Sanders Probably Will Campaign For President Till Election Day

Eric Zuesse

Ever since the start of 2016 — and this means throughout the entire period while primary elections and caucuses have been held — only a single person has led both political Parties’ head-to-head hypothetical matchups against all of the given person’s opposite Party candidates: Bernie Sanders. A quick view of the recent head-to-head matchups in both Parties is here:

And here those results are shown ever since the start of the Presidential campaigns:

And here is the same thing shown at HuffPollster:

What this means is that among the total electorate — both Parties, and also including independents — Sanders has been the consistent leader as the person most preferred to become the next U.S. President.

There is no mystery as to why this is the case: Sanders has consistently had the highest net favorability rating of all of the Presidential candidates in both Parties. This is not speculation, and it is not debatable; it is the data.

In fact, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are rated more unfavorably than they are rated favorably — each of those two is in net-negative territory on favorability. In other words, with only Clinton and Trump as being realistically possible to become elected President, the U.S. Presidential contest is not between two attractive candidates, but between two unattractive ones.

If Bernie Sanders were somehow able to become a realistically possible alternative to the two major Parties’ nominees, and if this were to become generally recognized by voters to be the case by the time November 8th rolls around, then here are some of the questions that would dominate at that time and be considered by each individual voter:

Are more of his prospective voters coming from the pro-Clinton side, or from the pro-Trump side?

Do I care so much about which of those two would win, so that I would be more concerned to vote my conscience than I would be concerned to vote for the person whom I prefer merely between those two?

A choice of a net-positive will seem easy to many people for whom the two-person choice is only between two net-negatives.

Because of the high net-negatives for both Clinton and Trump, plus the billionaires’ backing of both of those candidates, any Clinton-Trump contest would accentuate the opposite candidate’s negatives. The negatives won’t be ignored. Furthermore, because of the net-positive favorability rating of Sanders, any attack against him from either the Democratic side or the Republican side would antagonize so many independents as to be potentially politically suicidal.

How can it NOT be likely that such a person as that will be a third candidate by November 8th? Where there is a will, there is often, by some imaginative means, a way; and where there is both a will and a way, there is also generally a rush of people who recognize it and who contribute their money to it.

I therefore disagree with anyone who says that it’s impossible for Sanders to become the next President.

Furthermore, if Clinton becomes indicted in the email matter, she might even be out of the picture entirely, by November 8th.

It’s a wild campaign year. And this could continue until Election Day (or maybe even beyond).


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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  • wunsacon

    I don’t see how the country will be “governable” if led by Hillary. Maybe not if led by Trump or Sanders either.

    Thought experiment:

    – Imagine another Malheur or Waco standoff happens. (Easy to imagine, since the national mood is angry.)

    – Imagine Hillary is president. (Yes, unlikely at this point. But, just imagine.) How much more enraged and popular will “right-wing militias” become, if she orders an assault? What if, out of fear of potential reactions, she *can’t* order an assault? What can the LEO-in-chief do if unable to do such simple things as protect federal property?

    Same thought experiment with Trump. I think he’s more likely to pull it off, since right-wingers will cut him slack. But, I’m not sure. What if there’s a standoff involving illegal aliens taking over an INS office or detention center or something?

    If I were one of oligarchs, I’d try to get someone “likeable” in office. Wealth depends on the continuity of government. An angry populace threatens wealth.

    • diogenes

      Waco was a problem created by government. Compared to the destitution of most Americans by Wall Street predators, the gutting of American democracy by Wall Street oligarchs and the shredding of the Bill of Rights and imprisonment of millions by their hirelings in government, the insane unamerican imperialist war-mongering “bipartisan” foreign policy, and any number of other pressing issues, the prospect of another Waco it is a stale red herring. So why do you bring it up?

      • wunsacon

        Now that you’ve interpreted what I wrote in the worst way possible, can you interpret it in a better way?

        Imagine someone who understands everything you just said and yet still brings it up as a thought experiment. Can you think of “why?” ?

        • diogenes

          Yes, why is exactly what I’m wondering about. Why distract discussion from serious matters to bogus? Calling it a “thought experiment” doesn’t explain it or excuse it. It’s still a distraction from serious issues to bogus.

        • diogenes

          Yes, why is exactly what I’m wondering about. Why distract discussion from serious matters to bogus? Calling it a “thought experiment” doesn’t explain it or excuse it. It’s still a distraction from serious issues to bogus.

        • diogenes

          Yes, why is exactly what I’m wondering about. Why distract discussion from serious matters to bogus? Calling it a “thought experiment” doesn’t explain it or excuse it. It’s still a distraction from serious issues to bogus.

          • wunsacon

            >> doesn’t explain it or excuse it.

            “Excuse”? Doesn’t that strike you as unnecessarily antagonistic? I’ve done nothing wrong. I don’t see why I should provide an “excuse” that meets with your approval.

    • cstahnke

      I’ve been thinking the same thing particularly if HRC wins. On the other hand with Trump we are likely to have a profound shakeup in a completely unpredictable way that would initially cause a good deal of chaos and oligarch factions re-align. Whatever it is I’m looking forward to it because there is some chance that the Sanders “vision” will be insisted upon and a new militancy will embolden the left.

  • diogenes

    All this is evident. The history of oligarchic rigging of American electoral politics over the past 120 years also makes it evident that Bernie doesn’t have a chance of being nominated, let alone elected. The system is designed to prevent such things. Until Americans confront this fundamental and obvious fact, and contrive ways to end it, nothing will change. The only end achieved by pretending otherwise is the preservation of the delusion that the System can work, when very plainly it is designed, effectively and successfully, not to. Which brings us to the question, what is Mr. Zuesse’s purpose here? Is he really so blind to history and to the events of our own lifetimes? Or does he actually intend to reinforce these delusions? Or is he intent on diverting American citizens from facing them and taking thought how we can realistically and effectively reclaim America from its oligarchic betrayers?

  • jadan

    Given that the electoral system was rigged from the start to prevent direct popular election of the president, ie, to prevent democracy, something extraordinary has to happen if the will of the people is to take the day. The anti-democratic “electoral college” concept is just one obstacle. The most heinous fix in our latter day oligarchy is computerized voting….

  • Dottie Derewicz

    Just what we need a communist/solcialist..Are you kidding me? He may be favorable as far as being a nice guy, but favorable as far as being a big government socialist nut..not so much.


    Dr. Walter Block, a childhood classmate of Bernie Sanders, dissects one of the sacred cows of Seattle’s latte-Left: minimum wage laws. Recorded at Contra Krugman: Demolishing the Economic Myths of the 2016 Election: the Mises Circle at Seattle’s historic Town Hall, on 21 May 2016. Special thanks to the Harvey Allison family for making this event possible.

  • ClubToTheHead

    I’ve got a thought experiment.

    Imagine if the hotshots and bigshots who run the government and the parties decided to let a democratic election decide who would be president.

    Then Sanders would be president.