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Bernie Sanders in the South Bronx March 31st 2016. (Photo:Michael Vadon/cc/flickr)

New Polling Shows Sanders, Not Clinton, Most Formidable Against Trump

Surveys have repeatedly found Bernie Sanders beating the presumptive GOP nominee by a larger margin than Hillary Clinton.

Lauren McCauley

As forces in both major parties have begun to mobilize against a Trump presidency, a new national poll out Tuesday reveals the most surefire way to derail the GOP frontrunner: Nominate Bernie Sanders.

The NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll found that if the 2016 presidential election were held today, 53 to 40 percent of voters would elect Sanders over Donald Trump—which is more than double the margin that Hillary Clinton holds over the presumptive Republican nominee.

According to the survey, which was conducted online from May 2 through May 8, the former secretary of state also leads Trump, but with a far smaller margin: 49 to 44 percent, with an error estimate of plus or minus 1.3 percentage points.

Meanwhile, a separate poll found that in key presidential swing states the anointed nominees are running neck and neck.

The latest Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday shows Clinton beating Trump by just one point—43 to 42 percent—in both Florida and Pennsylvania. In Ohio, the real estate mogul holds a four-point lead over Clinton, with 43 to 39 percent.

Echoing the NBC News findings, Sanders bests Trump in all three of those states' hypothetical match-ups. The Vermont senator leads by two percentage points in both Florida and Ohio (44-42 percent and 43-41 percent, respectively) while beating Trump 47 to 41 percent in Pennsylvania.

The Quinnipiac survey notes that "since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states."

"If Democrats want to have the strongest candidate against Donald Trump they should look at those polls," Sanders declared during a rally at New Jersey's Rutgers University on Sunday.

"Virtually every poll has us way, way ahead of Donald Trump," Sanders told more than 5,700 supporters at an outdoor rally in Stockton, California on Tuesday.

"There is no question about which campaign is energizing the American people," he continued. "If you want the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump that’s us."

National polls have repeatedly shown Sanders beating Trump by a larger margin than Clinton.

Sanders has also closed the gap slightly with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, whose national lead in the NBC News poll has dropped from 14 to 12 points since late April.

In West Virginia, which holds its primary on Tuesday, Sanders is projected to win, and potentially by a double-digit margin. 


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