Hillary vs. Bernie: Who Is More Electable?

The Clinton and Sanders head-to-head is a tight race at this point, so primary voters are asking themselves which candidate stands a better chance of winning in November. Many op-eds agree that only one of these candidates will be able to defeat the GOP in the general election. Where they differ, however, is which candidate is capable of winning. It’s funny how they think it’s so clear that only one can win, yet still manage to reach opposite conclusions.

“It’s a Nice Thought, But Bernie Sanders Can’t Win” – Eric Zorn, The Chicago Tribune

Zorn says he “feels the Bern,” but then he reminds us of some fairly obvious strikes against the senator. In case you forgot, Sanders is old. He’s Jewish. He’s secular. He doesn’t mind identifying as a socialist. These are all factors that liberals aren’t particularly bothered by, but that’s not true of the U.S. population at large. Zorn is bold enough to say that Sanders would ultimately lose his home state of Vermont.

“Hillary Clinton Just Can’t Win: Democrats Need to Accept That Only Bernie Sanders Can Defeat the GOP” – H.A. Goodman, Salon

Well if that’s true, I guess that explains why Sanders polls so much better than Clinton against potential GOP contenders. In a national match-up, surveys show that Sanders handily beats both Trump and Cruz, while victory for Clinton is not so guaranteed. Add to that the other polls that show the majority of Americans have an “unfavorable” view of Clinton and two-thirds consider her “not honest,” and suddenly you have a recipe for someone who’s going to get rejected in November.

“Berned Up?” – Josh Burnall, Talking Points Memo

The only problem is that those aforementioned polls are present day polls. By and large, Sanders has yet to be attacked by the Republican machine – a certainty if Sanders is to win the Democratic nomination. Apparently, D.C. insiders have been quietly testing how well Sanders will fare after the inevitable attacks are unleashed, and these unpublished studies (you’ll have to take their word for it, I guess!) reveal that he loses to just about any GOP contender. Allegedly, Republicans are intentionally holding back on these attacks now because they believe Sanders will prove to be an easier beat in the general election.

“Why Hillary Clinton Can’t Win in 2016” – Bill Whalen, Forbes

Can whatever damage Republicans do to Sanders in a few months really be any worse than the twenty-five years of ridicule the GOP has put Hillary through? Whether or not it is deserved, Clinton’s gone through a total character assassination and has been the butt of all sorts of jokes since her first day in the White House as First Lady. Her poor favorability ratings are hardly surprising since she has no chance of fixing the image the media and right have already crafted of her.

“Bernie Sanders Isn’t Electable, and Here’s Why” – Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast

Okay, but at least Clinton still has support within the Democratic Party. Ultimately, Sanders needs the help of the Democratic establishment to win in the general, and that’s not a guarantee. For starters, he’s not actually a Democrat. He’s an Independent that caucuses with the Democrats, but the party honchos consider him an outsider for not officially joining their club. By not aligning with other Democrats and helping to raise money for other Democrats, Sanders hasn’t properly kissed Democratic insiders’ butts in the way they are accustomed. If they’re unwilling to put their necks on the line for him in the general election, Sanders probably can’t win.

All of these articles raise some excellent points, which is why I ultimately must reject their theses. There are pros and cons for each candidate in the general election, and it’s too nebulous to confidently say that either one is much more likely to carry the Democrats in November. With no clear-cut answer, primary voters should outright reject arguments that only one specific candidate can ultimately win and instead focus on which candidate they want to become president. After all, there’s no point in settling when nothing has been settled.

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey


william M
william Miller2 years ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

I don't think either one is electable. He is a socialist, if you want that go to Cuba. She is a liar with way too much baggage.

Brian F.
Brian F3 years ago

What is needed is to raise the minimum wage, end Corporate Welfare, end Citizens United, support clean energy, and transition away from dirty fossil fuels, support free colleges, support criminal justice reform, support Medicare for all, and raise taxes on the rich. Bernie Sanders is the only honest candidate, who supports these positions. He has my vote, and I hope he gets elected.

Eric Lees
Eric Lees3 years ago

So Sanders did recently criticize the FED but not for it's manipulation of the economy which is greatly responsible for the growing inequality. Sanders actually wants them to manipulate it more! Could he be any more clueless?
Just to be clear Sanders is not the only candidate running that supports the FED, almost all of the candidates running from the 2 party system do. Rand Paul being an exception but he has dropped out.

"Mises Daily Friday: Bernie Sanders Criticizes the Fed for the Wrong Reasons "

"Sanders’s entire plan rests on the idea that what the economy needs is an influx of new lending: he wants the Fed to encourage — instead of discourage — commercial banks to increase their extension of loans. But this is completely the wrong model. What is needed is not more cheap debt. Rather, what is needed is improvement in capital formulation. What is needed is deleveraging and liquidation. What is needed is the thing that Keynesian economists fear most: savings, deferment of mass consumption, and a sound currency."


Anne P.
Anne P3 years ago

Hillary is the Establishment candidate, Bernie is the revolutionary. Hillary is owned; Bernie answers to the people. Hillary says "no we can't," Bernie says "yes we must." Hillary wants to take baby steps, Bernie advocates giant leaps. Hillary is a flawed candidate with a lot of baggage that the Republicans will gleefully hold against her. She's not as popular in Washington as she would have you believe. Bernie is roundly respected by Democrats and Republicans alike. The choice is clear to me: Bernie's getting my vote!

And by golly, take a deep breath, people. Only 4 states have spoken with 46 to go, and territories ... and of these four, Bernie won one, Hillary won one, and they essentially tied in the other two. Of course Hillary will win the southern states, but Bernie has strong support in other parts of the country. Don't let the MSM fool you into believing that Bernie is finished! It's early days yet!

James Maynard
James Maynard3 years ago

Pundits can say whatever they like, but, the reason we have primaries is so the people can decide......

Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn3 years ago


Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld3 years ago

Yes, the current minimum wage is the low side, but not by much. Adjusted for inflation, the average minimum wage over the past 50 years would amount to ~ $8.00/hour. Raising the minimum to this level, which many workers are already earning, would have a minimal effect on employment. Raising it above $10/hr would have a more noticeable impact, and $15/hr would have s major impact. Raising umployment for the very same workers they are claiming to help. Nice.

Jennifer Manzi
Jennifer Manzi3 years ago

And Hill is a spring chicken. Give me a break