What if it’s Bernie vs. Trump?
In yesterday’s New Hampshire primary, the two big winners were Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Both candidates are considered populists, though both are also quite distinct from each other in style and substance. Obviously.
The next two states on the way to the endorsements are Nevada and South Carolina.
In Nevada, the latest public polling for both sides is rather dated with one poll from October 2015 and the other from December 2015. In those polls, Hillary is ahead for the Democrats by an average of 19.5% according to Real Clear Politics. But the Washington Post warns that that may not actually be the case since it is a caucus state and the kind of demographic that shows up for voting could have a much higher representation of Bernie supporters.
On the Republican side in Nevada, Trump leads by an average of 13%. One should keep in mind that Trump also lead the polls in Iowa, another caucus state, but actually came in second.
For the pundits, South Carolina seems to be seen as a bigger test of the campaigns due to the greater diversity of the state. It is also a primary state like New Hampshire, which means it’s easier to cast a vote. There, the story remains the same for the Republican field. Donald Trump leads the polls by over 16%. But for Bernie Sanders, Hillary leads the state by an average of 30% in the polls.
The challenge for Bernie, according to the pundits, is whether or not he can attract minority voters. As the USA Today notes:
“Clinton led Sanders more than two-to-one in a Jan. 17-23 NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist South Carolina poll. Her 64-27% advantage over Sanders among likely Democratic primary voters was largely due to backing from 74% of African American likely voters, compared to 17% for Sanders.
Nationally, Clinton also leads Sanders among Latinos, who will play a prominent role at the Nevada caucus. Most Southern states that will hold nominating contests on March 1 also have sizable minority populations.”
Will Sanders be able to maintain his momentum outside of exceedingly “white” states such as Iowa and New Hampshire? It’s certainly something we’ve asked about in the past.
As for Trump, will he continue to rack up victories as he moves into the South and non-caucus states?
And more to the point, if Bernie and Trump do become the two major candidates for the presidency, what does it say about the American public? On one hand, we have a man who is an open socialist and on the other a nationalist. Both rally enormous crowds and have exceedingly impassioned supporters. Where does the Republic go from here?
(Image: Jacques-Louis David, The Coronation of Napoleon, Wikicommons)