|"Missed it by THAT much."|
If Democrats want to win the general election, frankly, I think I'm the stronger candidate. pic.twitter.com/4NXht1UASv— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) January 22, 2016
Of course, Donald is focusing on primary numbers instead of general election numbers because he's getting stomped by both Hillary and Bernie. Conversely, Bernie is generally getting hammered by Hillary in most national and state polls other than Iowa and New Hampshire, so focusing on the general election makes sense.New CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll just released. Thank you! #FITN #Trump2016 pic.twitter.com/sZr9taU20G— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2016
However, general election numbers this early often don't make a lot of sense and can go south as soon as the candidate gets more scrutiny. Case in point: Dr. Ben Carson.
For several months last year, poll after poll kept saying that Carson was easily the strongest general election candidate for the Republicans. Sometimes he even had crazy double-digit leads over Clinton. Was it just that he seemed like a nice guy? Maybe his name had a nice ring to it? I really don't know. I'm still mystified by that whole thing.Only candidate beating Hillary Clinton in general election. We the People will decide this election. #BC2DC16 pic.twitter.com/zHZxQ8V90U— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) December 6, 2015
However, as soon as the press started taking his candidacy seriously, his flaws became apparent and he fell apart rather quickly.
Similarly, the press has just recently started to take a hard look at Bernie Sanders and ask some good questions about what his plans are, how much they would cost, and how they would be implemented. These are actually really excellent questions to ask right about now. It's called "vetting", and doing it before the nominating contests begin is a good thing for all involved.
Whether Sanders' general election poll numbers change in the coming weeks as a result of the added attention remains to be seen, but to boast about them now as a central campaign argument is a precarious endeavor. They may be comforting, but they can change pretty quickly when the going gets rough. And if you've followed American elections for a while, you know it will get rough.
Trust me...I speak from experience.