This diary began as a comment in the conversation of Tom P.’s diary Polls Shows Bernie Is Most Popular Politician in America.
Tom P.’s diary included, among other things, the claim that Sen. Sanders is reviled by many members of DKos. As others noted, this is quite a far-reaching, and unfounded claim. Sen. Sanders is widely respected among DKos members (including myself), as a strong, consistent progressive voice.
I see Sen. Sanders as an invaluable asset, but not the singular voice of progressives, nor does his policy focus define progressivism. (I see Rep. Maxine Waters, for example, as giving voice to the full range of social and economic justice issues that define progressivism, and as the most outspoken critic of the Trump/GOP cabal.)
In any event, Tom P. cited a recent Harvard-Harris poll, which showed Sen. Sanders leading the other named Democratic politicians in favorable/unfavorable ratings. As pointed out by several other commenters, the poll neglected to include Vice-President Joe Biden, which is a fairly glaring oversight, since he appears to be strongly considering a presidential run in 2020:
Declaring "it's time for big dreams," former vice president Joe Biden is prepared to launch a new political action committee on Thursday, a move certain to stoke more speculation about whether he plans to mount a 2020 challenge to President Donald Trump.
The new PAC, dubbed American Possibilities, is being set up to help elect candidates who, like Biden, still believe in a nation "of ordinary people doing extraordinary things," according to an email the Democrat plans to send to supporters.
"That's who we still are," Biden says in the email, in which he relays that the PAC will also support groups and causes that embody the same spirit of thinking big.
Biden has tapped Greg Schultz, a former aide in his vice presidential office and a veteran of President Barack Obama's White House campaigns, to lead the new entity.
With that in mind, we might compare the Harvard-Harris poll to other polls over the past year (including one Pennsylvania poll from this month):
PPP (Dec. 2016)
We took an early look ahead to 2020 and how Trump would match up right now against some hypothetical Democratic opponents for reelection. He trails Joe Biden 54/40, Bernie Sanders 52/41, Elizabeth Warren 48/43, Al Franken 46/41, and Cory Booker 45/42 in head to head match ups. Biden (56/33 favorability) and Sanders (53/36) are among the most popular political figures in the country. Voters are more divided on Warren (42/39) and Franken (34/34). Booker is not as well known nationally as the rest of this group yet, coming in at 27/24.
PPP/PA (August 2017)
The new PPP poll that was released today contained, among other things, new information on the favorability ratings of several people and institutions in the news today.
Leading the way were First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden with 54% and 52% favorability ratings respectively.
Bernie Sanders also got decent marks, with 46% of Pennsylvanians looking at the Vermont Senator favorably with 40% having an unfavorable view.
PPP (May 2017)
Former Vice President Joe Biden fares best among Democrats in a hypothetical matchup against President Trump in 2020, according to a survey from the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling out Tuesday.
Biden edges Trump by 14 points in a head-to-head race, 54 percent to 40 percent, but he's far from being the only Democrat with an edge on the president heading into the next election.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) also fared strongly against Trump in the poll, leading him 52 percent to 39 percent.
Three other Democratic lawmakers in the poll also led Trump: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Cory Booker (N.J.).
Morning Consult (June 2017)
Former Vice President Joe Biden is the runaway favorite to win the 2020 Democratic nomination according to a new poll that also charted the emergence of two new potential challengers -- Starbucks boss Howard Schultz and Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Biden crushes the opposition in the Morning Consult survey with a 74 percent favorability rating. It was the second poll in a week to show Biden in the 2020 Democratic driver's seat.
One wonders why Biden wasn’t included in the Harvard-Harris Poll?
In any event, declaring Sen. Sanders to be ‘the most popular politician in America’ seems, at the very least, not a well-supported contention.
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