If Donald Trump were a Democrat, would he vote for Bernie Sanders?
Earlier this month, the president responded to accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide by suggesting the convicted sex offender might have been the victim of foul play. Trump re-tweeted a message that read “Died of SUICIDE on 24/7 SUICIDE WATCH. Yeah, right. How does that happen? Jeffrey Epstein had information on Bill Clinton and now he’s dead.”
When asked if he really believed the Clintons might have been involved in Epstein’s death, Trump said, “I don’t know.”
The Epstein story continues to twist and turn–one of the cameras outside his cell is said to have “unusable,” according to a new report — so much so that when Emerson Polling went into the field last week to ask about the 2020 Democratic primary, they threw in a question about the high-profile case as well.
It turns out that predictions of the demise of Joe Biden’s candidacy are premature. Emerson found 31 percent of Democratic primary voters are backing the former vice president, in line with both their own polling in July and Morning Consult’s 33 percent in a poll released a day earlier.
Epstein’s demise, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. More voters said they believe the conspiracy theory that the millionaire was murdered (34 percent) than the official findings of the medical examiner that he committed suicide (33 percent). And nearly as many voters (32 percent) say they’re unsure either way.
Interestingly, Emerson University Director of Polling Spencer Kimball notes there is a correlation between the “murder/suicide” question and how Democrats plan to vote in the 2020 primary. “Bernie Sanders supporters are far more likely to believe that Epstein was murdered, while most Biden voters believe it was a suicide as reported.”
“It’s another sign that Bernie’s supporters are fundamentally different from other Democratic primary voters,” Kimball told InsideSources.
More than half of Biden supporters buy the official suicide narrative, while just 17 percent of Sanders supporters accept it. They either believe he was murdered (42 percent) or can’t decide (41 percent). That’s 80 percent of Bernie backers who believe it’s either likely or possible that the government is covering up a murderous conspiracy.
On this topic, Bernie’s socialists sound more like Trump Republicans, 46 percent of whom also agree that foul play was likely involved in Epstein’s death. Just 22 percent of #MAGA Americans say it was suicide.
And this isn’t the only overlap. Sanders supporters tend to have less education and lower incomes than their primary voting counterparts. Like Trump voters, they’re more likely to be men, they’re less engaged in politics than supporters of, say, Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Mayor Pete Buttigieg. And they’re the most loyal to their candidate, more than 60 percent telling Emerson that they are committed to voting for Sanders, as opposed to eventually switching to someone else.
Sanders supporters believe the senator was the victim of a Clinton-led establishment conspiracy in 2016. They fear the media are colluding to hurt Bernie’s candidacy. And, apparently, they are open to conspiracy theories rejected by more mainstream voters.
In other words, Trump voters without the hats. Which could be good news for Senator Sanders.
“If given a choice, at this point in a presidential race I’d rather have the energy than the perception that I’m going to win,” Kimball told InsideSources. “Democrats need to consider carefully how they want to go forward. Lose that energy and things can go very negative, very fast.
“Look no further than 2016. Trump had the energy, Hillary had the perception. And we all know what happened.”