The media has been absolutely obsessed with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump since he has shot to the top of the GOP’s polls. His “say whatever disgusting thing comes to mind” strategy has made the right-wing base flock to him like jackals to fresh carrion, but that’s where his popularity ends. Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has not had nearly the level of media attention Trump has, even though his events have drawn the largest crowds of all of the candidates in the two primary races. The media has basically ignored him and assumed that Hillary Clinton (a strong candidate in her own right) would win the Democratic nomination and face Trump in the general election. But a new poll released by Quinnipiac University on Tuesday shows that if Senator Bernie Sanders were to face Trump in the general election, he would absolutely destroy him and Democrats would likely take back control of the Senate.
The Quinnipiac University poll shows that while both Clinton and Sanders would defeat Trump in the general election, Bernie’s margin of victory would be nearly twice Hillary’s. If Senator Sanders faced off against Trump, the poll shows that he would win by a margin of thirteen points — a landslide victory. Clinton, while still beating Trump soundly, would win by a margin of seven points. To put this in perspective, President Obama beat John McCain by a margin of seven points in 2008, and Mitt Romney by a margin of four points in 2012.
What’s surprising about this poll is that the media has all but ignored Sander’s incredible grassroots popularity and focused much of their attention on a Clinton v. Trump general election. The Hill notes:
It is noteworthy that in this Quinnipiac poll, Sanders runs so much stronger than Clinton against Trump…And it is profoundly important and revealing that Sanders would defeat Trump by such a huge margin — 13 points in this poll — that analysts would be talking about a national political realignment and new progressive era in American history if an enlightened candidate such as Sanders would defeat a retrograde race-baiting candidate such as Trump by a potentially epic and historic margin.
The media has given Trump a tremendous amount of attention since he announced his bid for the Republican nomination over the summer. He has trended online almost every single day and it is unbelievably embarrassing to the United States electoral system that his popularity is all based on the outrageously hateful garbage that comes out of his mouth. Trump has risen to the front of the GOP’s polls on a platform built solely of racism, xenophobia, bigotry and misogyny. Senator Sanders, on the other hand, has gained an enormous following by discussing his solutions to the problems that many of us face. He is a champion for the middle class and has plans for the student loan debt crippling millions of Americans, racial injustice, police reform and a number of other important issues.
This poll, however, is proof that yeah Trump’s circus sideshow may have piqued the interest of the GOP’s base, but American voters are not interested in making the reality star President of the United States. We want to elect someone like Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton who will build on President Obama’s successes and continue to lead this country in a positive direction. Trump is clearly not that person.
h/t to Salon for the awesome picture
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.