President Donald Trump was recently “trolled” by Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent senator running for president himself within the Democratic Party’s nominating contests.
This past weekend, Trump took note of polling data that showed Sanders’s campaign had been gaining momentum.
“Wow! Crazy Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, looking very good against his opponents in the Do Nothing Party,” Trump wrote, using derogatory nicknames for Sanders and the Democratic Party, respectively. “So what does this all mean?”
“It means you’re going to lose,” Sanders responded, quoting Trump’s tweet while doing so, just minutes after the president had written his original missive.
It means you’re going to lose. https://t.co/CVBKoKq8DT
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 12, 2020
If Trump seems a little bit more preoccupied by Sanders’s rise in the polls lately, it might be because he’s worried that the senator’s popularity might overtake his own. According to a detailed report from The Daily Beast, Trump has been privately worrying, to advisers both within and outside the White House, about Sanders, and has been asking for information related to the candidate’s polling numbers.
Trump has been asking about numbers from key swing states, too, including places like Pennsylvania. There’s reason for him to worry a bit about that state in particular, which Trump won in 2016 against Hillary Clinton — the president is trailing Sanders by 5 points there, according to a Morning Call poll from November.
(Trump also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by the same amount, per the poll’s numbers, and is behind former Vice President Joe Biden by 9 points.)
Sanders is also ahead of Trump in Florida polling — outpacing the president by a larger margin than any other Democrat in the race.
Sanders 53% (+6)
Biden 51% (+2)
Warren 51% (+2)
Florida Atlantic University 1/9-12https://t.co/CA6mHo0VOL
— Political Polls (@Politics_Polls) January 15, 2020
The Daily Beast article went on to note that Trump’s campaign, at least on the surface, is dismissing the rumor that the president worries about Sanders’s popularity, with campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh saying there’s “no preference” for who Trump will face off against, claiming he could “beat any of them handily.”
“In Sanders’s case, his surge in the polls coincided with his emergence as the chief apologist for the Iranian regime,” Murtaugh added.
That may hint where Trump could go after Sanders if he indeed becomes the Democrats’ nominee. At the same time, however, it’s an issue that Trump himself is doing poorly with — recent polling indicates that 52 percent of Americans say the president’s recent decision to assassinate an Iranian general made the country less safe, while 56 percent of the public disapproves of his recent actions with regard to Iran in general.