Bernie Sanders would easily beat Donald Trump in a head-to-head matchup in the November 2016 presidential election, new polling data suggests.
U.S. Senator Sanders, an independent socialist from Vermont running for president as a Democrat, would supposedly make Trump feel the Bern by defeating the brash New York businessman and GOP front-runner by a margin of 51 percent to 38 percent, according to a national poll by Quinnipiac University released yesterday.
Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 47 to 40 percent, the same poll suggests.
Most pundits give Sanders, who has spent virtually his entire career in government, little or no chance to overcome Hillary Clinton, her party's current front-runner, in the Democrat primary, however.
That being said, Clinton was also expected to win the Democrat nomination in 2008 before she was "schlonged" -- in Donald Trump's controversial terminology -- by first-term U.S. Senator Barack Obama.
Trump insists that the word in questions stands for "beaten badly" politically and is not meant in a scatalogical sense.
"It is time for the mainstream media to end their obsession with Trump and their virtual news blackout of the Sanders campaign when discussing presidential campaign polling," a columnist in The Hill argued.
U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz would narrowly defeat Sanders if either of them secure the GOP nomination, according to the poll findings.
"The other leading Republicans fared better against Clinton than Trump did. Rubio got 43 percent to Clinton's 44 percent, and she and Cruz tied at 44 percent each. Rubio and Cruz both edged out Sanders, but barely," CBS News added about the Qunnipiac data.
Quinnipiac derived these poll results from a telephone calls with about 1,000 registered voters across the country. While Quinnipiac generally has a good reputation in its public opinion research, a general election poll this far out may not be significant or predictive, with most Americans paying relatively little attention to the ongoing political jockeying and the controversy du jour. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percent.
A separate new poll claims that a lot of secret Donald Trump support exists out there among college-educated Republicans and Independents, but many are too ashamed to admit it to a live operator at a call center, which may explain why the ex-Celebrity Apprentice star does much better in online voting, even after what many observers across the political spectrum have deemed lackluster debate performances.
A phenomenon called social desirability bias may explain the differential between phone and online poll results, marketing firm Morning Consult asserted, "people being reluctant to select Trump when talking to another person because they do not believe it will be viewed as a socially acceptable decision."
As an aside, you may recall that Sen. John McCain, a U.S. Navy war hero who was a prisoner of war in the so-called Hanoi Hilton during Vietnam, was mocked for his age when he ran against Obama in the 2008 general election as the Republican standard-bearer, but relatively little has been said about the fact that Bernie Sanders is 74 and Hillary Clinton is 68.
According to most polls, which as alluded to above may or may not be accurate as recent elections have demonstrated, Trump still consistently leads the Republican field nationally and in the early primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, while U.S. Senator Ted Cruz currently is ahead in projections for the Iowa Caucuses. Prior polls have showed him beating Clinton, which seems to indicate the volatility of the electorate.
In a CNN/ORC poll released today, first-time candidate Trump is still in the driver's seat and leads closest rival Ted Cruz by a margin of 39 percent to 18 percent for the Republican nomination. "Donald Trump is closing out the year with a dominating and daunting lead over the rest of the GOP field, defying skeptics, while the low-polling candidates face increasingly dire prospects," Politico explained.
[Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast/AP]