Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, on September 9, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who said in November he might attempt a 2016 presidential bid, has given himself until March to decide if he’ll throw his hat in the ring.

Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats and identifies as a socialist, told the AP he’d make a “gut decision” about whether or not to run—and whether to run on an independent or Democratic ticket.

Sanders, 73, is the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants who grew up in Brooklyn in a lower-middle-class home. “A lack of money in my family was a very significant aspect of my growing up,” Sanders told the AP, “kids in my class would have new jackets, new coats, and I would get hand-me-downs.”

Addressing income inequality and restoring the middle class, he added, would be a major part of his presidential campaign. Sanders has long been vocal about such issues, and the current spotlight on those very economic troubles could prove his campaign to be more than a lark from (way) left-field.

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