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Almost Every Major Poll Shows Bernie Sanders Challenging or Defeating Clinton and Republicans. Here's Why

08/05/2015 06:58 am ET | Updated Aug 05, 2015
  • H. A. Goodman Columnist published in The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Baltimore Sun, The Hill, Salon, The Jerusalem Post www.hagoodman.com
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American politics is never static. Similar to the value system of certain presidential candidates, it's in a never-ending state of constant evolution. For this reason, "Dewey Defeats Truman," "We still seek no wider war," and "They hate our freedoms" are time capsules of American history seen though the lenses of hindsight and reflection.

We now have our first African-American president in his second term, we have an embassy in Cuba, and gay marriage is a right. American politics, and the world, can change in the blink of an eye.

Ironically, there are certain liberal voters in America today more interested in sharing memes on social media (mocking their political rivals), than in actually rallying around a politician who is a genuine and authentic embodiment of their acknowledged value system. To these people, Bernie Sanders can't possibly win, even though he championed gay rights when others needed to "evolve," and even though he voted against Iraq, when others deemed their vote a "mistake."

Luckily, there are a great many other voters willing to imagine a future without Wall Street greed and rampant income inequality. Fortunately, "Bernie Sanders Can Become President" has replaced "I like him but he can't win."

Democrats who are proud of their progressive values are filling arenas to hear Sanders speak in a direct manner (while others dodge questions) on contentious issues like Keystone XL and the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. While the FBI is currently investigating the email security of one candidate, Bernie Sanders is narrowing Clinton's lead nationally and defeating Republicans in other polls. Like Brent Budowsky writes in The Hill:

The fact that Sanders beats Walker by six to seven points, depending on whether all voters or likely voters are counted -- a near-landslide margin in a general election -- makes it clear that the Sanders surge is more than a surge against Donald Trump, but move that makes him competitive with all Republican candidates.

Polls once extolling Hillary Clinton's enormous lead over Sanders are now dwindling for the same reason Sanders beats Republicans in various other polls: Americans have had enough of dynasties, scandals, wars, and Wall Street corruption. I will be voting for Bernie Sanders because I too have had enough of endless wars, and Bernie says "I'll be damned" if more Americans are sent back to fight in the Middle East. I'll also be voting for Sanders because like the polls illustrating his lightning fast surge, more and more Americans have had enough with a two-party system that doesn't give people a choice. I want my Democratic nominee to vote against counterinsurgency wars and vehemently oppose environmental disasters in the making like Keystone XL, not evolve towards the most politically expedient position available at the time.

As for data indicating Bernie Sanders can win the Democratic nomination, the Huffington Post explains how quickly he's narrowed the lead in New Hampshire in an article titled Bernie Sanders Is Narrowing The Gap With Hillary Clinton In The Granite State:

Bernie Sanders is closing in on Hillary Clinton, according to new polling from New Hampshire.

In a WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll released Tuesday, the Vermont senator is in a statistical tie with the Democratic presidential frontrunner, trailing her by six percentage points, which is just within the poll's margin of error...

Sanders and Clinton are virtually tied in terms of net electability, polling at 30 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

With Sanders already surging in Iowa, and now virtually tied with Clinton in New Hampshire, it's important to remember that Vermont's Senator is doing something most observers once thought to be an impossibility. He has a great chance of winning the first two contests on the road to the Democratic nomination, while his challenger deals with subpoenas from Congress and other scandals. Every classified email uncovered by the FBI dooms one candidate, while paving the way for Sanders.

As for how Sanders does against GOP challengers, Quinnipiac's recent swing state poll explains that he actually performs better than Hillary Clinton in battleground states:

In several matchups in Iowa and Colorado, another Democratic contender, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, runs as well as, or better than Clinton against Rubio, Bush and Walker.

Clinton gets markedly negative favorability ratings in each state, 35-56 percent in Colorado, 33-56 percent in Iowa and 41-50 percent in Virginia.

"Hillary Clinton's numbers have dropped among voters in the key swing states of Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. She has lost ground in the horserace and on key questions about her honesty and leadership," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Again, it's important to note that Bernie Sanders now performs as well, or better in swing states, and this reality took place just several months after announcing his presidential run. He also beats Republicans in direct matchups and it's still early.

We're 459 days from Election Day.

So much for the phrase, "He can't win."

Also, if Quinnipiac and the University of New Hampshire weren't enough, there's a recent Gallup poll explaining that all Sanders needed was a little name recognition:

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' favorable rating among Americans has doubled since Gallup's initial reading in March, rising to 24% from 12% as he has become better known. Hillary Clinton's rating has slipped to 43% from 48% in April. At the same time, Clinton's unfavorable rating increased to 46%, tilting her image negative and producing her worst net favorable score since December 2007.

Sanders is still an unknown to a majority of Americans, with just 44% able to rate him compared with Clinton's 89%

Already, with only a limited amount of media coverage, Bernie Sanders has captivated the hopes of millions of Americans.

This too, will happen with African-American, Latino, and other voters the more that Sanders's policies and value system becomes better known and more recognizable. Killer Mike has officially endorsed Bernie Sanders, and his endorsement means far more than certain polls (cited gleefully by naysayers) based primarily upon name recognition. Combine this with the fact CNN recently stated "Bernie Sanders would beat Donald Trump," and a Sanders presidency is no longer a pipe dream; it's a reality that could take place based on knowing more about Bernie Sanders.

Finally, perhaps the most noble and courageous act by a politician in the last 30 years was Hillary Clinton's attempt at health care reform in the early '90s. I have and always will admire Clinton's work, at that time and in that moment of U.S. history, on health care and her courage in battling a ruthless Newt Gingrich and other Republicans on that issue. However, the former First Lady's political evolution during the past couple of decades has made her a completely different politician today. While almost every Clinton supporters cites a Real Clear Politics poll indicating an enormous lead within the Democratic Party, they also ignore one glaring opinion piece located within Real Clear Politics.

In a Real Clear Politics article by Debra Saunders titled Why Voters Don't Trust Hillary Clinton, the primary reason polls are shifting towards Bernie Sanders is addressed:

Voters in Colorado, Iowa and Virginia think Hillary Clinton is not honest or trustworthy...

Clinton's conduct is catching up with her...

An inspector general has asked the Department of Justice to investigate. It seems a sampling of 40 emails Clinton sent as secretary of state found that four contained classified information that should have been labeled "secret." The only question is: What took so long?

Therefore, within the same website cited to declare Clinton's insurmountable lead and inevitability, there's also a piercing article questioning Clinton's honesty.

Honesty and a genuine value system are the primary reasons Bernie Sanders is gaining in the polls and the primary reason people of all backgrounds will choose him over Clinton or any GOP nominee in 2016. These traits are the reasons polls are ever-changing, since there's no poll that asks, "What's in the heart of your future president?" Since adherence to principle is a novelty in this day and age, Bernie Sanders reminds voters of an ideal. It's this ideal that will enable Sanders to surge past Clinton and towards the Democratic nomination. It will also help him win the White House, since Bush and other Republicans must still answer tough questions about Iraq, Wall Street, and income inequality.

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Related links:

When Republicans Nominate a Billionaire, Only Bernie Sanders Will Save Democrats

Hillary Clinton Has A 'White Liberal' Problem That Will Help Bernie Sanders Become Democratic Nominee

Unlike Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Never Says, 'When I Become President, I Will Answer Your Question'

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