Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is more of a fly in the ointment for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump is for the vast Republican field, Weekly Standard
editor Bill Kristol said during his publication's podcast.
"Ultimately I think the Trump phenomenon is easier for Republicans to handle than the Sanders phenomenon for the Democrats," Kristol said. "Sanders is an ideological problem and he's going to pull the party to the left. Trump is sort of a problem of tone to some degree, a problem of congressional leadership disappointing people and a lot of what Trump says can be accommodated by the other major Republican candidates."
"The media is obsessed with Trump … but Sanders will end up being [the] more significant figure in 2016 election cycle than Trump."
A new Boston Herald and Franklin Pierce University poll in New Hampshire shows Sanders leading Clinton by 7 percentage points, while a Public Policy Polling survey found that Sanders' ratings are on the upswing in Iowa.
Since April he has risen
in the Hawkeye State from 14 percent to a current 25 percent. Clinton has dropped 10 points there, from a previous 62 percent to 52 percent.
Sanders is "tapping into a genuine sentiment" among those on the left who want "a left-wing message and a left-wing messenger," according to Kristol, while there exists a "general shrugginess" about Clinton.
Clinton's diminishing numbers in New Hampshire should concern her since she carried the Granite State in 2008 and "presumably there would be residual goodwill and loyalty to her."
Trump, meanwhile, is currently polling 4 to 9 points lower nationally as well as in Iowa and New Hampshire, perhaps a signal, according to Kristol, that the real estate magnate is "plateauing" and is "the beginning of the Trump decline."
It will be incumbent upon the others in the GOP field to capitalize on the "populist, middle-class anger" Trump has tapped into, he added.
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