“And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me!” — Sally Field, accepting the Best Actress Academy Award for ‘Places in the Heart’ in 1985.

 

Establishment Democrats fear him, cable news pundits dismiss him as unelectable, and Trump supporters celebrate his success. But how do rank-and-file Democrats feel about Bernie Sanders?

They like him. Right now, they like him.

A new WBUR poll of New Hampshire Democrats gives Sanders 29 percent of the vote and a double-digit lead over his closest competitor — a margin so large some see the poll as an outlier.  However, look past the topline and the numbers in this poll aren’t out of line with recent results.

For example, Sanders’ approval rating among New Hampshire Democrats is 74 percent — higher than any other candidate.

In Morning Consult’s latest poll of Democrats nationwide, his approval is 73 percent — and that’s actually down by 3 points.

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And a new FiveThirtyEight analysis of multiple polls finds Sanders is the most popular Democrat in the field with a 73 percent favorable rating and a net +51 percent approval.

It’s true that Sanders favorability is only slightly higher than Biden (71 percent) or Elizabeth Warren (68 percent), and polling throughout 2019 found Democratic primary voters generally like all of the frontrunning candidates and were satisfied with their choices. So in a sense, Sanders’ numbers aren’t news.