The question of Bernie Sanders’s electability is one of the main arguments Hillary Clinton proponents throw at Sanders supporters. Despite virtually every poll showing Sanders defeating Trump, Cruz, and Kasich by wider margins than Clinton (who often loses to Kasich and ties with Cruz), the Clinton camp consistently argues that it’s because Sanders has not been “attacked” by the GOP that his favorability is so high and he polls so well.
New comments made by the head of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, solidify exactly what Sanders has been saying: He is more electable.
Priebus told Wolf Blitzer that he felt the GOP would be “much more comfortable” running against Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders in the fall.
“I think everyone that has analyzed this knows that Hillary Clinton is in the ditch. We don't know how far in the ditch she's going to go but she's not doing well. She's not even winning,” Priebus said, according to Politico. “She is not popular; unfortunately for her, she’s not likable.”
Priebus is right; Cilnton’s favorability ratings are dismal. She does terribly with Independent voters (who choose Sanders consistently 70-30), and to win a general election, high favorability and Independent voters are crucial to success.
Priebus also referred to the ticking time bomb of Clinton’s ongoing FBI investigation, noting, “Put her unpopularity together with another unknown [and] that could be even harder for her. I'd rather run against Hillary Clinton.”
Preibus would not admit that he necessarily “feared” Sanders, but the subtext was clear.
Sanders, with his energy, momentum, enthusiasm, and broad appeal is a much more formidable general election candidate to the GOP than Clinton, which is exactly what the polls have been declaring for months.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Stephen Lam