Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz just won the Wisconsin primaries for the Democrats and Republicans respectively. We all know that the Dems will eventually rally around Hillary’s inevitability, and that Trump could still very likely pick up all the delegates he needs prior to a contested Republican convention this summer. Just in case you think maybe, just maybe the press and punditry class might not be able to see so clearly into the future, I thought we’d take just a few moments to see what a hypothetical match-up between Bernie and Ted looks like in the polls.
One criticism you sometimes see from Hillary supporters is that Bernie’s embrace of democratic socialism could cost him nationally. After all, they argue, not every state is full of hippy-dippy liberals eating granola and singing Kumbaya. Those states will tilt toward Clinton, they argue, but maybe not toward Sanders. He’s just too radical, what with him believing the working class deserve to be able to send their kids to college without it putting them in permanent debt, and that no one should lose their entire livelihood over medical expenses.
So that would mean, you’d assume, that Hillary would be a better head-to-head match up for the Dems against anyone the Republicans could throw at them. And you’d be right…if you were only referring to the head-to-head match up with Donald Trump. Otherwise, according to Real Clear Politics’ polling data, Bernie actually does better against every Republican left in the race except John Kasich, who will only be the nominee if he wins the votes at the brokered Republican convention later.
In fact, whether it’s Donald Trump or Ted Cruz that you stack Bernie against, Real Clear Politics shows the same eight point spread in Sanders’ favor. There are legitimate criticisms of Bernie Sanders that can be made, and it’s certainly reasonable to ponder whether Americans are still so knee-jerk reactionary to the word “socialist” (even though Bernie isn’t really a socialist in the sense many portray him to be) that he’d be electoral poison. But this why the Internet was invented — so we can research and discover the answers to our questions.
Being a comedian, I do everything I can to avoid even remotely predicting a damn thing. This country has made some truly insane choices for its chief executive. But I have hard time believing with the state the GOP is in that anyone they come up with will look rational and sane. Whether he’s a plant or truly a clueless protofascist, Trump has tainted everyone in the race because at one point or another both Kasich and Cruz said they’d vote for Trump if he got the nomination. They walked back those pledges, because pledging devotion to a party is stupid of course, but they still said it on national TV. They would vote for Trump.
Trump’s taint is really spread all over Teddy Cruz because the Texas Republican has been so obvious in his lunge for delegates that he’s pandered to everyone’s base. He’s told Rand Paul’s supporters sweet little libertarian nothings. He’s pandered to the evangelical voters that Huckabee and Santorum were hoping to court. And yes, he has gotten down on his hands and knees and rolled around in the derp with Donald too. Cruz has said horrible things about abortion and Muslims and as my pal Manny pointed out this week, Cruz is far scarier than Trump in a lot of ways. And guess what?
Bernie beats him. Soundly. Bernie beats Cruz by a wider margin than Hillary does, in fact.
So say what you will about the Bernster. He’s got some whacky anti-GMO views. He may not appeal to as broad a coalition as Obama did (though that remains to be seen). And his plans will face insanely stiff opposition (which is why he always says it has to be a “revolution” that puts him in office). But one thing you really shouldn’t criticize him for is his so-called “unelectable” nature. That’s just flatly untrue, and as the polling shows he’s a stronger candidate against the top two Republicans, so if he were to go up against them, hand-wringing Dems should be able to rest easily enough.
Vote for your candidate, don’t let any schmoe throw you off your game, but make your decision based in reality, not rhetorical nonsense.
Or you know, don’t.