Polling results released Wednesday by Politico/Morning Consult show that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is widely speculated to make another run for the Oval Office in 2020, would beat President Donald Trump by double digits.
In a face-off between Sanders and Trump, the senator garnered a 12-point lead, with 44 percent of respondents favoring Sanders, 32 percent who said they would vote to re-elect the president, and 24 percent who didn't know or had no opinion.
Sanders has repeatedly insisted to journalists that he is currently focused on serving in the Senate and his re-election, though he reportedly has been quietly considering a 2020 bid for months and has declined multiple opportunities to rule out a run.
"What I have said time and time again, my focus right now is on 2018 and to do everything that I can to end one-party rule of the House and the Senate," Sanders told Stephen Colbert last week. "We're working really, really hard on that, but it is too early to be talking about 2020."
While the Vermont senator was the most popular Democratic contender among the 11 included on the poll, former Vice President Joe Biden ranked second, beating Trump 43 to 31 percent. Biden, who has led the pack in some previous polling, said last month that he will make a decision about running by next January and encouraged other 2020 hopefuls to do the same.
This latest poll was conducted Aug. 16–18, before Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations that implicate the president; former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted for bank and tax fraud felonies; and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), the second congressman to back Trump's 2016 run, was indicted for allegedly spending campaign funds on everything from family vacations to videos games.
Just hours before those damning developments for Trump associates and supporters on Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), another potential 2020 contender, unveiled sweeping new anti-corruption legislation. Though Warren's lead over Trump was slimmer than that of Sanders or Biden, she still led the president 34 to 30 percent, with the remaining 36 percent of respondents undecided.
The other eight potential Democratic candidates included in the poll—Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), and Kamala Harris (Calif.); New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo; Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; Rep. John Delaney (Md.); former Attorney General Eric Holder; and Michael Avenatti, Stormy Daniels' attorney—trailed Trump to varying degrees: