Why I believe that Sanders would beat Trump. Anecdotes from Texas.

I think that if the general election came down to Sanders and Trump, that Sanders would win. It would probably not even be close.

I live in Texas, and am personally liberal. I don’t usually spend a lot of time with my brother and his family and friends. They are all conservative Republicans. Recently I have spent quite a bit of time with them, and they were talking about politics quite a bit. They all agreed that if the general election comes down to Sanders and Trump, that they would vote for Bernie. Clinton got no such love, and none of the other Republican candidates were disliked. I know anecdotes do not equal data, but I find it fascinating that lifelong Texas Republicans would all come out and say that they would vote for Bernie before they would vote for The Donald. If Texans feel this way, I imagine that it’s probably the same in other states. I just wanted to share my feelings on why I think Sanders would easily beat Trump, but Clinton might have a more difficult time of it.

I’m also in Texas, and I was just talking to my Texan mom the other day, who is fairly conservative, and she brought up how Sanders won the NH primary, and she was a bit shocked/dismayed by it. I didn’t ask her how she would vote in Sanders vs Trump, but I seriously doubt she’d vote for Sanders. At best she’d maybe stay home. The opinions on Trump and Sanders vary so wildly I’m sure I could find plenty of anecdotes from people who feel any number of ways on what they’d do if that was the general election. Looking at polls and seeing how the election has gone so far, I think that either Sanders or Clinton would beat Trump, although not easily.

Sanders has appeal in unusual places. If you listen to him you don’t get the impression of a Vermont Commie, he sounds a lot like Huey Long to me.

Though, also anecdotally, some of my best friends are very moderate Democrats (their biggest complaint with the GOP is that they are anti-science otherwise are fairly fiscally moderate) down here in Georgia. They speak of Sanders and Trump as similar extremists - though are far more scared of Trump. They seem to hold out hope that Clinton is nominated for the Dems, so they don’t have to vote for the lesser of two evils (I think they would easily vote for Rubio over Sanders, FWIW).

How about the opposite effect: People like me who despise Sanders because of his obnoxious cult. I’d probably hold my nose and vote for Sanders but I won’t be donating money or time. His supporters are so obnoxious , I’ve grown to despise Bernie as much as Ted Cruz

So… not opposite at all.

As does Trump.

If someone like me who reads and posts in political blogs, including a 20 page thread last year on the Chicago mayor race, is barely motivated enough to hold my nose to vote for Sanders, that indicates he might have problems with other moderate democrats who get turned off by Bernie’s cult

They have the same assessment of the nation’s condition. Their styles and solutions are the difference between them. I agree with the majority of the American public, the establishment has not served us, we have to try something different.

Of course you can always go ahead and vote counting on that Washington will chew up and spit out the cult members like a wad of cheap chaw by the August break. That the Sanders/Congress dynamic will be such he’ll be lucky if he’s allowed to pardon the Thanksgiving turkeys.

Not exactly an anthem of Hope, I’ll admit.

I still can’t imagine Trump possibly winning the general. I think Bernie will look weaker in the general when the GOP machine focuses on him–few candidates come out looking stronger after negative advertising, and he’s been the focus of almost none of that from the GOP side.

With moderates his atheism and his socialism (two descriptors polls show are immensely unpopular) will hurt when they reach center stage before a general election audience. His 10% tax increases on middle income brackets will also hurt, good slur ads will run that number nonstop. It doesn’t matter that it offsets health insurance premiums, or that rich people are getting bigger tax hikes under the plan–political smear ads aren’t about nuanced positions.

But Trump has such a low ceiling in my opinion, I think he has a high floor too, of die hards who are dedicated to voting for him for some reason, but I think he’s just already said so many offensive things he has no chance of beating either Dem in races in diverse states.

Sanders vs a different GOP candidate could turn out worse, his age becomes more relevant then, and none of the other GOP candidates have such high unfavorables as Trump, and most have positioned themselves so they can at least soften their image a little bit. Trump is pretty set in stone I think.

The problem is right now people are being asked to make a choice between Donald Trump and one of the other Republican candidates. So right now the conservative mainstream has no problem trashing Trump and pushing for one of the other more traditional candidates.

But if Trump goes ahead and gets nominated anyway, it will no longer be a choice between Trump and some other Republican. It will be a choice between Trump and a Democrat. And the conservative mainstream will do a 180 and begin giving Trump their full support and tell their followers they should all vote for Trump.

And on that note, keep in mind a lot of the current support for Sanders is equally strategic. The conservatives see Sanders as a weaker opponent than Clinton, so they’re devoting more energy to attacking Clinton than they are to Sanders even though Sanders is much further from their agenda. But once Sanders has defeated Clinton, they’ll turn on him and make him the focus of their attacks.

Awww. But we love you anyway. And we need people like you to keep the budget math honest and workable.