Bernie Sanders is (by far!) the most popular politician in America

Originally published at:


It’s easy to be popular when all you have to do is criticize.


+28% with democrats, that’s a pretty good get out the vote pick.


I think the only thing that could make me dislike Bernie is a Sanders/Misfits mashup t-shirt.


If that were the case, then other Democrats would be equally popular. But Democrats whose critique of Trump isn’t grounded in Sanders’ anti-corruption, class-oriented message are not rising in the polls, while Sanders is – and Sanders has done nothing but rise and rise since 2015.



You are missing the point. There is nothing bad to say about Sanders because he hasn’t had to govern. Trumpgrets are a popular meme among the left because we expect Trump voters to become disillusioned with him once his results fail to live up to his sales pitch. We think that because we would hold our candidate accountable. Sanders hasn’t had to be accountable yet because he lost.

It may be that Sanders is more helpful if he never has to govern because then he can pull the party to left without causing much blowback. But that is a fundamentally reformist perspective while the Bernie-or-Bust types are anti-institutionalist (disestablishmentarian?)


Amazing how often people get that wrong.


I would think a US Senator is in the governing business. The President is not the country’s only leader, thank goodness. But I can’t believe we have yet another article expressing shock that Sanders is not a mainstream Democrat. Has nobody noticed the “I” after his name?


I was thinking the opposite the number is so low that the democratic establishment wouldn’t get behind him, again.

1 Like

Sanders himself put it this way in his usual blunt style in an interview … “There are some people in the Democratic Party who want to maintain the status quo. They would rather go down with the Titanic so long as they have first-class seats.”

That’s not especially blunt. There’s a whole corrupt, corporate-cash, pay-to-play structure within the supposed opposition party that establishment Dems refuse to relinquish, and that I wish Sanders and others would push harder to expose.


Maybe because it’s been proved repeatedly not to be true.

1 Like

I like Bernie, but every candidate he backed throughout the country lost by a lot - even in the most progressive areas (Zephyr Teachout in Woodstock, NY for example). This wasn’t from nefarious forces, this was voters not choosing these candidates. Rather than constantly blaming the system or others or anything else, progressives need to get to work creating infrastructure and voter registration for their policies and candidates. The addiction to rage and complaint is a major turn off to voters.


That’s “a **+**28 net favorability rating among the US population, dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum” according to the Grauniad. Note that @doctorow misread the passage: the numbers mean that a strong majority of the poll respondents they used for this measurement hold a favourable view of Sanders, right across the board (not just Democrats). His numbers with independent voters are particularly high.


No one has done negative advertising on him. Hillary didn’t want to antagonize his supporters to make it easier for them to support her in the general election and Republicans were enjoying the damage he was doing to Hillary. I support his positions, but I think you’re whistling past the graveyard if you believe these poll numbers would hold up after an election where the other side hit him hard.


A US Senator is governor of nothing. An independent in a senate with a republican majority and democrat minority, even less so.


Do you ever wonder if your name warrants a small section of some astroturfing mill somewhere?
Like, not a whole row, but maybe three sweaty guys staring at split monitors, rapidly typing reasonable sounding garbage, with psychosis written all over the inside of their half-cubicle who have a short list of “Watch names” and yours is on there?


Sanders governed at multiple levels (city, state, senate) and distinguished himself over a decades-spanning career with remarkably high, bipartisan approval ratings. He has never been president, true, but these approval ratings are not aberrant for his career – rather, he’s been trending high since the Reagan years.


The paid for propaganda comments will be the source of many thesis papers in the coming century. It’s quite obvious that the value of spewing your message incessantly is not only a good value per dollar spent (because the keyboard trolls work for cheap) - but also it provides the weak minded a sense of comradery that emboldens them.


What does it mean for 2020? Does it mean anything at all? Could he run? He seems healthy enough now, but would it be the case by then? If not him, who? Is Elizabeth Warren a credible heir?

I ask all these questions as a naive foreigner with superficial understanding of the USA’s political environment.