April 14: CBS and Fox release new matchups.
• Sanders undefeated 6-0 against GOP.
• Sanders outperforms Clinton by nearly 10 points (avg).
• Clinton weak: loses twice to Kasich, virtually ties with Cruz.
Data source: RealClearPolitics.com
April 14, 2016 — In the CBS News national voter survey released today, Clinton holds a 6-point edge over Sanders for the Democratic nomination. However, this poll's margin of error is... 6 points.
A similar survey by Fox News, also released today, shows Clinton in a statistical dead heat with Sanders. She edges him by 2 points — but the margin of error is 4.5 points.
From there, the news gets worse for Clinton.
In a related poll released the same day, CBS News queried voters about November matchups.
• Against Trump, Sanders outperformed Clinton by 7 points.
• Against Cruz, Sanders performed 9 points better than Clinton.
• Against Kasich, Sanders again outperformed Clinton, this time by 11 points.
That's not the whole story. In one of the Cruz matchups, Clinton edged out God's gift to Texas Christians by only 3 points, same as this survey's margin of error. It means Clinton managed only a virtual dead heat against Cruz.
Sanders, however, trounced Cruz in this poll by 12 points.
In the same poll, Clinton LOSES to Kasich by 6 points. Sanders beats him by 5 points.
FOX NEWS — POLL RELEASED 4/14/16
Fox's matchups released today paint a similar picture — except here, Clinton loses to Kasich by 9 points. (Sanders again beats him.)
Clinton edges Cruz by just 1 point. Margin of error? 3 points. Another statistical tie for Clinton.
WHAT IT MEANS
Danger for Dems: the Clinton electability meme is a fantasy Democrats can no longer afford. Sanders consistently proves himself the strongest candidate against all GOP contenders. Meanwhile dozens of March-April matchups vs the GOP prove Clinton to be a liability.
If primary voters are foolhardy enough to nominate Clinton, Democrats could be in serious trouble against Cruz or Kasich in November.
Conclusion: Sanders is by far the only safe bet against the GOP.
Well-meaning primary voters can breathe a sigh of relief: they don't have to hold their nose and vote for Clinton. They can vote for Sanders with a clear conscience — secure in knowing he is not only the best candidate, but the most electable one as well.
It makes today a good day for voters of conscience, for Sanders, and for America.
APRIL 8, 2016 — For the first time this month, Clinton's performance against GOP candidates exceeded Sanders'. It happened in New York, where she served as US Senator for eight years and has close ties to Wall Street billionaires and hedge fund managers.
In a New York poll conducted by Emerson College, just released, Sanders beat both Trump and Cruz by wide margins, but Clinton's margins were slightly wider, a rarity.
vs TRUMP: Though Trump is another New Yorker, Sanders beat him by 13 points and Clinton by 18 points.
vs CRUZ: Sanders trounced the Texan by 27 points and Clinton by 28 points. Clinton's 1-point performance advantage over Sanders was not significant, however, because the poll's margin of error was 3.3 points.
Context: The ultra-right Texas senator has sneered at New Yorkers in his presidential campaign and this week was booed and heckled out of The Bronx. In addition to being the most hated man in the US Senate — a substantial achievement, given the competition — Cruz may arguably be one of the most hated men in New York.
Where is Kasich? Emerson published a Clinton-vs-Kasich matchup but, unfortunately, not one for Sanders vs Kasich. BernieWorks.com reports matchups only when a poll provides data for both Sanders and Clinton against a given GOP contender.
We call these "paired matchups." We believe they provide the most realistic picture by which to compare the relative performance of Sanders and Clinton against specific GOP candidates in the general election. Apples to apples!
APRIL 7. 2016 — In a general election poll released today by McClatchy and Marist College, Sanders left Clinton in the dust. He outperformed her by 11 and 12 points against Trump and Cruz respectively. and by 20 points against Kasich. Clinton won only one of the three GOP matchups. She tied with Cruz and lost to Kasich by 9 points.
vs TRUMP: Sanders and Clinton each beat Trump by a respectable margin, but Sanders' victory was double Clinton's. He topped Trump by a resounding 20 point points, she by 9 points.
vs CRUZ: Sanders beat Cruz by 12 points. However, Clinton could do no better than tie, her second tie this week against Cruz.
vs KASICH. Sanders beat Kasich by 11 points. Clinton lost to Kasich for the second time in a week, this time by 9 points.
APRIL 6, 2016 — Sanders again outperformed Clinton against GOP candidates in newly released Pennsylvania matchups against the GOP. Sanders topped Clinton's performance by 5 points vs Trump, 8 points vs Cruz, and 10 points vs Kasich.
Results of this Quinnipiac University voter survey in Pennsylvania:
vs TRUMP: Sanders beat Trump by 8 points. Clinton eked out a 3-point win over Trump, but this poll's margin of error was +/-2.4 points — uncomfortably close to a tie or loss.
vs CRUZ: Pennsylvania voters chose Sanders over Cruz by an 8-point margin, while Clinton managed only a tie against Cruz.
vs KASICH: The GOP candidate beat both Sanders and Clinton — topping Sanders by 6 points and Clinton by a whopping 16 points.
With Clinton's dismal performance against all three GOP candidates, it was not a good day for her in Pennsylvania.
Sanders did better, outperforming her in all three GOP matchups — even in the loss to Kasich.
Rightwing wrecking ball and Christian ayatollah Ted Cruz took the April 5 Wisconsin primary, capturing nearly half the GOP vote.
With Trump fast becoming his own worst enemy, Cruz could be heir apparent.
That's not an electoral problem if Sanders wins the Democratic nomination. Sanders performed well against Cruz in voter surveys released April 4.
In a Wisconsin survey by Emerson College, voters chose Sanders over Cruz by a 9-point margin. Meanwhile, Investors Business Daily conducted a general election survey. In IBD's poll, Sanders beat Cruz by 12 points.
Clinton? She edged Cruz by 3 points in Emerson's poll. This survey's margin of error was +/-2.8 points. Essentially, then, Clinton struggled to a statistical dead heat against Cruz. A tossup.
In the IBD poll, Clinton beat Cruz by 5 points, but the margin of error was +/-5.1 points, so all she got was another statistical dead heat. Another coin toss.
How comfortable does that make you feel about Clinton as our nominee if Ted Cruz gets the GOP nod?
Are you willing to bet the US presidency, bank corruption, economic policy and the next Supreme Court picks on a coin toss?
APRIL 4, 2016 — In voter surveys released April 4, Sanders extended his massive winning streak in eight new matchups against Trump, Cruz and Kasich, outperforming Clinton by 4 to 10 points in these matchups. In the new poll results, Sanders was undefeated against the GOP. However, Clinton was not, a worrisome sign of electoral weakness.
Data source: RealClearPolitics.com
Sanders vs GOP: 8 wins, 0 losses. Avg. margin over GOP: 20 points (11 excluding California).
Clinton vs GOP: 7 wins, 1 loss. Avg. margin over GOP: 13 points (4 excluding California).
Sanders outperformed Clinton in all eight matchups. In these individual matchups vs GOP candidates, he exceeded her by 4 to 10 points.
On average, Sanders outperformed Clinton by 7 points, whether or not we set aside the Dem candidates' respective California landslides in the GOP matchups.
If Sanders outperformed Clinton by 7 points with or without California, why bother making the California distinction? Glad you asked!
The anomalous California results could lull voters into a false sense of security about Clinton.
With California included, Sanders had a 20-point average lead over the GOP in the new matchups, while Clinton had a comparable 13-point average lead. Still good. No worries!
Not so fast. Set aside California's gratifying anomaly and an alarming picture snaps into focus.
Without California, the remaining matchups still give Sanders a solid 11-point average lead over GOP candidates. But Clinton? Without the anomaly, her average lead shrinks to 4 points.
What's more, in Clinton's loss against the GOP, Kasich beat her by 7 points.
Given what's at stake in November, Clinton's thin 4-point average margin in the new GOP matchups is deeply worrying.
Voters can no longer afford the fantasy that Clinton is somehow more electable. Her consistently weaker performance in matchups against the GOP make her a liability. A big one.
"Hold my nose and vote for Hillary" people urgently need to accept the truth: Sanders' consistent performance against the GOP makes him by far the stronger candidate.
BernieWorks.com launched with data from 100 matchups between Democratic and GOP presidential candidates. Our source: RealClearPolitics.com, which aggregates poll results.
We extracted matchups from voter surveys published there between the last day of February and the last day of March, 2016. On our Data page you can view the pollsters and their findings.
We included every poll that pitted both Sanders and Clinton against at least one GOP candidate. We call these "paired matchups."
The paired Sanders and Clinton results came from same survey, polled on the same day(s), conducted by the same pollster, in the same locale(s), using the same methodology and demographic sampling.
Thus our 100 results consist of 50 matched pairs. (The round numbers were coincidental.)
Every result you see on this site meets our "paired matchup" standard. We believe it's the most even-handed way to compare Sanders' and Clinton's likely electoral performance against GOP candidates.
We keep in mind that polls can be wildly inaccurate. What, then, was the point of this study?
1. Reliable or not, many people pay attention to poll results. During our March 2016 study period a new poll was published an average of once every couple of days. There must be an audience for these voter surveys, or pollsters would not invest substantial time and money in them.
2. We are not looking at individual poll results but seeking patterns in 50 matched pairs. If there is any reality to be discovered, it's in a consistent pattern among paired matchups.
3. Yes, we sought (and found) results that aligned with our hopes. We do want to see Bernie Sanders inaugurated as the next President of the United States on January 20, 2017. We celebrate his progressive policies and admire his integrity and 30-year record. We believe he will brook no nonsense with plutocrats and will do what he can for ordinary folks.
That is why we were especially thrilled at the pattern we found in the data. Beyond Sanders being the nation's best leader, this pattern says he is also the most electable.
Before launching this study, we knew Sanders was outperforming Clinton in poll matchups against the GOP. Robert Reich pointed it out in a January 2016 video. But we were amazed by the strength of Sanders' consistent performance in these matchups. We were also surprised at Clinton's relative weakness.
If Trump gets the GOP nomination — far from a given at this early-April point — the evidence indicates Clinton would defeat him but by a less commanding margin than would Sanders.
But if Cruz or Kasich get the GOP nod, Clinton could be in trouble. That's what the March polling pattern shows. Clinton failed to win a third of her 50 matchups.
This means Clinton is a liability. With the stakes so high, It's a risk we cannot afford.
Sanders, by contrast, won 90 percent of his matchups and often by wider margins than Clinton. The few matchups he did lose were by smaller margins than those of Clinton.
So there you have it: we're partisans who sought to paint a fair picture of reality (such as it may be), and were fortunate enough to discover a remarkably favorable outcome.
If you live in an upcoming primary state, please get out and vote for Sanders. He's not only the best candidate, but also the most electable.
The evidence speaks loud and clear: Sanders is our safest bet against the GOP.