To fully understand the huge public appeal of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersManchin suggests pausing talks on .5 trillion package until 2022: report Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Sanders calls deadly Afghan drone strike 'unacceptable' MORE (I-Vt.) and the catastrophic unpopularity of TrumpCare, let's first consider some polling and then the truth that Sanders and other Democrats have exposed against "TrumpCare."
In the latest example of Sanders's soaring popularity, a recent poll from Fox News found that Sanders remains by far the most popular political leader in America. Sanders's favorable rating is 61 percent, while his unfavorable rating is only 32 percent; compare that to Trump, whose favorable rating is 44 percent while his unfavorable rating is 53 percent.
Several other polls have shown Trump's numbers to be even worse, with his unfavorable ratings rising above 55 percent at times.
The huge popularity of Sanders in the Fox poll tracks virtually all other polling that shows Sanders to be, by a large margin, the most popular political leader in America, and far ahead of Trump, the most unpopular new president in the history of presidential polling.
Meanwhile, a shocking new poll from Quinnipiac University found American voters opposing the pending Republican healthcare bill by a three to one margin. Fifty-six percent of voters disapprove of TrumpCare (or "RyanCare," or whatever name is attached to the disastrous GOP bill), while only 17 percent support it.
Simply put, TrumpCare's unpopularity creates a grave danger of disaster for Republicans in 2018 and 2020.
The consistently high ratings for Sanders, and the consistently low ratings for Trump, show that the real majority in America is the genuinely progressive and genuinely populist view of Sanders, not the phony populism or warped conservatism represented by Trump.
Based on the historical pattern of midterm election voting, if the midterm election were held today with the president's unpopularity so high, the result would be a landslide victory for Democrats.
If Sanders were running against Trump for president today, he would win by a gigantic popular vote margin and a strong electoral vote margin.
Sanders (correctly) charges that TrumpCare is not really a healthcare bill, but is a massive tax cut for the wealthy and an aggressive attack on the economic interests of all other Americans.
The more voters learn about what ObamaCare actually does for them, and learn about how much TrumpCare would actually harm them, the more they approve of ObamaCare and disapprove of TrumpCare.
While the progressive vision of Sanders points the way forward for Democrats in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential election, TrumpCare's reactionary class war against the poor and middle class would, if continued by the GOP, lead to electoral disaster for the party that has thrown the principles of Abraham Lincoln under the bus.
It is astounding that a healthcare proposal offered by the party that controls the presidency, the House and the Senate could be so widely disliked by so many voters.
Americans don't want a healthcare disaster that would lead to net lower taxes and far higher benefits for the wealthy; that lowers the number of insured by 24 million; or that ends ObamaCare's benefits to the middle class and the poor.
The ill-fated negotiations over TrumpCare that involve Republicans moving between the White House and the Speaker's office are little more than talks between the hard right, the far right and the extreme right.
To dramatize how far Republicans have moved from mainstream America, in the Fox News poll noted above, approval of Planned Parenthood stands at a towering 57 percent — compare that to the House Freedom Caucus and its paltry 19 percent approval rating.
The congressional Republican establishment and the House Freedom Caucus are united in their attacks against Planned Parenthood all the while House conservatives actually want to end ObamaCare requirements that maternal healthcare and other essential services should be covered by insurance.
Politically, can you imagine if the Freedom Caucus prevails and insurers send letters to mothers across the nation informing them that, because of TrumpCare, their maternal healthcare is no longer covered?
What have mothers done to the House Freedom Caucus to deserve that?
Add it all up and we have the most popular politician in America, Sen. Bernie Sanders, battling the House Freedom Caucus's cruel proposals and the Gilded Age-style TrumpCare plan that is a windfall for the wealthy and widely rejected by the American people.
Brent 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. He is a longtime regular columnist for The Hill and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views of contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.