In surveys released last week by Fox News and CBS News, Clinton leads Republican front-runner Donald Trump by 7 and 10 points, respectively; she's statistically tied with Ted Cruz; and she trails John Kasich by 9 and 6 points. The same surveys show Sanders leading Trump by larger margins of 14 and 17 points; leading Cruz by 12 points in both surveys; and besting Kasich by 4 and 5 points, respectively.
And yet, prominent Republican operatives are chomping at the bit to face Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont and self-described democratic socialist in the general election, believing he'd be an easier opponent than the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
"Republicans are being nice to Bernie Sanders because we like the thought of running against a socialist. But if he were to win the nomination the knives would come out for Bernie pretty quick," said Ryan Williams, a former spokesman for 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney's campaign. "There's no mystery what the attack on him would be. Bernie Sanders is literally a card carrying socialist who honeymooned in the Soviet Union. There'd be hundreds of millions of dollars in Republican ads showing hammers and sickles and Soviet Union flags in front of Bernie Sanders."
"Hillary Clinton is a much more centrist candidate in comparison," Williams said, and she would have a better chance of winning over moderate and undecided voters, despite numerous polls showing that many Americans, even in the Democratic Party, don't view her as honest and trustworthy. "Bernie's numbers are better than hers right now because she's been in the political arena for 30 years getting beat up," he said.
Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said Clinton would be a tougher opponent due to her foreign policy fluency, "her toughness as a candidate," and the "Clinton attack machine" around her—groups like Correct The Record and Americans United For Change that are active on her behalf. He added that there's less room for the GOP to define Clinton than Sanders as "out of the mainstream."
"Her negatives are set in. There's no American out there who doesn't have a definite opinion on Hillary Clinton," Heye said. "That's just not the case with Bernie. The fact that some of his success has been looked on with bemusement, I think, speaks to that."
I have made this case before, and I imagine I may have to make it again.
The polls right now are not only inaccurate, I believe they are being purposefully skewed to give a false narrative.
Sanders' numbers are going up because he has not yet suffered the kind of withering attacks from the Right that damage a candidate so completely that even members of their own families second guess voting for them.
On the other hand Hillary has been taking that incoming fire for over thirty years now.
The very fact that she remains a viable presidential candidate tells you almost all you need to know about her electability.
But if that were not enough then the fact that the eighth investigation into Benghazi, going on now for over 700 days and at a cost of over 6 million dollars, continues to this day, should tell you that the Republicans fear Hillary Clinton more than Donald Trump fears somebody seeing the real size of his penis.
And do we even need to mention the "investigation" into her private e-mail server?
If the Republicans REALLY thought that they could beat Hillary in a fair contest, NONE of this would have been necessary. And that is also why Bernie Sanders is enjoying unsolicited help from members of the Republican party.
None of this should have to be explained, and yet I find myself explaining it constantly.