Donald Trump And Bernie Sanders Agree On Many Issues: What Could That Mean In The General Election?

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders belong to different political parties, but they have both been classified as outsiders. This concept of not being one of the Washington insiders has fueled both of their campaigns. This is hardly the end of their similarities, though. Both candidates are focused on economic issues and oppose foreign trade adamantly, as a major source of job loss and economic woes stems from it.

Various polls and research show that both candidates apparently appeal most to working class voters. Vox cites James Peck's (author of "At Death and Taxes") comments on both candidates and their mutual popularity among the disgruntled working class.

"As loath as I am to mention Sanders and Trump in the same sentence, the popularity of both stems from a growing consciousness and anger among the American working class that they've been screwed over by the establishment," Peck said.

Bernie Sanders [Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images
Bernie Sanders [Photo by J Pat Carter/Getty Images]Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders put great emphasis on opposing foreign trade and job exporting. They both express an understanding of these issues that impact working class people. This includes an understanding that the country needs more jobs -- and better ones. One major difference, however, is that Bernie is one of very few Presidential candidates who is not wealthy, while Trump is said to express the frustrations of the working class.

The Guardian has a detailed report on the views of 700 Bernie supporters, and 500 of those said they would cross party lines if it comes to a choice between Trump and Clinton. The Huffington Post reports that 33 percent of Bernie supporters say they will not vote for Hillary. This raises the question, could issues really be more of a factor in this election than party?

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are on the same page in appealing to white, low income, and anti-establishment voters who are concerned about the economy, according to the study. The most crossover votes were found in the demographic that fits all those categories. Those who are poor, white, and don't trust the establishment are apparently drawn to both candidates, more than choosing a candidate by a party. In another poll that addressed supporters from both camps, approximately 47 percent said that their candidate, whether Bernie or Donald, understood their personal situation better than any other candidate.

Those 500 of 700 Bernie Supporters interviewed by the Guardian with in-depth questions believe both candidates have a similar grasp on the important issues. One 34-year-old IT professional expressed his ideas on the topic of crossover voting.

"Bernie and Trump agree a lot on healthcare, Iraq war, campaign finance and trade. I really want to move on to something new, new ideas from outside the box. Maybe Donald Trump can provide that."
Donald Trump with Barron Trump and Melania Trump (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
Donald Trump with Barron Trump and Melania Trump [Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images]Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are both still viable in their respective races, and both stand a fair chance at gaining the nomination to run for president in the general election. But they both have obstacles to face, as outsiders to their respective parties.

Trump, while leading in votes and delegates, may face a contested or brokered Republican convention. In a brokered convention, he could be contested by nearly any serious Republican politician for the candidacy. The Washington Times reports that a brokered election could doom The Donald. At the same time, if he gains the nomination, he could gain votes from Sanders supporters in an election against Hillary.

Before any of this happens, however, Bernie Sanders must face Hillary in the Democratic convention. Clinton has an edge with party support from super delegates, even if Bernie manages to tie her in the popular vote. Vox reports that Sanders supporters often say their candidate is more electable and will get more crossover votes from Republicans, due to Hillary's low favorability rating. This could be key if Trump does not gain the nomination for his party and Sanders gets the Democratic nom.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both claim to be the voice of the working class who simply want jobs, but will this demographic vote for either Trump or Sanders over any insider?

[Photo by Stephen Maturen, Joe Raedle/Getty Images]