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No Active U.S. Politician Is More Popular Than This Independent, Socialist Senator

In a field of 16 Trump administration officials and congressional leaders, Sanders was the only one with a majority-favorable rating

Still feelin' the Bern. (Photo: Mark Dixon/flickr/cc)

As he tours the country hoping to give the Democratic Party an energy boost, yet another poll has shown Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to be extremely popular among the U.S. electorate.

A Harvard-Harris survey found that 57 percent of registered voters view Sanders favorably, according to The Hill, which reported exclusively on the poll this week. In fact, "Sanders is the only person in a field of 16 Trump administration officials or congressional leaders included in the survey who is viewed favorably by a majority of those polled," The Hill wrote. 

Sanders fared particularly well among voters aged 18-34, who give him a 62 percent approval rating. And, reflecting—or supporting—his influence within the party, 80 percent of registered Democrats said they view the Vermont senator favorably.

On Tuesday night, Sanders reiterated to MSNBC's Chris Hayes that he does not consider himself a Democrat.

"No, I'm an Independent," Sanders said when asked by Hayes about his party identification. "If the Democratic Party is going to succeed—and I want to see it succeed—it's gonna have to open its door to Independents. There are probably more Independents in this country than Democrats or Republicans. It's got to open its doors to working people and to young people, create a grassroots party. That's what we need."

Sanders' popularity could be good news for politicians like Montana's Rob Quist, who is running for his state's open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sanders said this week that he would campaign with populist Quist next month, ahead of a May 25 special election.

White House strategist Steve Bannon fared the worst in the Harvard-Harris poll, with just 16 percent of respondents saying they viewed him favorably and 45 percent harboring an unfavorable opinion.

The poll's co-director, Mark Penn, told The Hill that the results were "symptomatic of the Democrats increasingly consolidating to the left while the Republicans are fractured and unable to come together. Sanders is an asset to the Democrats while Bannon is a liability to the administration."

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