STOCKTON, Calif. – There was new evidence on Tuesday that U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders would be the strongest candidate Democrats could nominate to face Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 general election.
“Virtually every poll has us way, way ahead of Donald Trump,” Sanders told more than 5,700 supporters at a lakeside park for a mid-morning outdoor rally in this Central Valley city. In battleground states across the country, Sanders added, he also polls much stronger than Hillary Clinton.
“There is no question about which campaign is energizing the American people,” Sanders said. “If you want the strongest candidate to defeat Donald Trump that’s us.”
Sanders was on a two-day campaign swing through northern California and the San Francisco Bay area ahead of the Golden State’s June 7 primary election. California, the largest state, will elect 475 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
The rally in Stockton was the second big turnout in two days. On Monday night, the U.S. senator from Vermont spoke to more than 16,000 at a soccer field in Sacramento.
In Stockton, he referred to a Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released on Tuesday which examined how Sanders and Hillary Clinton fared against Trump in three general election battleground states: Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.
In two of those states Sanders led Trump by significantly greater margins than Clinton.
In Ohio, Clinton actually trailed Trump by four points. Sanders prevailed with 43 percent to Trump’s 41 percent.
In Pennsylvania, Sanders had a six-point lead over Trump. She was up only by 1 percent.
In Florida, he had a two-point edge compared to her one-point advantage.
In each state, more voters have unfavorable opinions of both Clinton and Trump.
In yet another state poll, this one in New Hampshire, Sanders trounced Trump 49 percent to 28 percent, a 21-point spread. Clinton led Trump by only five points, 34 percent to 29 percent, while a much greater share of Granite State voters, 37 percent, unsure who they would prefer among the two unpopular candidates, according to the May 4 poll by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College.
Nationwide, Sanders topped Trump 53 percent to 40 percent in a new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll. Clinton held a much narrower 5-point edge over Trump in the same nationwide survey. She narrowly defeated Trump 49 percent to 44 percent.