Generally, Bernie Sanders does better than Hillary Clinton against the leading Republican presidential candidates.
A week ago, I rambled at length about the Sanders/Clinton choice, confessed that I would support whichever of them I thought had a better chance in November, acknowledged that I don’t know which one that is, and mentioned on the underdog Sanders-might-be-the-electable-one side of the argument that head-to-head trial-heat polls matching each of the two Dems against the leading Repubs generally showed Bernie Sanders running better than Hillary Clinton. But I also noted that the polls were quite old. So I thought I’d pass along a couple of fresher poll results in that category of which of the Dems runs better against the leading Repubs.
Quinnipiac recently (Feb. 5) ran trial heats, among likely voters, of each of the Dems against Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. In all three comparisons, Sanders polled a bit better than Clinton.
Clinton beats Trump by five points, 46-41.
Sanders beats Trump by 10, 49-39.
Clinton ties Cruz, 45-45.
Sanders edges Cruz by four, 46-42.
Clinton trails Rubio by seven, 41-48.
Sanders ties Rubio, 43-43.
I don’t believe polls (or anything else) reliably tell the future. I’m skeptical of relying on them, or anything else. I’ll also repeat, from the previous piece, that Democrats who say they attach the most importance to nominating the most electable Democrat overwhelmingly prefer Clinton.
But it’s hard to argue that any metric more directly measures that question better than the kind of head-to-head polls above.