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Rasmussen Poll Shows Trump Beating Hillary for First Time, Sanders Still Leads Trump Solidly

Updated on May 15, 2016
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Ralph Lopez majored in economics and political science at Yale University. He has been published in the Boston Globe and the Baltimore Sun.

Screenshot from new Trump attack ad on Benghazi
Screenshot from new Trump attack ad on Benghazi

A May 2016 Rasmussen Reports poll suggests what Sanders supporters have been struggling to make heard throughout the primary season: Bernie Sanders is the best bet for voters who do not want to see Trump as president. This is contrary to the argument which Hillary Clinton has leaned on heavily, that Hillary is the more "electable" of the two. The findings come as Trump unveils new attack ads against Clinton which invoke Benghazi with devastating effect,

Rasmussen said this month:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds Trump with 41% support to Clinton’s 39%. Fifteen percent (15%) prefer some other candidate, and five percent (5%) are undecided...This is the first time Trump has led the matchup since last October. Clinton held a 41% to 36% advantage in early March.

The venerable polling organization throws a splash of cold water on what Sanders supporters see as scare tactics by the Clinton campaign, which holds that voters who don't want to see Trump as president, should vote for Clinton.

There is only one problem with the widely-disseminated meme. All data shows exactly the opposite.

In political crystal ball-gazing, static numbers mean little, but trends can mean a lot. One trend which is shockingly stark and unmistakable has been completely missed by the mainstream media. Over time, a moving average of multiple polls shows Trump closing the gap with Clinton while Sanders pulls farther ahead of Trump. Not only is Hillary getting weaker versus Trump: Sanders is actually getting stronger. Anyone wanting to stop a Trump presidency should be clearly voting for Sanders.

Hundreds of polls since last year show Clinton unable to break clear of narrow single digit leads over Trump, occasionally pushing to 12 or 13 percent, while Sanders maintains double digit, outside margin-of-error leads in polls by the same organizations..

Since January of this year, Sanders has pulled untouchably away from Trump, while Trump remains camped on Hillary's doorstep. This is before the billionaire who plays by no gentlemanly rules over what is fair game in a candidate's past, and what isn't, has begun a withering assault which will make what he did to Jeb Bush look like Sunday school.

Clinton v. Trump over time (Clinton blue)
Clinton v. Trump over time (Clinton blue)
Sanders v. Trump over time (Sanders blue)
Sanders v. Trump over time (Sanders blue)

Recall, Jeb started playing hardball with Trump and acting as if he wanted to win, criticizing Trump for lack of foreign policy experience. Trump launched into Jeb's brother's disastrous Iraq War, pointing out Jeb supported it. Trump said there were no weapons of mass destruction and George Bush damn well knew it. Then he reminded Bush that his brother flew a slew of Bin Ladens out of the country and what's up with that? Mortally wounded, Jeb decided he had had about enough with politics at that point, and dropped out.

But compared to Jeb Bush, Clinton offers a stuffed closet of skeletons for Trump to chose from, and his campaign must be salivating to get to every one. Worse for the Clinton campaign, the Clintons barely managed to escape indictment or impeachment in some of these scandals, or both, and the resolution of some of them was far from tidy and conclusive. Many think that plenty of rattling can still be heard in the upstairs armoire.

For example, even yesterday it was released that Bill Clinton was on a party plane with billionaire and convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein far more often than was originally thought, according to official flight logs examined by news media. Trump calls Bill's past behavior relevant, since, he has already started arguing, Hillary has acted as an "enabler" for this behavior, abusing and intimidating witnesses and alleged victims.

Michael Rivero of does an admirable outline of the Clinton family history, some of which might surprise even people who are no fans of theirs.

Then there is EmailGate, an investigation which has already gone on far too long for there to be nothing to it, and it becomes clear that the powers that be are now only agonizing about how to handle what were clear violations of the law. The implications of EmailGate have yet to be fathomed.

And this year, a woman who considers herself of victim of Hillary from Hillary's public defender days has stepped forward to allege that Clinton destroyed her as a 12-year-old rape victim in order to win a case.

Do the undoubtedly savvy lawyers and powerbrokers of the Democratic party really not see what is going on? The mainstream media may not be able to read trends, but they certainly can. Or is the plan to inflict Trump on the nation and then blame it on Sanders supporters for not uniting behind Hillary? To blame it not on a lack of democracy within the Democratic party, but too much of it?

This would be the perfect excuse to stack the deck in the Democratic primary even more than it already is, to insure that an upstart like Sanders can never happen again.

This would make sense to a party so corrupt that it must be furious someone like Sanders can jump in at the last minute, with no money, and grab the election from Wall Street's chosen "Her." In this worldview, the enemy is not Trump, nor even Bernie Sanders. The enemy is the hope for change that propels someone like Sanders. In that worldview, it is this hope that must be crushed, and both Trump and the Clintons are useful idiots.

Trump "Benghazi" ad

Woman who as 12-year-old rape victim says was smeared by Hillary Clinton


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