Politics

Poll: Bernie Sanders Is The Most Popular Politician

| by Michael Allen

An April poll found Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is the most popular active politician.

According to a new Harvard-Harris survey, Sanders has a 57 percent favorable ranking among registered voters, notes The Hill, while 32 percent view him negatively. Sanders has called for universal health care, a higher minimum wage, free public college education and higher taxes on the wealthy.

Eighty percent of registered Democrats see Sanders favorably even though he lost the Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Almost two-thirds of Republicans view Sanders in a negative light.

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Sanders has a 62 percent approval ranking from people aged 18 to 34, and a majority over age 50.

White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon ranks as the least favorite political figure, coming in at 16 percent -- a whopping 45 percent of voters have a negative view of him.

CNN host Jake Tapper recently gave GQ his take on Bannon: "Steve Bannon has made it clear: His goal is to blow everything up, so there's no confidence in anything except for President [Donald] Trump."

Tapper added that Republican officeholders are scared of Trump:

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I think if he stopped the nonsense, he has the potential to be a very effective president. The Republican officeholders in Washington are terrified of him. He is, by nature, a deal-maker, and not particularly ideological. He could be a very effective president, but he keeps undermining himself with conspiracy theories and the attempt to undermine anyone who provides any sort of check or balance.

Back at The Hill, Harvard-Harris co-director Mark Penn tried to explain Sanders' popularity:

In losing to Hillary, Bernie Sanders has floated above today’s partisan politics while Bannon has, rightly or wrongly, taken the blame for the administration’s failures. It is 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.

Sanders is currently on a tour with new Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez to try to unite the Democratic Party, which was split between establishment voters -- those who supported Clinton -- and grassroots voters, who see Sanders as their candidate.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who shares many of Sanders' progressive positions, has a 38 percent favorable view, and a 32 percent negative rating. Warren has built a career standing up against Wall Street banks, pushing for tougher financial laws and campaigning for higher wages.

Clinton has a 42 percent popular rating, but is dragged down with a 53 percent negative view. Like Sanders, Clinton supports universal health care, increases in the minimum wage and free college education for low and middle income students.

The president has a 44 percent favorability rating, and 51 percent negative ranking.

Vice President Mike Pence comes in with a 44 percent favorable view, and 41 percent negative rating.

Sources: The Hill, GQ / Photo credit: Nick Solari/Flickr

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