Sanders is the king of credibility in 2016

In the latest New York Times/CBS poll, the results show that Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSessions says he doesn't regret recusing himself from Russia probe Judiciary Committee Republicans want a second special counsel: report Fusion GPS: White House trying to smear us on Russia MORE (D) would defeat Republican front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSanders: Scaramucci let his passion get the best of him OPINION | Michael Steele: Yes, GOP will own ObamaCare failure Overnight Finance: House passes spending bill with border wall funds | Ryan drops border tax idea | Russia sanctions bill goes to Trump's desk | Dems grill bank regulator picks MORE by 10 percentage points and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: Senate healthcare fight 'totally bananas' Overnight Defense: Military won't lift transgender ban until Trump sends directions | House passes national security spending | Russian sanctions bill heads to Trump Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate sends Russia sanctions bill to Trump | Senators unveil email privacy bill | Russia tried to spy on Macron with Facebook 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 CruzTed CruzFour GOP senators threaten to block ‘skinny’ repeal Trump sounds like Pete Wilson — and that scares Calif. GOP Bare-bones repeal plan gains steam in Senate 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.