Anti-Trump conservative says nominating Bernie Sanders would ‘guarantee’ Trump reelection

Conservative Charlie Sykes argued Thursday that left-leaning Democratic candidates like Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel Biden wins Hawaii primary Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden MORE (I-Vt.) would almost “guarantee” another victory for President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE in the 2020 election.

“There are candidates that if they nominate, I think would almost guarantee Donald Trump’s re-election,” Sykes, the editor-in-chief of conservative magazine The Bulwark, told Hill.TV’s Buck Sexton and Jamal Simmons about the emerging Democratic candidates for the presidential race.

“I think if they nominate Bernie Sanders, you’re going to see another four years of Donald Trump,” he added.

The Democratic primary race is already shaping up to be a crowded field.

Sanders, along with former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Americans debate life under COVID-19 risks Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE, is one of the many candidates likely to run for the party’s nomination. So far, nine Democrats, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Coal company sues EPA over power plant pollution regulation | Automakers fight effort to freeze fuel efficiency standards | EPA watchdog may probe agency's response to California water issues MORE (Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenPentagon charts its own course on COVID-19, risking Trump's ire Warren to host high-dollar fundraiser for Biden It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (Mass.) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, have officially announced their presidential bids.

Sykes, who has long advocated against Trump, said Republicans on the other hand don’t have nearly as many options. So far, no Republicans have announced their intention to run against the president.

Even though the conservative editor acknowledged that Trump will likely be the GOP nominee in 2020, he hopes that there are at least some alternatives for the sake of party. 

“I really hope for the sake of the Republican Party that there’s an alternative,” he said. “I mean, I understand what the polls are; they’re very, very clear,” he said, noting that the president’s approval rating has remained strong among his Republican base even amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Trump’s overall approval rating has plummeted amid the partial government shutdown. But the latest polls suggest that his favorability has remained strong among his supporters.

According to a new survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 34 percent of Americans overall approve of Trump’s job performance. That’s down from 42 percent from the previous month.

Trump’s approval rating among Republicans, meanwhile, has nevertheless stayed close to 80 percent, including in the AP poll.

—Tess Bonn