The poll of voters in more than 40 battleground House districts currently held by Democrats — conducted by Global Strategy Group for the Bloomberg campaign and obtained by POLITICO from two sources — found that Sanders is less popular than Trump and loses significant support when hit for holding socialist positions. Sanders is a self-described Democratic socialist, a distinction that his opponents are starting to draw more frequently in the days following the Vermont senator’s dominance in Nevada. His agenda of “Medicare for All,” the “Green New Deal” and guaranteed tuition and debt-free public colleges has rankled more establishment members of the party.
The poll found Sanders essentially running even with Trump in a head-to-head match-up across the districts, trailing the incumbent by just one point. But Trump opens up 6-point advantage after a list of negative messages about Sanders’ ideology and alleged ineffectiveness in the Senate is presented to poll respondents.
But Sanders’ potential impact extends beyond the presidential race. A plurality of voters, 39 percent, say they will be less likely to vote for a Democrat for Congress if Sanders is the Democratic nominee and his ideas are folded into the party platform.