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 SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Better Medicare Alliance — Family planning providers ask court to block Trump abortion rule | Warren under pressure over how to pay for 'Medicare for All' | Juul reportedly facing criminal probe Democratic candidates keep finding fresh ways to throw away our money Sanders contrasts his fashion with Trump's: 'Actually, it is Kohl's' 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'RourkeWarren leads primary field by 8 points in California poll Warren hasn't secured the lead, but polls show she's gaining momentum 2020 Democrats tout Thunberg UN speech: 'This is why we need young people leading the climate justice movement' MORE (D-Texas). 

— Julia Manchester