U.S. still Berns for Sanders

Practical Idealism: Balancing the political landscape.


Dylan Bryant

Dylan Bryant, Reporter

Now that we’re in the Trump era, the most popular politician in the United States is by far and away … Bernie Sanders.

A Fox News poll published March 17 found that Sanders has a plus-29 favorability rating, higher than any other politician or institution included. President Trump came in with a favorability rating of minus-9, and Paul Ryan scored a minus-10, while Nancy Pelosi scored minus-17. The new poll reaffirms my belief that the Democratic Party, as a whole, is destined to fail unless they embrace Sanders’ message.

Since the election, Democrats have held the Sanders wing of the party off, squashing the campaign of Keith Ellison to become DNC chair, and promoting Bernie himself to a seemingly powerless leadership position within the Senate, placing him in charge of Outreach. And Outreach is exactly what he’s been doing.

Since Clinton’s defeat, Sanders has been on countless Town Halls on CNN and MSNBC, debating Ted Cruz on healthcare or finding common ground with Trump voters in West Virginia.

He’s been in the public eye since his own ride to fame, and he’s only getting more popular. Hillary Clinton disappeared into the woods after her loss, and has only come out to shake hands with donors at galas.

Trump, on the other hand, has seen a dramatic decline in support since swearing in, and multiple controversies swarming his office at any given time only further this.

Sanders message is landing. Membership in the Democratic Socialists of America, the nations’ oldest socialist organization, has tripled since the election, to its largest membership in decades. A Harvard Institute of Politics poll released last year found that 33% of 18-29 year olds identify as socialist.

If you analyze Sanders’ support among the coveted “Independents,” you find his support skyrockets to plus-41 points, a borderline unheard of margin.

On top of that, Sanders has the largest mailing list in the entire party, the most popular social media accounts, and the strongest grassroots organizing seen in years.

He is effectively already campaigning for the presidency in 2020, and he doesn’t have to waste time “finding a message” or “shaping his image.” He is himself, and that’s why he is so popular.

The healthcare debate taking place right now perfectly displays why Sanders has the high ground on issues.While Democrats are beholden to defending every part of Obamacare against impending destruction, Sanders is able to defend that which is defensible, criticize that which needs criticism, and advocate for a single-payer system the whole time, which is the most popular healthcare reform policy in the U.S.

Democrats who continue to hold Sanders’ platform at arms-length risk absolute failure. Democrats positioning themselves as an opponent to his movement (Cory Booker, Andrew Cuomo) embody the same establishment mindset that has left the Democrats the most powerless they’ve been in decades.

When the most popular politician in the U.S. is on your team, you should probably just step aside.