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NBC/WSJ Poll: How Trump is on the Rise, and Why Democrats are Panicking Over Bernie

There's plenty for Team Trump to like in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal national survey, and as usual, there are some warning signs, too.  Among other things, it shows the president emerging from impeachment in a stronger position, equaling his all-time high on job approval, including (slim) majority approval from independent voters:  


He's also at +15 (53/38) on his handling of the economy, for good reason:  

This comes on the heels of a Gallup poll showing the president climbing to 49 percent overall approval, and far stronger on the economy.  Remember, he won with just over 46 percent of the popular vote in 2016, which is almost precisely where his average approval rating sits now.  He emerged victorious last time despite 61 percent of the electorate holding an unfavorable view of him.  In hypothetical head-to-head battles, Trump trails all leading 2020 Democrats by relatively close margins -- except for the otherwise faltering Joe Biden, who holds an eight-point lead.  Among the swing states that will decide the election, it's tight across the board (again, except for the former Vice President, who Democratic voters have shunted aside with humiliating losses thus far):


In the Democratic race specifically, it's the Bernie show now.  Our case that he's the frontrunner is more or less irrefutable at this point.  He leads the pack by double-digits (his advantage is even bigger in the new ABC/WaPo poll), with a messy four-way virtual tie for second place below him, featuring Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.  And the conventional wisdom that the "moderate" lane needs to get decongested in order to stop Sanders ignores the reality (which YouGov picked up on a few days ago) that the Vermont Socialist is the second choice of many Democratic voters currently backing so-called moderates -- and that he's positioned to dominate several of them in potential one-on-one battles:


Why would the establishment "panic" about Bernie?  Given the lack of a serious 'Never Bernie' movement, it seems they're fine with his radicalism, his nearly $100 trillion agenda, his propaganda for the Soviets, and the cadre of anti-Semites in the ranks of his surrogates (including a revolting new addition).  Plus, he's been leading Trump head-to-head nationally for months.  I think the fear is that once general election season rolls around, he'll be a huge target for attacks, and that his hypothetical advantage will melt away as voters start to understand the breadth of his extremism.  

Americans are overwhelmingly satisfied and optimistic in their lives right now.  Sanders wants to uproot the while system with a revolution, including stripping 170 million people of their existing healthcare.  I'm not saying he's certain to lose as the Democratic nominee; the real chance that he could win is why I cannot bring myself to root for him as the "easily beatable" alternative.  His potential presidency would be disastrous.  But this matrix is not terribly encouraging about Bernie's general election viability -- especially when one considers that his "expand the electorate" theory of the case has not been producing promised results in the primary up to this point.  Yikes:


A certain someone hits the trifecta: A 75+ year old socialist who has suffered a heart attack within the past year.  There will be a lot of voters who have 'reservations,' or are 'very uncomfortable' with Bernie Sanders, based on those factors alone.  On the health issue, it sounds like Bernie is going to try to downplay and stonewall.  I'm not sure this sort of answer is going to fly:

It's getting wild and ugly.  Still, this is nutty hyperbole:


The country is too polarized for a 1972-style landslide in the current era, and some states are just rock solid for the Democrats, no matter who they nominate.  But Bernie could pose some serious problems for the party, and some down-ballot members are saying so.  But when does it become too late?

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