When trying to guess which candidate will be strongest against Donald Trump in 2020, you would be equally well-served by a dowsing rod, Ouija board, tea leaves, or deck of tarot cards as you would by the informed judgment of cable news pundits or political reporters. Yet polls show the Democratic primary electorate, apparently still scarred by Trump’s surprise win in 2016, are attempting cast their own political yarrow stalks by lining up whoever has the best chance to win next year.

Only God knows which Democratic candidate will be the strongest in 14 months’ time. However, we can say one thing with as much confidence as can be mustered in this fallen world: Bernie Sanders could beat Donald Trump.

Polls are obviously rather fluid at this early stage in the election cycle, but they’re also the only data we have on how candidates would stack up against Trump in a head-to-head race. They have consistently shown Sanders ahead of Trump by about 5 points (while former vice president Joe Biden is ahead by about 8 points). Sanders’ approval rating has also been consistently in the mid-50s, with disapproval in the high 30s. That is far, far better than either Trump’s or Hillary Clinton’s numbers in 2016.

More importantly, given how he dominates media coverage, Donald Trump is quite unpopular. His disapproval rating is rock-solidly in the low 50s, and his approval rating hasn’t exceeded the low 40s since the very first days of his term (only Charlottesville and the government shutdown briefly worsened his position). Given all the incredible chaos of his administration, it seems fair to conclude that attitudes are pretty well baked in — and broadly speaking, the American people are not fans of Trump.

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