Presidential Campaign

Blockbuster poll average: Sanders 54.7, Trump 37.2

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The most revealing poll number in American politics is the RealClearPolitics match-up numbers pitting Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) against Republican front-runner Donald Trump for the general election. In the RealClearPolitics polling number average, Sanders has 54.7 percent, with Trump at 37.2 percent, a landslide advantage for Sanders over Trump of 17.5 percentage points.

The actual results of all March polling posted on RealClearPolitics are:

  • Fox News: Sanders leads Trump by 14 points
  • Bloomberg: Sanders leads Trump by 24 points
  • Quinnipiac University: Sanders leads Trump by 14 points
  • CBS/The New York Times: Sanders leads Trump by 15 points
  • CNN/ORC: Sanders leads Trump by 20 points
  • NBC News/The Wall Street Journal: Sanders leads Trump by 18 points

Note that the lowest margin for the Sanders lead in polling for the month of March was a whopping 14 points. These margins in favor of Sanders over Trump, if voting in November were to track these margins at the presidential level, would probably return control of both the Senate and House to Democrats. That’s even with the current advantage of House Republicans, because the coattail effect of a Democratic victory of between 14 and 20 points in the presidential election would be gigantic.

{mosads}In a media environment where terms are often overstated and overused, these polling results are blockbuster numbers with blockbuster implications.

The humongous lead Sanders has over Trump surely gives very powerful evidence of the progressive populist surge of opinion among the American people and/or the enormous weakness of Trump with general election voters. In my column today in The Hill, “Trump the loser,” I discussed the devastating damage a Trump nomination would do to the GOP. I have often suggested that the great wave of progressive populist opinion will carry Democrats to victory in November if Democrats remain true to the cause.

Note how rarely the major media, in their obsessive coverage of Trump, gives anywhere near equal attention to the Sanders campaign and very rarely discuss the humongous lead that Sanders has over Trump in polling.

Perhaps the mainstream media should stop discussing Teflon Don and start emphasizing Teflon Bernie.

In a story that was well-reported in The Hill, Sanders charged that he was getting a bad deal from major corporate media in part because corporate media have a conflict of interest. Remember, it is the giant super-PACs, which Sanders does not employ or benefit from, that buy television advertising time in large numbers.

Whatever the reason, the result is clear: Trump is the overwhelming favorite of the media, given their endless coverage of him, while Sanders is the overwhelming favorite of voters in a potential campaign against Trump. What’s wrong with this picture?

Major media should give Sanders far more coverage than he is receiving today in comparison to Trump, and whenever Trump appears in interviews in the media, he should be asked why he believes Sanders would defeat him, according to polling, by huge margins.

There are hugely important lessons for Democrats at all levels in the powerful strength of Sanders in presidential campaign match-up polling. The most important lesson is that there is vast support for the unabashedly progressive platform that Sanders champions. This is powerful evidence for the proposition that the more Democrats champion the progressive agenda that Sanders favors, the better Democrats will perform in November in most areas of the nation.

The huge lead Bernie Sanders has against Donald Trump in these polls is blockbuster news indeed!

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

Tags 2016 presidential campaign Bernie Sanders Donald Trump poll Polling RealClearPolitics
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