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Bernie Sanders Is the Most Popular Politician in America, Poll Says

The Vermont senator is the only national politician a majority of voters actually like, according to a new poll.

Drew Schwartz

Drew Schwartz

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A new poll found that among all other notable American senators, representatives, and even the president, Bernie Sanders reigns supreme as the most popular politician in the nation, the Hill reports.

The Harvard-Harris Poll—an online survey conducted from August 17 to 22—culled responses from 2,263 voters who lean both left and right, along with those who identify as nonpartisan. It asked about their feelings on the Democratic and Republican parties, the biggest political moments of the past few weeks, and what issues matter most to them. It also quizzed them on America's politicians, asking how favorably or unfavorably they viewed certain lawmakers.

Unsurprisingly, Sanders—who's long held the distinction of the country's most popular politician—earned the honor once again. The poll found 54 percent of voters view him favorably, while just 36 percent feel the opposite. No other politician netted support from a majority of US voters. The closest contender—Vice President Mike Pence—earned a favorability rate of 44 percent.

The Vermont senator's success could be based, in part, on how active he's remained since the primaries. He's kept up his unrelenting drive to reach voters where they live, meeting with folks at events in 15 states since the election, the New Yorker reports. He's continued to push for universal healthcare, bash the GOP over its inability to pass legislation, and pounce on Trump every time he says something controversial. He called Trump's Charlottesville comments "embarrassing," slammed his "fire and fury" threat to North Korea as "bombastic rhetoric," and told the president he was "on the wrong side of history" when Trump announced his intention to ban transgender personnel from the military.

For their part, the president, his team, and leading members of the GOP aren't looking so hot. The poll pegged the president's approval rating at 43 percent, with 57 percent disapproving. Only 33 percent of voters view Speaker of the House Paul Ryan favorably. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the lowest favorability rating of any national politician, at just 19 percent.

Those folks could use a lesson in positive PR, something Sanders—whether intentionally or not—has seemed to master. Maybe it's his policies that have garnered him so much support; but maybe, at least in part, it's his penchant for pulling goofy stunts like taking a poster of Trump's tweets to the Senate, or speaking at the Ben & Jerry's HQ from a giant ice cream podium. At the end of the day, he's a politician with a good sense of humor—what's not to like?

Update 8/25: This post has been corrected to clarify Sanders has a majority of support from the overall electorate, rather than a majority within each party.

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