It all suggests a guy who is still very much using the Democratic Party when it’s convenient for him.
…That’s right: Sanders is going to run in the Democratic primary for no reason except to preclude anybody else from winning it — despite having no intention of running as a Democrat in the general election. Sanders basically wants to ensure he will face no Democratic opponent in November. A cynic might say the guy who complained about the rigging of the 2016 Democratic presidential primary is kinda, sorta rigging the 2018 Vermont Senate race for himself.
To be clear, Sanders has done this before. He ran unopposed in the 2012 Democratic primary, and in 2006, he took 94.3 percent of the vote against three unknown opponents. Each time, he passed on actually running as a Democrat.
…Sanders will still be running for and winning those Democratic primary votes fair and square, mind you, but he’ll be doing so for the purposes of manipulating the general election matchup.