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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Who Is More Electable?

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders. (photo: Reuters)
Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Bernie Sanders. (photo: Reuters)

By Scott Galindez, Reader Supported News
 
on’t look now, but in the latest hypothetical general election poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports, Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton.

According to the survey, which was conducted from April 27 to 28 among 1,000 likely voters:

Trump now has the support of 73% of Republicans, while 77% of Democrats back Clinton. But Trump picks up 15% of Democrats, while just eight percent (8%) of GOP voters prefer Clinton, given this matchup.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Trump leads 37% to 31%, but 23% like another candidate. Nine percent (9%) are undecided.

Hmmm, I do not think 32% are lining up to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. So these are voters who at this point are not supporting anyone likely to be on the ballot in November.

Give the voters the option of staying home and the same poll has the race tied.

Rasmussen Reports did not poll a hypothetical Sanders versus Trump matchup.

Other polls all show Sanders beating Trump by more than 10 points. Those same polls have the race closer between Clinton and Trump.

Talk about a race to the bottom, the two most unpopular candidates in either party will likely be the nominees of the two major political parties.

Now let’s look at some other indicators of electability.

Favorability: (Huffington Post average)
Sanders: 52%
Clinton: 47%
Trump: 35%
Unfavorability: (Huffington Post average)
Trump: 61%
Clinton: 55%
Sanders: 40%
Honesty: (yougov.com poll)
Sanders: 47%
Trump: 29%
Clinton: 27%
Dishonesty: (yougov.com poll)
Clinton: 56%
Trump: 52%
Sanders: 24%
When asked by Peter Hart and Associates in an April poll, all voters chose Sanders as the candidate they could support at higher levels than any other candidate.

Here is the exact question, Q13: “I’m going to mention a number of people running for president in 2016. For each one, please tell me, yes or no, whether you could see yourself supporting that person for president in 2016. If you don’t know the name, please just say so.”
Sanders: 49% yes 48% no
Clinton: 41% yes 58% no
Trump: 31% yes 68% no
If these numbers are true, why isn’t Sanders winning? The answer is simple: These numbers are among all voters, many of whom are shut out of the nominating process. Hillary Clinton’s numbers are better if you only ask Democrats. Donald Trump does better among Republicans.

I hear you: these are the party primaries not the general election. I would say you were right if there were a level playing field for all political parties. We have a two party system, and it is becoming clear that the two parties do not represent the views of the whole country.

According to the Pew Research Center, based on 2014 data 39% of Americans identify as Independents, 32% as Democrats, and 23% as Republicans. This is the highest percentage of Independents in more than 75 years of public opinion polling.

As we are seeing in the open primaries, Bernie Sanders beats Hillary Clinton with Independents in state after state. The strongest candidate for President in November is Bernie Sanders. If all voters had a chance to weigh in during the nominating process we would likely see a race between Trump and Sanders. If we had a multi-party system Sanders, would have a chance to win as an Independent or as a candidate of another party.

The reality is that the system is rigged in favor of the two major political parties, and we will probably be stuck choosing between the two most unpopular candidates for President. It is time for a democracy movement in America. We don’t have a real democracy now.


Scott Galindez attended Syracuse University, where he first became politically active. The writings of El Salvador's slain archbishop Oscar Romero and the on-campus South Africa divestment movement converted him from a Reagan supporter to an activist for Peace and Justice. Over the years he has been influenced by the likes of Philip Berrigan, William Thomas, Mitch Snyder, Don White, Lisa Fithian, and Paul Wellstone. Scott met Marc Ash while organizing counterinaugural events after George W. Bush's first stolen election. Scott will be spending a year covering the presidential election from Iowa.

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