Indeed, Sanders has run as independent in every previous election he’s won, and has generally not been a presence at Democratic party events. That said, he generally caucuses with Senate Democrats. He was not, however, required to officially change parties upon declaring his candidacy for president, as his home state of Vermont does not register voters with any particular party.

The website for Sanders’s presidential campaign unequivocally (and understandably) describes him as a “Democratic candidate.” But as recently as July 15, his Senate staff published a press release identifying him as “[Senator] Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).”

Still, as evidenced by the words he delivered last night, Sanders intends to keep the party intact. “Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency—and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.” But it remains to be seen just how much he can continue to revolutionize the Democratic party when he goes back to no longer being a party to it.

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