Sanders Still Strongest Candidate as New Poll Shows Trump and Clinton in Near-Tie

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Sanders Still Strongest Candidate as New Poll Shows Trump and Clinton in Near-Tie

Sanders continues to trounce Trump by double digits, 51 to 40 percent, according to the George Washington University survey

Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate John Kasich are the only major party candidates who still are viewed favorably by the majority of the American public, holding respective "unfavorability" ratings of 44 and 29 percent, according to the new survey. (Photo: Vanity Fair)

Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate John Kasich are the only major party candidates who still are viewed favorably by the majority of the American public, holding respective "unfavorability" ratings of 44 and 29 percent, according to the new survey. (Photo: Vanity Fair)

Though the media and political establishment have all but declared Hillary Clinton the official Democratic presidential candidate, new polling on Monday shows that Bernie Sanders continues to fare significantly better when matched against Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.

According to the latest George Washington (GW) University Battleground Poll, Clinton's lead over Trump has shrunk to 3 percentage points, with her besting the billionaire developer by just 46 to 43 percent nationally. What's more, the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The RealClearPolitics average has the former secretary of state with a slightly higher lead (8.5 percent) over Trump.

Meanwhile, Sanders continues to trounce Trump by double digits: 51 to 40 percent in the GW poll, and 53 to 37.8 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.

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Sanders' overall electability has dogged Clinton, the presumptive nominee, throughout the primary. Time after time, national polls have showed Sanders beating Trump by a larger margin than Clinton.

In an interview with NBC News late last week, the Vermont senator spoke to this trend.

"I think there are a lot of Democrats out there who are scared to death—as I am—about the possibility of a Trump presidency," Sanders said. "And the Democrats, by and large, want to see the strongest candidate possible to take on and defeat Trump or some other Republican. At this point, according to virtually all of the polls, that candidate is me."

The GW poll on Monday also found that Sanders and Republican candidate John Kasich are the only major party candidates who still are viewed favorably by the majority of the American public, holding respective "unfavorability" ratings of 44 and 29 percent.

The survey shows that "the other three—former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (56 percent), Texas Senator Ted Cruz (55 percent) and businessman Donald Trump (65 percent)—are all mostly disliked."

The poll, which surveyed 1,000 registered likely voters nationwide April 17-20, comes one day ahead of key Democratic primaries in Maryland, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Delaware.

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