Sanders is the king of credibility in 2016

In the latest New York Times/CBS poll, the results show that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE (D) would defeat Republican front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE by 10 percentage points and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (Vt.) would defeat Trump by 15 points — numbers consistent other recent polling.

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Even more striking, the number of Democrats who consider Sanders honest and trustworthy was an astonishing 84 percent in that poll, almost 30 points higher than the same number for Clinton among Democrats and for Trump among Republicans.

Sanders is the king of credibility in the 2016 campaign because no matter how the question is posed, and no matter whether it is party members or all voters who are polled, Sanders leads all Democratic and all Republican candidate when it comes to honesty, trustworthiness or net favorable/unfavorable ratings.

Think about it: In an age of anti-establishment fervor, at a time when RealClearPolitics finds that Congress is held in disapproval by between 75 and 80 percent of voters, Sanders has achieved spectacularly positive numbers on matters of honesty, trust and favorability that are not matched by any Democrat or Republican running for president, or a Congress that is held in disrepute by more than three-fourths of the American people.

To the great degree that there is an anti-establishment fervor throughout the nation, we can view the relative strength of Sanders and Trump as a separate primary for primacy of the anti-establishment vote. In this primary, Sanders overwhelms Trump by landslide margins.

In the RealClearPolitics poll average, Sanders defeat Trump by a gigantic 17 points. In the last four polls on the RealClearPolitics list as of this morning, Sanders defeated Trump by margins of 15, 20, 18 and 15 points.

I would submit there are two reasons for the potentially epic landslide margins for Sanders over Trump. The first reason is that there is a progressive populist majority in America today, shown by the huge Sanders lead over Trump and the Sanders lead over every Republican candidate. In another RealClearPolitics polling average, for example, Sanders leads Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas) by 8 points.

The second reason for the potentially epic landslide margin for Sanders over Trump is that Sanders towers over Trump in favorable ratings and ratings for being honest and trustworthy. Sanders has an appeal among political independents that Trump cannot come close to matching, while Trump repels so many voters that even many Republicans will not support Trump in a general election.

All Democrats should understand and heed the lesson of the Sanders numbers for favorability ratings, honesty and trustworthiness.

There are some groups, such as the corporatist Democratic group Third Way, that want Democrats to be the party of Wall Street. Third Way, which was favorably quoted by Republican columnist Michael Gerson in Tuesday's Washington Post, is now attacking the very concept of the Sanders revolution and his populism. It is no coincidence that Third Way, which wants Clinton to move away from progressive populism, is quoted by a prominent Republican columnist.

What makes Sanders special, what drives his huge surge of small donors far in excess of anything achieved by any other candidate of either party, is that he champions a progressive populism with an integrity and clarity that makes him the king of credibility in the campaign with numbers for honesty and trustworthiness that are unmatched by any other candidate in either party.

In the most real and important sense, Sanders is truly the king of credibility in the 2016 campaign.

Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Chief Deputy Majority Whip Bill Alexander (D-Ark.). He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. Contact him at brentbbi@webtv.net.