From The Guardian
A new poll found he is the most popular politician in America. But instead of embracing his message, establishment Democrats continue to resist him
If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America -- and it's not even close. Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party -- out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant -- still refuses to embrace him and his message. It's increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.
A new Fox News poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 net favorability rating among the US population, dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he's even more popular among the vaunted "independents," where he is at a mind boggling +41.
This poll is not just an aberration. Look at this Huffington Post chart that has tracked Sanders' favorability rating over time, ever since he gained national prominence in 2015 when he started running for the Democratic nomination. The more people got to know him, they more they liked him -- the exact opposite of what his critics said would happen when he was running against Clinton.
One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don't have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country.
Politico ran a story just this week featuring Democratic officials fretting over the fact that Sanders supporters may upend their efforts to retake governorships in southern states by insisting those candidates adopt Sanders' populist policies -- seemingly oblivious to the fact that Sanders plays well in some of those states too.
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Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to The (more...)