Chris Stirewalt – No, Sanders wouldn’t be a better match for Trump

Chris Stirewalt – No, Sanders wouldn’t be a better match for Trump

FOX News First: May 20

By Chris Stirewalt

Buzz Cut:

·        No, Sanders wouldn’t be a better match for Trump

·        Power Play: Senate flipping out?

·        Reid tries to diffuse Dem tensions

·        Fox News Latino poll: Hillary tops Trump by 39 points with Hispanics

·        Look out below



Chris Stirewalt - Old Guard Audio

Chris Stirewalt – Old Guard Audio


Bernie Sanders is looking a lot like John Kasich these days. And, no, not because of their hand gestures.

In the final round of “Super Sloppy Double Dare” that was the GOP nominating process, Kasich argued that he should be the nominee because he handily beat Hillary Clinton in hypothetical head-to-head matchups while now-presumptive nominee Donald Trump consistently lagged.

Now, Sanders who is, as Kasich was, out of the running for the nomination is asking his party to throw over the frontrunner for the sake of general election viability. And there’s data to back him up.

In this week’s Fox News poll and the most recent NYT/CBS News poll, Sanders outperforms Clinton against Trump. And it had been true for Kasich, too.

But it doesn’t really matter. First, any Democrat without her enormous negative ratings would match up better with Trump than Clinton does. Throw Martin O’Malley or even an imaginary candidate (insofar as those are different concepts) in a poll, and you might see a similar result.

And that’s because those candidates haven’t been the target of millions of dollars in attack ads or even garnered much in the way of media scrutiny. These are not just hypothetical matchups, they are, in many ways, hypothetical candidates.

Head-to-head matchup polls in primaries can be useful if you’re talking about frontrunners and/or candidates who have been substantially defined in the minds of voters.

Then there’s the question of how the process shapes the product. Competing for your party’s nomination definitely can damage your reputation. Lordy day, it can.

But, there is also a payoff at the end of the line, as the party swings in behind its man or woman. So it’s not just that Sanders’ head-to-head matchups with Trump aren’t reflective of the general-election reality, neither are Clinton’s.

The current Trump bump is real. The NYT/CBS News poll tells the tale: Eight in 10 Republicans said that the party should unite behind him, despite their disagreements. And in his battle with Clinton, Trump is getting the same post-victory boost his predecessor, Mitt Romney, got four years ago.

After a primary season of unrivaled acrimony, the realities of the binary choice of the general election are setting in.

The big question now is what Clinton’s bounce will look like.

It will certainly be there. Eighty percent of Democrats in the poll said that party unity was essential to victory and 83 percent said Clinton could do that. For Republicans, just 63 percent said unity was essential to victory and just 64 percent believed Trump could deliver on that task.

That discrepancy helps explain Trump’s deficit in this survey.

What we must wait to see is how big a boost Clinton will get – perhaps less than Trump considering that her party is already more united. We also can’t know whether the surge in partisan loyalty we see for Trump today will last, or if the party’s underlying fracture will reassert itself.

The answers to both sets of questions will depend on how well Clinton and Trump traverse the eight weeks until convention time.


The Scientist: “They don’t snore, but might creak during their slumbers. For the first time, trees have been shown to undergo physical changes at night that can be likened to sleep, or at least to day-night cycles that have been observed experimentally in smaller plants. Branches of birch trees have now been seen drooping by as much as 10 centimetres at the tips towards the end of the night. ‘It was a very clear effect, and applied to the whole tree,’ says András Zlinszky of the Centre for Ecological Research in Tihany, Hungary. ‘No one has observed this effect before at the scale of whole trees, and I was surprised by the extent of the changes.’”

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Real Clear Politics Averages

General Election: Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +3.1 points

Generic congressional vote: Democrats +2.3


With the presidential picks in both parties essentially decided, party operatives are turning to the Senate as the next battle heading into the November election, and Republicans are on the defending side. Can they keep their majority, or will Democrats flip it back in their favor? National Republican Senatorial Committee National Spokeswoman, Alleigh Marre, gives her picks for seats she believes the GOP can maintain while Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director, Sadie Weiner, gives her take on seats she thinks Democrats can easily steal.

Reid tries to diffuse Dem tensions – WSJ: “Divisions within the Democratic Party, including the eruption of violence on the part of Bernie Sanders’s supporters at a state party convention in Nevada, have thrust Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid into the center of an intraparty brawl in his final months in office.”

[Matthew Continetti says Obama’s policy of non-intervention extends to his party’s own civil war.]

Fox News Latino poll: Hillary tops Trump by 39 points with Hispanics – Fox News Latino: “With less than six months to go before the presidential elections, Latinos overwhelmingly support Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton over presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to a Fox News Latino poll released on Friday. The poll found that 62 percent of registered Latino voters would head to the ballot box for Clinton in November, while only 23 percent would support Trump on Election Day – a finding that many experts say is not surprising given the two candidates’ differing stances on issues important to Latinos.”

[A new Fox News poll says that when it comes to most issues, Clinton comes out ahead of Trump, but trails badly on two of the most important: economy and terrorism.]

Fox News Sunday – Trump policy adviser Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, join guest host John Roberts on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz wraps the week’s media news. Watch Sunday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Guests include Bob Woodward, Brit Hume and Tucker Carlson.


Thirty-five years ago, Trump released his taxes and showed he paid not one cent – WaPo

Trump helps pay off Chris Christie’s campaign debt, but mocks gubernatorial girth – NYDN

Trump staffers Corey Lewandowski, Hope Hicks spotted in screaming match – NY Post

Super PAC backing Trump boasts big business backers – NYT

Dems testing different Trump attack lines – Atlantic

Minnesota State GOP trying to prevent funding for Trump – [St. Paul] Pioneer Press


“I’m 3 million votes ahead of [Bernie Sanders] and I have an insurmountable lead in pledge delegates and I’m confident that just as I did with Senator Obama, where I said, you know what? It was really close. Much closer. Much closer than it is between me and Senator Sanders right now.” — Hillary Clinton talking on CNN about the state of the Democratic primary race between her and Bernie Sanders.


AP: “The San Diego County Department of Animal Services says a baby opossum is doing well after being rescued from a toilet. The soaking wet little creature is seen in photos posted on the department’s Facebook page. The agency says a Pacific Beach woman found the critter in her toilet on May 1 and Animal Control Officer Carlos Wallis responded and took it to the San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife. It will be released when it is old enough to survive on its own. A second opossum was found in the home later, along with a broken window which likely allowed the animals to enter. Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa says both opossums are doing OK.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Sally Persons contributed to this report. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.


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