Trump Would Beat Clinton; Sanders Would Beat Trump

Eric Zuesse

A Reuters/Ipsos poll was released on the evening of Wednesday May 11th and headlined, “Trump draws even with Clinton in national White House poll”.

It opened: “Republican Donald Trump pulled even with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday, in a dramatic early sign that the Nov. 8 presidential election might be more hotly contested than first thought.”

It showed 41% Clinton versus 40% Trump, well within the poll’s 3% margin-of-error. This is the first time ever, that their polling has shown the two candidates even nearly close enough to be within the poll’s margin-of-error

The recent trends are crucial; and here you see them, first at RealClearPolitics, and then at HuffPostPollster:

RealClearPolitics Composites

Here were all recent pairings of Clinton versus Trump prior to that latest one from Reuters:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.40.02 PM

Here were all recent pairings of Sanders versus Trump:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.38.56 PM

Whereas Sanders would beat Trump 51.8% to 38.8%, and this 13% victory-margin for Sanders has been remaining fairly steady for many months now; Clinton would beat Trump 47.3% to 40.9%, and this 6.4% victory-margin for Clinton has been declining for months — and might now be gone since Trump became the Republican nominee.

HuffPostPollster Composites

The figures shown at Huffington Post are even clearer, because they show the trends during an even longer period — Trump is actually declining against Sanders:

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.59.10 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 10.01.04 PM

Whereas Sanders would beat Trump 51.3% to 37.9%, and this 13.4% victory-margin for Sanders has remained fairly steady for many months now; Clinton would beat Trump 43.4% to 37.5%, and this 5.9% victory-margin for Clinton has been declining for months — and might now be gone since Trump became the Republican nominee.

Thus: both the RealClearPolitics composites and the HuffPostPollster composites indicate a close race between Clinton and Trump, but a clear victory for Sanders over Trump.

If Democrats don’t want anti-abortion new members of the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts, and also more Republicans on the lower courts, then Sanders is the clear way to prevent that, but Clinton might not be; and if current trends are any indication, Clinton would fail at that.

Therefore, the question for Democratic Party superdelegates is whether they want a successful Party, or whether instead they want their Party to be led by a failure who is slightly preferred by Democratic Party’s voters but definitely not by the entire U.S. electorate, and who is shown in the trendlines to be likely to fail in the general election

If Clinton becomes chosen by the superdelegates in order to satisfy the preferences of her voters, instead of Sanders becoming chosen by those superdelegates in order to serve the needs of the Democratic Party and the preferences of the entire American electorate, then there is a possibility that Trump might not become the next President, but (if current trends continue any further) Trump probably would become the next President.

However, there is also a very different type of possibility: the possibility that Sanders would run a campaign whose message will be “Write in ‘Bernie Sanders’” — that he will be campaigning for the votes of everyone who wants him to become the President, to simply write his name in on the Presidential ballot.

This will offer a realistic third possibility: for the first time in over a century, a President who is from neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party — a real break away from the toxic politics that now is strangulating the United States and blocking all progress, desperately needed progress, in America. 

Would as many people donate to that campaign as donated to Sanders’s Democratic primary campaign? Would even more people donate to it than donated to that primary campaign? Would it receive enough money to be viable for to be able to win the Presidency? That would be the subject of his write-in campaign, to present to American voters, if he chooses to present it.

Before Sanders entered the Democratic Party primaries, his name-recognition amongst the general American electorate was below 10%, but now it’s so high (and so favorable) that for many months the polling has shown that more Americans want him to be the next President than want anyone else to be. That’s the reason why, whereas a ‘third party’ run by Sanders back at the beginning would have been doomed from the start, an independent write-in campaign for him now would stand a real possibility of victory.

Of course, electronic voting machines, and other methods that might not provide the ability for a reliable count or recount of actual votes, would be a problem no matter whom the candidates are. But a write-in campaign for Sanders could win the most votes, if he wages it.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity. 

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  • Brockland A.T.

    Which means a Hilary-Sanders ticket, versus Trump and the running mate the neocons will trick or force him into accepting.

    A neocon-approved Trump running mate would probably scuttle his electability, but it would be someone the neocons feel comfortable with becoming president, should Trump somehow win and then needs suffer an unfortunate ‘accident’.

    • cettel

      I would vote for Trump then. If Sanders would accept second-spot under Hillary as President, I would distrust him, and I know that Hillary is evil. Trump’s virtue is that he has no track-record at all in public office. Furthermore, so much of what he is promising is of a type that’s virtually impossible to achieve. And he contradicts himself profusely, but one of the few things he has been consistent about is that America’s enemy is jihadists, not Russia, and Russia is clearly anti-jihadist; so, under a President Trump, there won’t be a nuclear war. By contrast, Hillary’s record is 100% Gladio. And despite what Hillary now says, she’d implement TPP. Trump definitely would not. If TPP gets activated, the Paris accord against global warming will be dead, unachievable.

      • kimyo

        trump on russian jets:

        And if that doesn’t work out, I don’t know, you know, at a certain point, when that sucker comes by you, you need to shoot. I mean, you gotta shoot.

        you should examine the paris accord more closely, cause it is a complete sham

        “The Paris accord is a trade agreement, nothing more. It promises to privatize, commodify and sell forested lands as carbon offsets in fraudulent schemes such as REDD+ projects. These offset schemes provide a financial laundering mechanism for developed countries to launder their carbon pollution on the backs of the global south. Case-in-point, the United States’ climate change plan includes 250 million megatons to be absorbed by oceans and forest offset markets. Essentially, those responsible for the climate crisis not only get to buy their way out of compliance but they also get to profit from it as well.”

        The Paris Agreement is not based on what is scientifically necessary to address climate disruption. It refers to a goal of “holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels,” it does not actually require action to meet these goals. The Paris Agreement contains no binding mandatory emissions reductions – only voluntary pledges from each country, called “Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions.” When all these pledges are added up, the result would be global average temperature increase between 3-4 °C above pre-industrial levels. Scientists warn that this level of temperature increase would be catastrophic. In fact, the agreement allows for continued increased emissions without setting a date by which emissions need to begin to decrease. The actual language states that “Parties aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible.”

        • Brockland A.T.

          Trump wouldn’t shoot first, Hilary would. Against someone shooting first, Trump would likely conclude that deal in his usual manner.

          Hilary, however, has not ever demonstrated competent leadership in anything save preserving her political skin. How well with this translate into Commander in Chief during any kind of shooting war? She who thinks herself smarter than America’s own executive level cybersecurity, intel, and military experts. Guided by her neocon leash-holders, The Hilary will likely be calling shots in anger against… Vladmir Putin and Russia. J. Christopher Stevens must be spinning in his grave. Six feet of cold dirt just ain’t deep enough.

          Trump might privatize forests, but only to to log and mine them. Maybe. Or he might park them for tourism; whatever turns a better buck. Trump can be reasoned with in familiar terms of bottom line. Hilary, well, she has these wealthy powerful globalist psychopathic friends to pay off and keep her out of jail.

          We’re past the tipping point; global warming’s a go, and not just the climate heating up.

  • Baby_Jesus

    We really can’t AFFORD to have Clinton or Trump as president. They will run the people of this country into the ground.

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    • cettel

      Thanks so much for that, Lincoln. I cite it in my next article, “Why Sanders Continues Campaigning”.

      • You are very welcome, and an open mind is as dangerous as truth is when lies are the new normal!