Bernie Sanders Would Be Donald Trump's Worst Nightmare; Hillary, Not So Much

"Hillary Clinton is perhaps the worst possible Democratic candidate who could ever run against Donald Trump," argues Kind. "Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, would give Donald Trump fits in a head-to-head match up." (Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin/Seth Wenig/Photo montage by Salon)

Bernie Sanders Would Be Donald Trump's Worst Nightmare; Hillary, Not So Much

You may not like Donald Trump. Hell, you may hate his guts and think he is the worst thing to ever happen to American politics in modern history.

If you called him an offensive, sexist, xenophobic bigot, I'd be first in line to agree with you.

Yes, his skin is orange and his hair is ridiculous. He's also an incredibly formidable politician who just beat the dog crap out of more than a dozen different Republicans including the current governors from Ohio, Wisconsin and New Jersey, two widely-known multi-term governors from Florida and Texas, four current U.S. senators from Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida and Texas, a doctor and a former tech CEO.

One by one, they all underestimated Donald Trump, overestimated themselves and made it abundantly clear that they have no earthly idea what conservative American voters are looking for in 2016.

The GOP's top contenders raised more money than Donald, outspent him and out-hired him. Still, with virtually no support from the political establishment and very little ground game to speak of, he swatted them all away like flies.

I can't stand the man, but what he just did was strange, historic and unprecedented.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- Donald Trump could very well be the next President of the United States.

Now that he is the presumptive Republican nominee, and appears to be attempting to moderate his tone a bit, he is more dangerous than ever.

Underestimate him and his candidacy at your own risk.

Hillary Clinton is perhaps the worst possible Democratic candidate who could ever run against Donald Trump. I sincerely believe he could beat her in the general election.

Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, would give Donald Trump fits in a head-to-head match up. Let me break it down.

1. Like Donald's other fallen foes, Hillary Clinton represents the political establishment.

This narrative is strong and served as the primary crutch of Donald's strategy to defeat an enormous, well-funded Republican field. Americans are incredibly frustrated with our government and Donald used this very real sentiment to position himself as the anti-establishment candidate. Call it nonsensical, but this position, which Donald will hold against Hillary, is what President Obama used to defeat her in 2008, is what George W. Bush used to defeat Al Gore in 2000, and was even what Bill Clinton used to defeat George H.W. Bush in 1992.

Hillary Clinton is as establishment as establishment gets. The machine is behind her. Her campaign against Bernie Sanders has only advanced this sentiment.

Donald Trump simply could not use this angle against Bernie Sanders.

2. Hillary's millions of dollars worth of paid speeches to banks, lobbyists and billionaires cede a certain moral high ground to Donald Trump.

Donald Trump is a filthy rich fat cat. He's gaudy and cartoonish with his wealth. He openly admits that he hires foreign workers for cheap jobs and abuses tax loopholes. He is the poster child for everything that Bernie Sanders has railed against -- not just in this campaign, but for his entire life in public service.

Hillary Clinton will not really be able to say much about this, though, because Donald's biggest liability is also an enormous liability for her. What's worse, being Scrooge McDuck, or getting paid to speak to a room full of Scrooge McDucks over and over and over again and refusing to release the transcripts of what you said to them? She and Bill rented a home in the Hamptons for $50,000 per week. They've made $230 million since Bill left office. Hillary made more money in 12 speeches to big banks than most American's will make in their lifetime.

Bernie Sanders is a career public servant and will be so until the day he dies. His entire life stands in stark contrast to the outrageous opulence of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The thought that this angle will basically be off the table if the campaign is between Donald and Hillary is simply dumb.

3. Independent and new voters are flocking to Bernie Sanders and even to Donald Trump, but not to Hillary Clinton.

Bernie Sanders is the longest standing Independent in the history of the United States Congress. Consequently, independent voters have flocked to his campaign en masse. When they are allowed to vote in primaries, like they did on Tuesday in Indiana, he wins. They have been absolutely essential to his wins in 18 different states thus far. With only 29% of Americans identifying as Democrats and 26% as Republicans, the largest voting bloc is independents.

Those voters make-up a large spectrum of political views and demographics, but they are all united in their frustrations with the government, the status quo and lobbyists.

I believe many independent voters will stay at home if Bernie Sanders isn't a candidate. It will be up to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party to win them over, but they've expressed very little interest in such a thing thus far. Many more conservative independents will indeed vote for Trump.

4. Hillary's reliance on millions of dollars from Super PACs is a real problem.

Zero percent of Bernie's campaign funds come from Super PACs. Four percent of Donald's campaign funds come from Super PACs.

Hillary? More than seven times that amount. An astounding 30% of her campaign funds come from Super PACs. Donald Trump could feasibly decide he isn't taking a dime from them and put Hillary in a position to defend her reliance on them.

This would never be an issue for Bernie Sanders. It is his rejection of Super PAC money that has actually won over millions of his voters. For them, this issue is everything. The idea of supporting the candidate who relies so heavily on this type of money nauseates many. Donald Trump will be able to get on the mic and tell supporters that he just isn't influenced by outside money and they'll believe him.

5. Young voters are crazy about Bernie Sanders and just don't care for Hillary Clinton.

By young, we don't just mean teenagers. Voters under 25, voters under 35, even voters under 45 all support Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. The younger the voter, the bigger the margin. In some age groups he's beating her by 85%-15%.

These young voters were the lifeblood and energy of Barack Obama's campaign and they have virtually rejected Clinton altogether in this campaign. They are incredibly loyal to Bernie. They trust him and believe in him. They won't simply or easily transfer over to another campaign. This is a real problem for Clinton and will show immediately in a general election.

Hating Trump is not the same thing as supporting Hillary Clinton and young voters know this. While Donald Trump doesn't have a youth movement of any kind to talk about, it just matters a heck of a lot less if it's Clinton he's going against.

Bernie has consistently said that he does better in every poll in a head to head match up against Donald Trump than Hillary does. The non-partisan fact-checkers at Politifact found this claim to be accurate.

In one new poll, Trump actually leads by 2 points in a race against Hillary. In another, she's just up by 3 points against Trump. Bernie beats Trump in every poll and by larger margins.

This race isn't new anymore. People know enough about Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to make an informed decision. I believe these polls are accurate. The team at FiveThirtyEight stated that they believe the polls between Trump and Clinton will continue to narrow.

We can all agree that Trump must be stopped, but this much is clear - Hillary Clinton is not the best opponent to stop him.

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