Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s campaign says it has been sharing internal polling data with vulnerable House Democrats about how nominating Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) would jeopardize their majority.
The Bloomberg campaign polled voter sentiments in the 42 districts where members are in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Frontline” program that defends incumbents in tough reelection bids.
According to Bloomberg campaign manager Kevin Sheekey, the poll found Trump’s favorability at 47 percent positive and 49 percent negative, against 38 percent positive and 53 percent negative for Sanders.
About half of voters polled, 47 percent, said “the increased role of socialist ideas in the Democratic Party” is a bad thing, compared to only 19 percent who described it as a good thing.
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And the poll found that a plurality of respondents, 39 percent, said they would be less likely to vote for a House Democrat if Sanders is the nominee, compared to 34 percent who said it would have no impact and 21 percent who said they’d be more likely to vote for Democrats.
Overall, Trump has a narrow 48 percent to 47 percent lead over Sanders in the 42 swing districts. Trump’s lead grows to 6 points when voters are read an attack line about how “Bernie Sanders is a socialist who supports un-American, big government plans that will spend trillions of dollars, lead to higher taxes, and destroy our way of life.”
“Sanders is less popular than Trump, loses significant support when attacked for his socialist positions, and will negatively impact these vulnerable Democrats if he heads the top of the Democratic ticket,” Sheekey wrote.
The Sanders campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but it has stated previously that it believes Sanders has a potent electability argument and could defeat Trump.
National polls show Sanders running ahead of Trump and performing as well or better than most of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups with the president.
A new University of Wisconsin poll released this week found Sanders running strongest against Trump in the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, which Democrats need to win back in order to reclaim the White House.
Sanders has an energized base of supporters that turn out by the thousands to see his campaign rallies. And he’s built a diverse coalition of Latinos and working-class voters, who propelled him to a massive win in the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.
Sanders has made the case that the party must nominate a candidate who energizes the liberal base and has a message that resonates with working-class voters in the Midwest, who broke for Trump in 2016.
They believe moderate Democrats and independents will get on board when faced with a choice between Sanders and Trump.
“I think not only virtually all Democrats, a whole lot of independents, and some Republicans understand that it is absolutely imperative that we defeat this extremely dangerous president,” Sanders said Monday night on CNN. “So I’m happy to tell you, for a start, that if you look at the polling out there, polls go up and polls go down, but almost all of the polls nationally have me defeating Trump.”
“We are … the strongest campaign because we have the energy and the excitement that we need to create the largest voter turnout in the history of this country, which is exactly what we need in order to defeat Trump.”