Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Poll Shows Sanders in Landslide Over Both Trump and Bush


Bill Maher and Ann Coulter in June 2015 discussing the prospect of a Sanders presidency (from The Thom Hartmann Show)

by Gaius Publius

I put up the video above to show, again, that many including Ann Coulter think Sanders would be the more formidable Democratic candidate for president in the general election. The recent McClatchey-Marist poll seems to confirm Sanders' strength. From The Hill (my emphasis):
In new shock poll, Sanders has landslides over both Trump and Bush

By Brent Budowsky, columnist, The Hil

In a new McClatchy-Marist poll, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leads Republican candidate Donald Trump by a landslide margin of 12 percentage points, 53 to 41. In the McClatchy poll, Sanders also leads former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) by a landslide margin of 10 points, 51 to 41.

The huge Sanders advantage over Trump is not new. In the last four match-up polls between them reported by Real Clear Politics, Sanders defeated Trump by margins of 12, 9, 9 and 2 percentage points.

The huge Sanders advantage over Bush is new. In previous match-ups, the polling showed Sanders and Bush running virtually even, with Bush holding a 1-point lead over Sanders in most of the polls. Future polls will be needed to test whether the huge Sanders lead over Bush in the McClatchy poll will be repeated in future polling or whether the McClatchy poll is an outlier.
So Sanders leads Bush by 10 points and Trump by 12 points. In the rest of this poll (pdf; search on "Sanders"):
  • Sanders leads Marco Rubio by 3 points, 48%–45%. 
  • He leads Ted Cruz by 12 points, 51%–39%. 
  • He leads Carly Fiorina by 14 points, 53%–39%. 
  • He trails Ben Carson by 2 points, 45%–47%.
Though Budowsky doesn't mention it, the poll also has similar numbers for Hillary Clinton:
  • Clinton leads Jeb Bush by 8 points, 42%–44% (about the same as her other 2015 leads and down from her December 2014 13-point lead). 
  • She leads Donald Trump by 15 points, 56%–41% (about the same as her earlier leads).
  • She leads Marco Rubio by 5 points, 50%–45% (the same as her July 2015 lead and down from her April 2014 16-point lead).
  • She leads Ted Cruz by 10 points, 53%–43% (down from her March 2015 13-point lead). 
  • She leads Carly Fiorina by 10 points, 53%–43% (down from her July 2015 18-point lead)
  • She leads Ben Carson by 2 points, 50%–48% (down from her 10-point July 2015 lead).
McClatchey-Marist apparently has no earlier polling data on Sanders versus the Republicans, but the narrowing of Clinton's earlier leads in almost all head-to-head contests is concerning.

Sanders Is Fully Competitive in the General Election

The results of this poll, if it's not an outlier, are clear. Sanders is fully competitive in the general election. If I were betting on this race, I'd put Republican money on either Trump or Cruz, with a side bet on Rubio to hedge. In all three of those races — Sanders versus any of them, Clinton versus any of them — the results are similar. The Democrat wins by 10 points or more.

Here's the significance of this poll for Budowsky:
For today, there are two issues these polls present. First, the national reporting of the presidential campaign completely fails to reflect Sanders's strength in a general election, especially against Trump, and against Bush as well.

Second, and perhaps more important, Sanders's strength in general election polling gives credence to the argument I have been making in recent years, that American voters favor progressive populist positions which, if taken by Democrats in the general election, would lead to a progressive populist Democratic president and far greater Democratic strength in Congress.
I have to agree. First, the myth that Sanders is not electable, is just that — a media-fostered (and for obvious reasons, Clinton-supported) myth. The media, with its billionaire and corporate owners, would never want to see someone elected who would take apart the money-soaked, self-dealing Insider Game they're all complicit in running.

Second, while these polls probably factor in Bernie Sanders' greatest perceived weakness — that he's "too far left" to be elected — I don't think they touch what may be Clinton's Achilles Heel. You can see a reference to it in the Ann Coulter comment above:
(Bernie Sanders) cares about the American middle class, (the) working class. Hillary doesn't. She's like the elected Republican — she cares about the Chamber of Commerce.
I don't agree with that statement entirely. I think Clinton cares about the working class, especially the poor, and the Chamber of Commerce. Both.

Clinton has a second Achilles Heel as well, and it's not all her fault. I think for almost a decade the Republicans have amassed a steaming pile of totally irrelevant, god-awful crap, and they're just dying to unleash it against her in the general election. What the Republicans do, if they do do it (yes, you read the pun right), won't be her fault. But fault is not what matters. If your argument for a Democrat president is the Supreme Court, you want the most electable one, period.

Is Sanders the Most Electable Democrat?

Listen to Coulter again. For what it's worth, I've argued for a while that in the general election, Sanders keeps all of the Democratic base and attracts some Republicans. In contrast, Clinton loses some of the Democratic base and energizes Republican votes against her. Just on the odds, I'd put my money on Sanders.

(Blue America has endorsed Bernie Sanders in this race. If you like, you can help him here; adjust the split any way you wish at the link.)


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At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Sue said...

Misogyny is more powerful than antisemitism, and more widespread.

At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad Sanders loses to Clinton in a landslide in the primaries. But seriously, this is ridiculous. General election polling this far out is beyond meaningless (see Nate Silver's latest post). Sanders is the most unelectable nominee since Dukakis. Gallup did a poll a few months back and people are willing to elect a muslim, gay, or atheist before electing a socialist. Bernie has a ceiling to his appeal at about 30%. About the same as the teabagger nutjobs on the other side. To suggest otherwise is to admit you are as delusional as Ann Coulter for Christ's sake.


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