Self-proclaimed “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders has emerged in recent weeks as the current frontrunner among the field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, and there is (perhaps unsurprisingly) an ongoing debate on both sides of the political aisle over whether an open socialist can defeat a proudly capitalistic incumbent like President Donald Trump.
Now, it looks like the answer to that question is a hard no. The Washington Times reports that at least according to one prominent polling firm, Sanders stands no chance against Trump if he were to win the Democrats’ nomination to take him on this November.
The poll referenced by the Times was conducted by Rasmussen, who polled 1,000 likely voters across the country between Feb. 24–25. The findings of that survey led Rasmussen Reports to suggest that “President Trump would KO Democrat front-runner Bernie Sanders if the 2020 presidential election were held today.”
Indeed, in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup between Trump and Sanders, the president garnered 50% of the vote, compared to Sanders’ 43%. A full 7% of respondents were undecided between the two candidates.
The poll had a margin of error of about 3%.
Breaking it down
Breaking down those results among the various demographic groups, Rasmussen reported that Trump had the support of 85% of Republicans, while Sanders earned the support of just 75% of Democrats.
What’s more, the president was victorious over his challenger among independent voters 49% to 39%.
But that’s not all. According to Rasmussen, in a Trump vs. Sanders face-off, roughly one out of every four or five Democrats (about 22%) would abandon the Democratic Party’s socialist nominee and cast a vote in support of the incumbent Republican president.
Rasmussen also noted that while Trump and Sanders are virtually tied when it comes to support among women, Trump holds a “double-digit” advantage over Sanders when it comes to male voters.
Also of note was the fact that Sanders obtained the support of just 60% of black voters polled by Rasmussen. Meanwhile, among white voters, Trump decisively bested Sanders by a margin of 54% to 39%, and the president even won among other minority groups, including Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
What it all means
For its part, the Democrat establishment hasn’t hidden its concerns about the party’s chances in November if an openly declared socialist like Sanders is the presidential nominee, and this poll from Rasmussen seems to suggest those fears could be warranted.
Sanders clearly can’t stand up to President Trump, and the Vermont senator’s shortcomings could hurt Dems all the way down the ballot. The good news is that would pave the way for Republicans to take back the House this November, in addition to holding their grip on the Senate and, of course, the coveted White House.