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Would Bernie Sanders have defeated Trump?

By Curt Anderson
November 24, 2020 12:34 pm
Category: Politics

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In a politically oriented forum on this site, "Indy" opined that Bernie Sanders would have won the 2020 general election in a "landslide of epic proportions". He cited an Axios report of poll stating that 58% of Biden voters were voting against Donald Trump rather than for Joe Biden.

I doubted and will always doubt that Sanders could have defeated Trump. Lincoln Project-type and "classic" Republicans would not have embraced Sanders. I don't think John McCain's widow would have endorsed Sanders. Biden had a home field advantage in Pennsylvania. Obviously Black voters preferred Biden over Sanders. That case was made in the South Carolina Primary.

Sanders' grandiose promises and policies in the primaries wouldn't have appealed to the broader general election audience. If in the general election Sanders did move to the middle politically by offering more moderate policies and/or perhaps selecting a centrist running mate, I wonder how the progressive-left purists would have viewed it. Would they disown and denounce Sanders as a sell-out, as many did when Sanders endorsed Biden?

After four crazy years of Trump, boring "Sleepy Joe" sounded pretty good to voters. And Biden was smart enough to let Trump beat himself.

One thing we do know, is that Trump didn't want Biden as his opponent. He got himself impeached trying to avoid Biden.

Another forum member, "Donna", demonstrated mathematically how steep a climb Sanders would have had in the general:

I think Bernie would have had a tough time taking PA or GA. That's 36 EVs right there. So if Bernie won the rest of the states that Biden did, he'd have beaten Trump by 2 EVs. Bernie would probably have won NV, but AZ? Not so sure about that. Bernie is said to have had a lot of support among 30 and under Americans, but where were they in the NC primary or on Super Tuesday?

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