Poll: Zuckerberg would give Trump a run for his money in 2020, but Bernie Sanders is the front-runner

A new poll shows how Sanders, Democrats, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would fare against Trump in 2020

Published July 19, 2017 6:06PM (EDT)

Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump   (AP/Mary Altaffer/Richard Drew/Photo montage by Salon)
Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump (AP/Mary Altaffer/Richard Drew/Photo montage by Salon)

If he decided to run for the highest office in the land, Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook, would give President Donald Trump a run for his money in 2020. That's according to a new poll from Public Policy Polling, released on July 18, 2017.

However, the same polling agency reports that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I.-Vt., would fare far better than the Zuck — even as Sanders continues to struggle with getting mainstream Democrats to support him.

If Zuckerberg were to run as a Democrat, 40 percent of registered voters would support him over Trump, who also received 40 percent, according to the PPP poll released Wednesday. Nine percent of those asked said they were not sure who they would vote for.

In terms of favorability, most voters polled either said they didn't know enough about Zuckerberg, or didn't know him at all. Only 24 percent found him "favorable," compared to 29 percent who found him "unfavorable," with 47 percent unsure.

Without the backing of a major political party, Sanders could still manage to theoretically defeat the president, as 52 percent said they would vote for him in the 2020 election, as opposed to just 39 percent who said they would vote for Trump. Sanders is currently the most popular politician in the nation, and also holds the highest approval rating amongst his constituents — his message has resonated with citizens throughout the country, even — perhaps especially — in counties that went for Trump in 2016.

The poll also suggested that the longest-serving independent in Congressional history would perform better than some Democratic Party heavyweights, including Sens. Cory Booker, D.-N.J., Elizabeth Warren, D.-Mass. and Kamala Harris, D.-Calif. The only Democratic candidate who performed better against Trump than Sanders was former Vice President Joe Biden.

As Democrats look to the 2018 midterms as their next chance to regain congressional power, polls show voters prefer Democratic control — yet the party has struggled to energize its base to show up at the polls, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll. Indeed, the same poll reported that a small majority (52 percent) of voters said they would prefer the Democrats to control the next Congress to serve as a check on Trump, whereas 38 percent preferred the Republicans in power to promote the president's agenda. When voters were asked where they land on the political spectrum, 35 percent said they identify as Democrats, 23 percent identified as Republican and 35 percent said Independent. But an overall 84 percent of voters polled stated that it's "extremely" or "very" important to them to show opposition to Trump in 2018.

The two polls have a similar conclusion: it is plausible that the Democrats could muster up enough votes to regain congressional power in 2018 or defeat Trump in 2020 — yet the Democrats lack a galvanizing message besides "have you seen the other guys." With a favorability rating that's nearly synonymous with Trump's approval rating, the Democratic party may need to give voters something to vote for, rather than merely something to vote against.

By Charlie May

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