What do Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Have in Common?
Saturday, September 05, 2015
The pair seem to be almost polar opposites, but a closer look reveals more similarities than first meet the eye.
“They are both certainly doing something right,” said John Horvick, Vice President and Political Director of DHM Research, a Portland-based political research and polling firm told GoLocal. “They both represent frustrations with the status quo…that outsider label of someone that’s very critical of the establishment applies to both of them.”
Starting the Same
Both declared their candidacies earlier than many of their more established primary opponents, giving them a chance to grab the front page early. Since the campaigns have kicked off in earnest, both have stayed in the mainstream consciousness with radical ideas and harsh criticism of the Obama administration and the rest of the political establishment.
Both candidates’ supporters have been many and outspoken. Last month, Sanders packed the Moda Center, and treated the record setting crowd to a fiery and impassioned speech. He has so far been the only true opponent to Hilary Clinton, and has seized on weaknesses shown by the former Secretary of State.
Trump had butted heads with nearly every other Republican in the field at one time or another. He’s also brought on controversy by advocating for harsh immigration regulations including the building of a protective wall on the border between the United States and Mexico.
“They both have been making people feel good about being on the outside,” Horvick said. “I think Sanders has actually made Democrats feel good about being democrats…and Trump has made people feel good about being frustrated with government.”
Ending the Same
Clinton’s favorability rating among U.S. stands at just 41 percent, according to a recent Gallup poll, and Sanders is making up ground, passing Clinton for first place in a poll of New Hampshire democratic voters released earlier this week.
Despite his controversial stands, Trump has lead polls for much of the early goings and may gain legitimacy after signing a pledge not to run as a third-party candidate if he does not secure the Republican nomination.
According to another Gallup poll, Trump's favoribility has grown from a 56 percent mark among Republicans in July to a 63% mark among the same group as of September 1. He is not equally popular among Republicans, however.
Men in the party like Trump far more than women. He has a 70 percent approval rating among Republican men, up from 59 percent in July. Among women, his favorability is just 54 percent, down slightly from his July figure of 56 percent.
Horvick said he would not be surprised if despite their early popularity and success, they find the same disappointing final result.
“I think the odds are that neither of them will be their party’s nominee,” he said, noting that Trump’s party mates are beginning to catch up, and that Clinton still leads Sanders in the polls and in fundraising.
“History would say that these are not the types of candidates that end up running in the general election.”
Not Entirely Similiar
Horvick, of DHM, said that in spite of their similarities, the two still share plenty of differences.
“When you think about Donald Trump’s campaign, it’s been all about Donald Trump,” he said. “It’s not about his vision or what his plan. It’s been about him, how he’s a winner and a great manager and how successful he has been already.”
Sanders has been singing a different tune, Horvick said, one more centered on his plans to fix some of the problems ailing America.
“With Sanders, its all be about his vision,” he said. “It’s been about the economic problems this country is facing and his plan and his solutions for them.”
Related Slideshow: Bernie Sanders Rallies in Portland
The Bernie Sanders rally at the Moda Center in Portland drew the largest crowd its campaign has seen yet. Upwards of 28,000 people showed up to the event with many being turned away and watching his speech on a screen in the spillover section.
Many Sanders enthusiasts who were present at the rally had choice words about Hillary. “Democrats are forming another branch – a smarter branch. Hillary represents the corporate democrat. I believe in the social democrat and so does my grandma who is 87,” said Brett Bottorff.
Photo credit: Hilary Devaney
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