In the latest Bloomberg poll, outsider and media pariah Bernie Sanders now leads heiress-apparent Hillary Clinton by one percentage point.
The once favorite has squandered the 54-point lead she had over the democratic socialist from Vermont when she entered the race a year ago.
When past and likely participants in the Democratic nomination race were asked, “Which one of the following Democrats would be your first choice for President?”, 49 percent of respondents said Bernie Sanders, 48 percent said Hillary Clinton, and 3 percent were not sure.
Trust issues seem to be at the heart of the flip according to J. Ann Selzer, quoted in Bloomberg and whose firm Selzer & Co. conducted the poll.
“It comes down to this: Bernie Sanders is the one Democrats see as looking out for them — meaning he will build a stronger middle class at the expense of Wall Street. They trust him to do it. In the end, Hillary Clinton has a trust problem.”
The Clinton campaign has been dogged by an email scandal that will not go away, which heated up again this week with Wikileaks releasing a searchable database of the 30,000 emails, promising to release a slew of unfavorable stories about Clinton over the coming weeks, like this one of her making plans with Google in order to incite Islamic rebels in Syria.
But surprisingly, over half the Democrat respondents were not bothered by the email scandal. They were more concerned about her flip-flopping on the Trans Pacific Partnership issue, and her alliance with Wall Street.
The Washington Post quoted Bill Clinton saying, “It’s the economy, stupid,” as the reason for Democrats swarming to Bernie Sanders. On issues of foreign policy, Clinton does well with respondents saying they trust her 65 to 21 on “Can best combat Islamic terrorism”; but on issues of the economy and looking after the middle class, Democrat voters trust Sanders more, with Bernie outpolling Clinton by 30 percentage points, 60 to 32.
In the Democrat/Republican match-ups, the Democrats appear to be doing very well, mostly outpolling each Republican counterpart.
Bernie Sanders’ lead increases in the match-up with him and Donald Trump, with this new poll putting him 24 percentage points ahead of Trump in a head-to-head.
It's still early, etc etc -- but it still stuns me that Bernie leads Trump by **24 points** in new Bloomberg poll pic.twitter.com/ejUMbx7eP3— Joshua Green (@JoshuaGreen) March 24, 2016
Hillary’s lead has also increased to 18 points, with indications that Trump’s popularity is on the decline in general. The same poll reveals that Trump’s honeymoon is coming to an end.
“Trump’s numbers are bad and getting worse,” J. Ann Selzer said of the colorful presidential hopeful to Bloomberg. “A majority of Americans now describe their feelings toward him as very unfavorable. That’s a 13-point spike from November 2015.”
Most Republicans don’t want to block his nomination, but as the match-up polls indicate, he will have a hard time come November.
Poll: Most Republicans don't want to block a Trump nomination https://t.co/Spwf8ZVFB3— TIME.com (@TIME) March 24, 2016
According to the data, the only Republican who can beat Clinton is Kasich, who polls a favorable 47 to 43 percent. Republican voters, however, are not so keen on the candidate, polling last on 25 percent to Ted Cruz’s 31 percent and Donald Trump’s 40 percent.
For many though, 2016 may end up being a choice between the lesser of two evils. According to a new CBS poll, Clinton and Trump have historically high unfavorability ratings, the highest since polling began in 1984, resulting in a net negative for both Trump (-33) and Clinton (-21). The previous record was held by Hillary’s husband Bill Clinton, who rated -17.
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]