Political editor says Sanders could benefit from higher number of left-leaning independents

Political editor Sophia Tesfaye on Monday told Hill.TV that there could be more left-leaning independents than is generally believed, which could benefit 2020 hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBullock: I would not have endorsed health care for undocumented immigrants on debate stage Harris faces pressure to define policy proposals Biden campaign rips 'Medicare for All,' calls on Dems to protect Affordable Care Act MORE (I-Vt.). 

"The convention narrative that we're told is that [former Vice President Joe] Biden ... could possibly appeal to even disillusioned Trump voters, independent voters," Tesfaye, deputy politics editor for Salon.com, told Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking."

"Bernie Sanders and his scary democratic socialist platform hasn't scared away people who self-identify as independents," she continued. "[This] tells me perhaps there's a lot more left-leaning independents than we discuss generally." 

"We discuss independents as though they're more moderate, more conservative, but there's a lot of disillusioned former Democrats out there," she said. 

A new Hill-HarrisX poll found that Sanders led the pack among independent voters, with 21 percent saying they support the Vermont senator.

Nineteen percent of independent respondents said they supported Biden, while 10 percent said they supported former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeTed Cruz: Trump's chances of winning reelection are '50-50' The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash Biden, Harris set for second Democratic debate showdown MORE (D-Texas). 

— Julia Manchester