"Bernie Sanders is not as extreme on the left as Ted Cruz is on the right, but you probably think Cruz could make a serious run."
I most assuredly do not. I expect he has about as much a chance as sanders.
"There's no reason a socialist couldn't be a legitimate candidate in a Democratic presidential primary. We don't freak out about the word the way the hysterics on the right do."
If by "legitimate" you mean "serious," you may THINK he'd have a chance to be elected but polls don't back it up. You should see the polls in this article:
"Young people don't know what socialism is.
Recent polls have suggested that millennials are far more positive to socialism than older cohorts. For instance, the Pew Research Center found that 43 percent of 18-29 year olds had a positive reaction to the word socialism, compared to 33 percent of 30-49 year olds, 23 percent of 50-64 year olds, and 14% of 65+. The older you get the more you hate socialism.
But do young people even know what socialism means?
Perhaps not. A new Reason-Rupe report on millennials finds that young people are more favorable to the word "socialism" than a government-managed economy, even though the latter is less interventionist. Millennials don't like government intervention in the economy when you spell it out precisely, rather than use vague terms like "socialism."