The Problem With Bernie Sanders’ Polling Argument

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tags: election 2016, Bernie Sanders



For months, Bernie Sanders has been pointing to polls that show him performing better in general match-ups against Republicans than Hillary Clinton. 

For Sanders, the numbers offer a bold rebuke to skeptics who say that a wild-haired democratic socialist could not win in November. As he’s slipped farther behind in the primary, Sanders has made the polling argument time and again, even arguing that Democratic superdelegates should overlook Clinton’s lead in pledged delegates and raw votes to choose him.

“The Democrats want to see the strongest candidate possible take on Trump or some other Republican,” Sanders told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Thursday evening. “At this point, according to the polls, that is me.”

The Vermont Senator beats Republican frontrunner Donald Trump by 14 points while Clinton is ahead of Trump by just 9 points, according to the HuffPost Pollster’s average of polls testing which candidates voters would support in the general election. Sanders beats Texas Sen. Ted Cruz by 13 points while Clinton only beats Cruz by 4 points.

The numbers are accurate, but both Democratic and Republican pollsters say that they don’t mean as much as Sanders says they do.




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