Majority of Americans Believe Sanders Is the Only Compassionate and Likable Candidate

If the election were a popularity contest—or even a likability competition—Bernie Sanders would have this thing in the bag. The senator from Vermont is, according to a recent poll from the Associated Press-Gfk, America’s most liked candidate, across party lines, of any competitor in the running. He’s also the only presidential contender most Americans view as “at least somewhat honest, compassionate [and] civil.”


The poll, conducted March 31-April 4, found that 48 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Sanders, while 39 percent view him unfavorably. Compare that with delegate leaders Trump and Clinton, whose unfavorable ratings blow Sanders out of the water. Fifty-five percent of Americans say they have unfavorable views of Clinton, while 40 percent say they have a favorable take.

The negatives are sky high for Trump: 69 percent of Americans say they have an unfavorable view of the billionaire, and a mere 26 percent say they’re fans.

As the AP notes, Sanders is the only candidate becoming more well-liked the more people know about him. The organization reports that Sanders' favorability ratings keep rising over previous polls. Since February, the number of Democrats who say they have a favorable view of Sanders has increased by 11 percent.

Sanders is also the sole contender a majority of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, say they would consider voting for. Per the AP:

About 61 percent of registered voters say they'd at least consider voting for Sanders in a general election, while 38 percent said they would definitely not. The percentage saying they would not vote for him is the lowest in the entire field. Fifty-one percent say they wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton, though she still does better than any of the Republican candidates on that measure. Sixty-three percent say they wouldn't vote for Trump.

Sanders is the only candidate most respondents to the poll found honest and civil. The AP indicates that 58 percent of Americans say he’s at least “somewhat civil”—while 48 percent said the same for Clinton and an abysmal 15 percent thought the same about Trump. Fifty-eight percent of respondents say Sanders is at least “somewhat compassionate,” while that figure falls to 42 percent for Clinton and plummets to 17 percent for Trump.

Sanders outpaces Clinton against Republican rivals—with a special emphasis on Trump—in a number of recent polls. Despite very high unlikeability ratings, Trump and Clinton lead their respective parties heading into the New York primaries on April 19

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