In shock poll, Sanders leads Trump in Georgia
© Greg Nash

A Democratic friend called to make sure I saw the great news that likely Democratic Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP warns Graham letter to Pelosi on impeachment could 'backfire' Hillary Clinton praises former administration officials who testified before House as 'gutsy women' Third-quarter fundraising sets Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg apart MORE had pulled to within 4 percentage points of presumptive Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP congressman slams Trump over report that U.S. bombed former anti-ISIS coalition headquarters US to restore 'targeted assistance' to Central American countries after migration deal Trump says lawmakers should censure Schiff MORE in Georgia, according to a poll from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. My friend was right. That poll did show Trump with 45 percent and Clinton with 41 percent. It is good news that Clinton could be poised to make a bid to win Georgia's electoral votes.


And then, looking deeper at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll, I saw something even more interesting — indeed fascinating and shocking. The poll found Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by National Taxpayers Union — House Dems change drug pricing bill to address progressive concerns | Top Republican rejects Dem proposal on surprise medical bills | Vaping group launches Fox News ad blitz Democrats have reason to worry after the last presidential debate Krystal Ball on Sanders debate performance: 'He absolutely hit it out of the park' MORE (Vt.) defeating Trump outright, with Sanders getting 47 percent and Trump lagging behind with only 42 percent! According to this new and highly reputable poll, Sanders could well be the favorite to win Georgia's electoral votes in a Trump vs. Sanders race, until another poll provides different results, which may or may not happen.

There are two key points behind this shocking Georgia poll. The first is that in this poll of Georgians, Sanders runs 9 points stronger than Clinton in a match-up against Trump, a pattern that has been repeated in many other states. The second key point is that Sanders runs far stronger than Trump in general election match-up polling nationally, almost always beating Trump by landslide double-digit margins.

All Democrats and serious political commentators should give far more attention and focus to why almost all polling suggests that Sanders would defeat Trump by landslide margins (and also have defeated the other Republican candidates formerly running, almost all by powerfully large margins).

One reason Sanders runs stronger than Clinton against Republicans, and far stronger than Republican opponents in match-up polling, is that he is seen as more authentic, honorable, and sincere than any GOP opponent.

Can anyone imagine Sanders posing as a publicist to praise himself to the media?

It is almost laughable watching Republicans parade to television cameras to announce they will support "the nominee." They seem as afraid to mention Trump's name as Dracula was of a crucifix!

Regarding inauthenticity, possibly never before in the history of presidential politics have so many members of one party refused to publicly tell the truth about what they believe about their candidate. Many Republicans who privately believe that Trump will be a disaster to the GOP use ludicrous weasel words in public to describe the candidacy of the man they refer to as "whoever is the nominee."

The second and equally important reason is that Sanders stands for a progressive populist agenda that is popular with the American people. It more popular than Republican versions of trickle-down economics. It is more popular than the carefully calculated positions of Clinton if the purpose is to defeat Trump in the general election. The Sanders view of the world is more popular than the Trump vision, whatever one calls it, even as Trump's views on major issues have begun to change faster than a rabbit in passion.

The lesson for Clinton in these numbers is that she must work overtime to convince voters than she is sincerely committed to Sanders's positions in favor of income equality, affordable education and healthcare, and a progressive agenda in general.

For today, every commentator worth his or her salt should think about and discuss why the Sanders revolution has so much appeal to voters in Georgia that a highly respected poll finds he would carry Georgia in November.

There is a tidal wave of opinion in the land in favor of sweeping change, in favor of greater economic justice and equality, in favor of a society that is decent and honest and gives all Americans truly equal rights.

It is indeed shocking that a case can now be made that the people of Georgia are ready to join the Sanders revolution in November if they are given the chance.

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