New Poll Says that Bernie Sanders Would Be Clinton’s Smartest VP Pick

Politics News Bernie Sanders

A new poll from Monmouth comes with some surprising data—Bernie Sanders, it turns out, would draw the most voters to Hillary Clinton of any potential VP candidate. Among voters who are either undecided or strongly considering a third party choice, 50 percent would be “more likely” to vote for Clinton if she picked Sanders as her running mate. Additionally, voters of all stripes support the progressive firebrand—39 percent would be “more likely” to vote for Clinton with Sanders on the ticket, while only 20 percent would be less likely.

The Monmouth poll tested 12 potential VP candidates—six for Clinton and six for Trump—and of those 12, Sanders is the only one who had an appreciably positive impact on either campaign. Most candidates had no impact whatsoever, but there was one candidate who stood out on the negative side: Sarah Palin. If she were chosen as Trump’s VP, 42 percent of voters would be less likely to support him, while just 13 percent would be more likely. And going back to those undecided or third party voters, a Palin choice for VP would only make 7 percent more likely to cast their votes for Trump.

Patrick Murray, Monmouth’s director, said that this polling largely supports tried-and-true notions about Vice Presidents:

“These findings are based in large part on name recognition, but the results do underscore one key truth about vice presidential nominees. They usually do not have a significant impact on the national electorate. At best, they can help with a specific constituency or in a key state. At worst, they can demonstrate poor decision-making on the part of a person who aspires to be leader of the free world.”

In an interesting twist on the Democratic side, Elizabeth Warren—steeped in progressive bona fides—had nowhere near the same impact as Sanders. She, Cory Booker, Tim Kaine, Julian Castro, and Al Franken all had negligible impacts. On the Republican side, Marco Rubio had a slightly positive impact, while Jeff Sessions, Joni Ernst, Newt Gingrich, and Chris Christie barely moved the needle at all.

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