorse Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign is a pressing one for democratic socialists. Capitalists control our lives and our society, impoverish our schools, and poison our climate. That is why DSA is committed to building a multiracial working-class movement that can take on billionaires and corporations, and transform our society into one that puts people over profit.

“DSA’s primary task today is to help build a movement of millions of workers and the oppressed to fight against the billionaire class and win” said NPC member Jeremy Gong. “When considering the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, we have to think about how a Sanders campaign and a Sanders presidency will be an opening for the growth of this movement from below. We know that it will take a mass movement of working people to transform our society.”

You can learn more about DSA’s 2020 presidential endorsement process here.

Sanders Endorsement Advisory Poll

As part of DSA’s Bernie 2020 endorsement debate process, we are currently conducting an advisory member poll. DSA’s elected leadership body, the National Political Committee (NPC) will consider the poll results as they make their decision on endorsement at their upcoming emergency endorsement meeting, to be held on or before March 21. You can read more about the endorsement debate process here.

This poll is open to all DSA members in good standing as of 2/20/2019 (the day after Sanders declared his candidacy) and members up to one years in arrears as of that date.

The online advisory poll was sent to members on Tuesday, 3/5/2019. It will be open for exactly one week, until 3/12 at noon Eastern time. Members received the poll link and their personal participation code by email on 3/5. Members who do not have a working email address were sent their code by mail. If you have any questions about the vote itself, please contact bernievote@dsausa.org.

Feb. 2019
After Sanders announced on Feb. 19, 2019, the DSA posted this on its website:

Now, we have an important decision to make as an organization about how DSA will relate to the Sanders campaign.

Sanders is the first socialist politician with a mass base in the United States since Eugene Debs, and the first ever to have a serious chance at winning the presidency. According to most polls, he is the most popular politician in the country. And if nominated, he would face off against a cartoonish, racist, and profoundly dangerous billionaire. The 2020 presidential campaign thus presents a unique opportunity for socialists to advance working class power and win important reforms to further strengthen that power. What should we do?

The endorsement process adopted by the National Political Committee (NPC) allows for widespread member participation and discussion while allowing us to decide quickly. Here are the next steps:

  • Within two weeks, the NPC will send an online advisory poll to all members asking you whether you support DSA endorsing Sanders for president.
  • Once the advisory poll is sent out, members will have one week to complete the poll.
  • The NPC is scheduling an emergency NPC meeting to take place on or before March 21, 2019, after the completion of the advisory poll, to debate a motion to endorse Bernie Sanders.
  • With the poll results, the NPC will debate a motion to endorse Sanders at the emergency meeting.
Many chapters have already begun debating and passing resolutions calling for an endorsement, including Greater Detroit, Hudson Valley NY, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Louisville, Seattle, and East Bay. Students at the national conference of the Young Democratic Socialists of America this past weekend were excited at the prospect of a Sanders run, and we held a debate at the Los Angeles preconvention conference the weekend before that.

We want all chapters to debate this question as much as possible over the coming weeks. That’s why we put together this guide to holding productive debates in your chapters.

The Exploratory Committee document and process outline adopted by the NPC argues that DSA could play an important role in supporting Sanders — both by helping Sanders win the Democratic Party primary and go on to defeat Trump in the general election, and by growing DSA as a serious, independent, socialist pole in the broader Sanders movement. The Committee also found that in order to play this role, DSA must get involved in Sanders work as early as possible.

The Exploratory Committee recommended that DSA should only consider endorsing Bernie Sanders for president. The NPC accepted their recommendation. Both bodies felt that Bernie is the only viable candidate who would give DSA the opportunity to talk to millions of people about our politics and deepen the struggle against CEOs, billionaires, and giant corporations.