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Please begin with an informative title:

VT U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders is not a member of the Democratic Party.  He is an Independent and when he runs for election in Vermont, he runs not on the Democratic Party ballot but as an Independent (against the nominees of the Republican and Democratic parties - though the Democrats typically do not run a nominee against Independent Sen Sanders).

That being the case - that Sen Sanders is NOT a member of the Democratic Party - is he ineligible for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination?  Is he ineligible for some or many Democratic party state primaries and conventions that will select the delegates and nominee for the 2016 Pres nomination?  [I think he is prohibited from running for the Dem nomination in Pennsylvania for example - he could not be on the Dem ballot, which is a closed primary limited to Democrats only.]

So ... is Sen Sanders planning to run as a third party Independent for President in 2016 - against the Dem nominee (for example, Hillary Clinton) and the Republican nominee (say Sen. Paul or Sen Cruz) in a three -way contest, splitting the normally Democratic voter base and handing the White House to a President Paul or Cruz?

Is he planning to formally become a member of the Democratic Party and abandon his life-long status as an Independent (not a Democrat)?

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