He beat Malala, the pope, and even his biggest competition for the Democratic nomination. Voting for Time magazine's annual Person of the Year award ended Sunday at midnight, and Bernie Sanders emerged as the victor with 10.2% of reader votes, pulling off what the Daily Dot observes is a historic feat: He's the first presidential candidate to win the most votes before being elected to the nation's top spot; only three actual US presidents— FDR, Reagan, and Obama—have ever claimed that same honor. Teenage Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai came in second with 5.2%, while Pope Francis took third with 3.7%. Hillary Clinton, Sanders' main competitor in the POTUS race, lagged behind in the No. 29 spot, behind Adele, Donald Trump, and American Pharoah. But it's not like we'll be seeing Bernie on the cover: Time editors still have final say on who makes the short list, and Sanders wasn't included on the eight-person roster announced Monday on the Today show.
Instead, finalists were: ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi; Black Lives Matter activists; Caitlyn Jenner; Uber CEO Travis Kalanick; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Vladimir Putin; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani; and Donald Trump, who only got 1.8% of the popular vote in the poll. As the Daily Dot explains, the finalists aren't chosen for their popularity, but for how much they've influenced that year's news, "for better or worse." Brent Budowsky writes for the Observer that "Bernie Sanders got a raw deal from Time," advising the Vermont senator's supporters, "Don't get mad, get even" and instructing them to bombard Sanders' campaign with a flood of small donations. The winner of Time's Person of the Year award will be announced Wednesday morning on the Today show.