As BBC News noted today:
It would have been a very different election campaign with Sanders as candidate. Trump would have found it more difficult to present himself as an anti-establishment outsider, when he was up against another maverick, albeit one that held elected office in Washington.
And Sanders’ billionaire-bashing and opposition to further free trade deals might have played well in the rural white heartlands that turned out in such numbers for Trump.
That said, the BBC reports, Trump could’ve indulged in a bit of Red-baiting during the post-convention campaign:
Instead of “Crooked Hillary” we would have had “Red Bernie,” the “European-style socialist” – he even spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, folks.
Given that Sanders didn’t face Trump’s baptism of fire, it’s still very interesting to considered the results of a poll carried out just before the election to see how voters would’ve responded to a Trump/Sanders race, rather than the contest the got.
With that caveat in mind, consider this from the Huffington Post:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) would have beaten Donald Trump by a historic margin if he had been the Democratic nominee, according to a private [6 November] pre-election poll provided to The Huffington Post.
The national survey of more than 1,600 registered voters, conducted by Gravis Marketing two days before the general election, found that Sanders would have received 56 percent of the vote while Trump would have won 44 percent. The poll was commissioned and financed by outgoing Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, a Democrat who endorsed Sanders in the presidential primary.
The last election result that decisive was Ronald Reagan’s victory over Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984.
Crucially, independent voters, who made up nearly one-third of the general election voters this year, favored Sanders over Trump, 55 percent to 45 percent, the poll found. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, lost independents 48 percent to 42 percent, according to exit polls.
The poll also had beating Sanders by two percentage points, well within the margin of error.
On a related notes the Los Angeles Times is now predicting that Clinton’s margin over The Donald in the popular vote could well reach one million by the time the last ballots are tallied.