With just weeks to go before the critical New Hampshire primary and Iowa caucuses, Bernie Sanders' campaign is trumpeting the fact that, in a head-to-head contest with any Republican candidate, he fares better than his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"The truth of the matter is if you look at recent polling, you'll see that in many cases, Sanders is the strongest general election candidate among the Democrats," Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said in a conference call with reporters on Tuesday. "Bernie as the nominee puts our party in a stronger position to defeat Republicans."
As Common Dreams previously reported, several polls have shown that in match-ups against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, or other leading Republicans, Sanders would come out way ahead—and he'd do so with more impressive leads than Clinton.
Weaver pointed to the Vermont senator's "proven record of appealing to Republicans, and especially rural Republicans," echoing comments made by Sanders in late-December, when he outlined his plan to win over Trump's "working class and middle class supporters" by focusing on issues driving inequality.
According to The Hill, "the Sanders team on Tuesday also made the case that it’s running a top-flight campaign built for the long haul to maximize the accumulation of delegates."
"We have really built the infrastructure and have access to the resources which will allow us to go toe to toe with our Democratic competitors all the way to the convention next summer," Weaver said.
This is in keeping with a New York Times piece published Monday, in which Trip Gabriel and Amy Chozick outlined the operation's growing field team in Iowa. "The campaign has quietly assembled an extensive ground game here, with 100 paid staff members and with trained volunteer leaders for each of the state’s 1,681 caucus precincts," Gabriel and Chozick reported.
For what it's worth, Trump said this week that he would "rather run against Hillary"—perhaps because he knows he'd stand a better chance of winning.