Image 01 Image 03

Are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump vying for the same supporters?

Are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump vying for the same supporters?

“Bernie is my No. 1 choice, and Trump is No. 2. They’re not that different.”

As we discussed last weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ is wooing supporters of Republican presidential contender, Donald Trump. Not uncommon in a general election, reaching across party lines to glad-hand during primary season should be bizarre.

But in this particular election cycle, both Trump and Sanders’ strongest support comes from two strikingly similar groups of disenchanted Americans.

Back to last weekend’s post exploring this phenomenon:

Sound impossible? Data suggests otherwise.

Though Trump has successfully syphoned off some traditional Republican supporters, the majority of his support base is comprised of a very particular kind of Democrat.

Research conducted by Civis Analytics and reported by the New York Times confirmed what I’ve long suspected about much of the hard-core Trump support base — they’re Democrats who don’t vote.

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 6.08.06 PM

Reporting from a Trump event on Sanders’ home turf Thursday, the New York Times visited with rally participants and observers. Granite state natives (at least those in this setting) didn’t seem to mind that their top two candidates bore two different party affiliations:

Those bundled up outside just wanted to see the billionaire businessman in the flesh. Surprisingly, some were fans of both Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders, the Vermont senator seeking the Democratic nomination, and were trying to decide which one to back.

“I think he’s smart, and he has the best chance of winning support and maybe flipping the state,” Daniel Nadeau, 22, of St. Albans, Vt., said of Mr. Trump. “Bernie is my No. 1 choice, and Trump is No. 2. They’re not that different.”

Voters who were on the fence between the seemingly polar-opposite candidates said that both communicated well with working-class people and made strong cases for how they would boost the economy, despite their differing policy ideas.

“I’m a Trump guy, but I do like Bernie,” said Peter Vincenzo, 59, who works installing hardwood floors and traveled from Ohio for the rally. “There are a lot of parallels between these two guys. There’s a populist appeal that comes with both of them.”

In August, Glenn Reynolds (aka Instapundit), referred to both Trump and Sanders as, “symptoms,” of the ruling class disease. Reynolds considered the rise of both as a rebellion of those who feel disenfranchised by anyone and everyone in elected office:

Trump’s rise is, like that of his Democratic counterpart Bernie Sanders, a sign that a large number of voters don’t feel represented by more mainstream politicians. On many issues, ranging from immigration reform, which many critics view as tantamount to open borders, to bailouts for bankers, the Republican and Democratic establishments agree, while a large number (quite possibly a majority) of Americans across the political spectrum feel otherwise. But when no “respectable” figure will push these views, then less-respectable figures such as Trump or Sanders (a lifelong socialist who once wrote that women dream of gang rape, and that cervical cancer results from too few orgasms) will arise to fill the need.

But Trump and Sanders are just symptoms. The real disease is in the ruling class that takes such important subjects out of political play, in its own interest.

Interview after interview with Sanders and Trump acolytes suggests they’re not concerned about the nitty gritty policy specifics; they’re angry from being ignored.

Strip away the party affiliations and laid bare is anger; pure (and arguably justified) angst. Trump and Sanders have smartly harnessed that anger and ridden it into national political prominence and now the fight for the title “Leader of the Frustrated” is well underway.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Oh, rubbish.

Sanders is mainstream Democrat; the only things keeping him from being crowned King of the Donkeys right now is that he dares to use the word “socialist” in public, and that he isn’t Hillary.

I don’t know what Trump is, but mainstream Republican he certainly ain’t.

The fact that they both appeal to people who are PO’d hardly makes them near-twins. By that reasoning, squid and starfish would be nearly identical because they’re both not otters. Just plain silly.

    Radegunda in reply to tom swift. | January 9, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    They have both expressed support for a “single-payer” health-care system.

    Many Trump fans have demonstrated that they’re not concerned about the particulars of his policies (whatever they are at the moment), or what exactly he would do with presidential power.

    Trump fans often say they want him to “smash” the system; to “eradicate” the leadership; etc. What comes afterward is secondary. Constitutional limits appear to go out the window (as they seem to do in Trump’s own ambitions). And some say they’ll never ever vote for another non-Trump Republican.

    It’s entirely plausible that the “fed up” mood driving the Trump cult could merge with the Sanders support-base at some points.

Rubio Supporting Blog:

#ReaganDemocrats? Good

#TrumpDemocrats? Bad


    Radegunda in reply to VotingFemale. | January 9, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    The notion that Trump is another Reagan has virtually no basis in fact. The only substantial similarity between the two is the opposition from “the establishment.”

      That is a very interesting topic of conversation, Radegunda.

      Let’s see…

      – Reagan was a Hollywood Movie Star (Trump’s a TV Star)

      – Reagan was a registered Democrat) (Trump was also)

      – Reagan was an abject outsider (Trump is also)

      – Reagan deported millions of illegal aliens (Trump pledges to)

      – Reagan was a top notch deal maker (Trump wrote the book)

      – Reagan had a winning personality (Trump’s personality is likewise)

      – Reagan had friends on the left (Trump does also)

      – Reagan was despised by the GOP Elite; especially by the Bushes (Trump, likewise)

      – Reagan tapped into the hidden conservative in socially liberal voters (Trump is doing the same)

      I could go on… and make a list of differences… anyone can but the thing is, Trump is the most likely man to succeed Obama in office.

      It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and that’s a ways off, but his mojo and his supporter’s mojo are nuclear powered.

in the general elect both candidates are trying for the same voters … you do understand how elections work don’t you ? I mean you’ve voted like twice right ?

    Radegunda in reply to dorsaighost. | January 9, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    We general election is months away. We’re in primary season, when those who lean conservative are selecting their candidate and those who lean left are selecting theirs.

    The point of the post, obviously, is that the farthest-left Democrat candidate could be appealing to a substantial number of people who would otherwise favor Trump — many of whose fans imagine him to be the purest, most principled, most honest, most conservative candidate, while they scorn all the others as RINO sell-outs.

    And the reason that Sanders supporters and Trump supporters might overlap is that Trump does not actually represent a consistent constitutional conservative position. He represents an “I’m fed up with the system and everyone in it” position.

    Here’s a thought experiment: Would Sanders have a better chance of pulling away Trump supporters or Cruz supporters?

Sanders wants to bring the greatness of the USSR to the USA. While Trump wants to restore the greatness of the USA by returning to the constitutional principles and capitalism that created the greatest nation on earth.

For you progressive fascist voters the USSR was an utter economic failure combined with a tyranny that murdered millions of it’s citizens.

    Radegunda in reply to ConradCA. | January 9, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    How exactly is Trump voicing his support of “constitutional principles”? He’s more likely to talk about things he’ll do by his own decree.

    His fans often express their desire for him to “smash the system,” “break down barriers,” “eradicate the uniparty,” etc.; they say he’s the ONLY one who can save the country, and that we “desperately need” him, and even that “the time for democracy is past; we need a strongman.” That doesn’t sound much like a constitutional presidency.

Both seek low information, gullible voters who will believe any ridiculous promise if it comports with what they want to hear. There is crossover appeal among those not intensely involved in politics, but there is also an extreme element in each camp which does not overlap.

Bernie has the diehard Left and communists, while Trump has attracted the dregs of the extreme right, the Stormfronters, white supremacists, and antisemites. These are not majorities of either man’s support, of course, but none of their mainstream backers seem bothered in the least by the extremists in their midst.

The Donalds capaign does kind of echo Reagan in that he seems to be hitting American pride like Reagan.
I’ll never forget listening to the car radio and hearing that Carter had ceded. Such a wonderful feeling.

    Radegunda in reply to 4fun. | January 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Trump has very little in common with Reagan, in ideology or temperament or ethics or experience.

    Reagan had a long record of articulating a deeply considered political philosophy, and governing accordingly. He explained why he left the Democrats. Trump has not offered a serious explanation for why he recently switched from being an admirer of Hillary Clinton and funder of Democratic campaigns, to Mr. Conservative Savior-Hero.

    Reagan’s American pride didn’t manifest itself in constant boasts about his own awesomeness and supposedly unique capacity to make the country great. He was self-effacing in a way that Trump would never dream of being.

    Reagan loved America’s constitutional foundation. Trump’s attachment to that constitutional foundation is more questionable.

    And how does Trump get exclusive claim to American pride? Is it because he was able to work the American system to help accumulate his billions and then put his own name boldly on large structures? Whatever pride Trump has in American is overshadowed by his pride in himself.

    One of the silliest arguments I’ve heard for a Trump presidency is that “He loves America!” And the other candidates don’t? Is their love of country less pure because they don’t have the wealth to buy the office on their own?

    There are tens of millions of (hitherto) “non-politicians” who love America. Most of them should not be president.

JimMtnViewCaUSA | January 9, 2016 at 4:59 pm

Sure, you can take things too far. But a lot of people do not have a coherent, consistent set of political beliefs. Many only have a sense that somethings wrong. It doesn’t help that the media filters real events through an Agenda.
So you get swings back ang forthr from Carter to Reagan. Then from Clinton to
Bush. Same electorate, basically. Differing outcomes.

This whole post and the majority of commenters to it are all well known irrational Trump haters with a bad case of TDS. The entire post by Kimberlee just smacks of a false flag operation trying to hurt Trump by comparing him falsely to old Bernie and alleging false similarities and other complete BS.

Won’t work Kimberlee.

Radegunda never tells us who he supports. Wonder why?

One thing Trump certainly has in common with Reagan – the establishment radegundians turned out in droves to tell us how bad Reagan was, just like they do Trump.

    Barry in reply to Barry. | January 10, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I should add;

    “the establishment radegundians turned out in droves to tell us how bad Reagan was, just like they do Trump.”

    And after the deluge (Trump wins) they will tell us how they were for Trump all along, trying to take credit…
    See George Will for the evidence.

Are Legal Insurrection and Salon vying for the same readers?

Articles like this make you wonder, led by an intellectual vacuum-storm, with a smattering of Trump H8ting comments in the wake.

Up next on Tiger Beat LI: Are Marky-Marco Rubio and Jason Beiber the answer to our GOPe prayers? Add in Canada’s electoral votes, says the New York Times and the liberals at Civis Analytics and find out!

    Henry Hawkins in reply to DaMav. | January 10, 2016 at 11:54 am

    “Up next on Tiger Beat LI”


    I’ve been waiting for some Rubio ‘boxers or briefs?’ or Rubio songlist schtick.

Hey Radegunda, who do you support?

I know it’s not fair, putting an imbecile on the spot, but