Sanders has emerged to challenge Hillary Clinton, once assumed to be the only viable candidate from the Democratic Party, said Anderson, the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, who ran as a third-party candidate for president in 2012.
In an interview with Radio Sputnik's "Loud & Clear," Anderson said the recent surge of Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist who at the outset of his campaign was dismissed by pundits as a fringe candidate, is encouraging for the Democratic Party.
Just a few months ago, Sanders trailed Clinton by some 40% in Iowa. The Vermont Senator was able to close that gap, finishing just behind Clinton in last week in the state's caucus, 49.8% to 49.6%.
— Philip Klein (@philipaklein) February 8, 2016
On the other hand, Anderson said, the popularity of Trump, a "rude misogynist bigot," has damaged the GOP.
Trump finished second to Senator Ted Cruz in Iowa, but garnered the second-most votes in the history of the state's caucus.
"Young people are just appalled that this buffoon, this bragger, this rude misogynist bigot in Donald Trump could even be taken seriously, let alone be one of the leading if not the leading candidate in national polls," Anderson said.
On the eve of Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, Trump has a significant lead in polls of Republican voters. Meanwhile, Sanders has a sizeable lead over Clinton in the Democratic race.
"Nobody would've dreamt a year or two ago that this could ever happen in the United States of America," Anderson said of the popularity of Sanders and Trump. "Some of it is very upsetting; some of it is very heartening and encouraging."