Former 2012 campaign manager for former President Barack Obama, Jim Messina, said on ABC’s “Powerhouse Politics” that he doesn’t think that Senator Bernie Sanders can beat President Trump in 2020.
Messina made it clear that he thought Sanders would be one of the “final two or three candidates” in the primaries because his team has, “over the last four years, in delegate meeting after delegate meeting, and DNC meeting after DNC meeting … got the rules changed in a way that really, really helps [Sanders].”
Jonathan Karl, the host of the ABC show, then asked Messina about where Sanders is in the Democratic Party and what his chances are against President Trump in 2020.
The Daily Wire reported, “that “61% of Democrats say the most important issue in the Democratic primary for president is who can beat Donald Trump.” This, according to Messina, is a point of contrast between the politicians and the average Democratic voter, who simply wants to know who can best win the 2020 election.”
Karl then asked: “Can Bernie Sanders beat Donald Trump?”
“No,” Messina quickly replied.
Check out what else he had to say:
I think if you look at swing voters in this country, they are incredibly focused on the economy. You and I have had this discussion before. The winner of the economic argument in the last five presidential elections with swing voters has won the presidency.
And I think, today, you look at it and say that Bernie Sanders is unlikely going to be able to stand up to the constant barrage that is Donald Trump on economic issues like that.
Now that said, you know, there are other folks, other friends of mine, who believe very differently and that believe that Senator Sanders can excite a new population of people and get new voters out.
There’s this big fight in my party about, do you excite the base and jack up turnout? Or do you nominate a more mainstream candidate, moderate candidate, and get the swing voters? The three Democrats who have won the presidency in my lifetime – Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama – have been able to do both. And to win a presidential election against Donald Trump, you have to do both. You have to excite your base and turn out people, and you have to win swing voters. And we are going to look for a nominee who can do both.
Today, you would say in a general election context, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be that candidate.
Although Messina doesn’t think that Sanders can beat President Trump, Sanders clearly has a large following considering he raised $20.6 million in the first quarter.
The Daily Wire reported, “according to polling data, Sanders beats Trump consistently, but by increasingly slim margins. The RealClearPolitics polling average has Sanders beating Trump by 2.7 points (47% – 44.3%) as of publication. The only outlier is Rasmussen Reports, which has Trump beating Sanders by three points (47% – 44%).”
Let’s also remember what happened last time when the polling data assured us that the Democrat would win the presidency.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!