Conservative CNN Host Compares Bernie Sanders' Electability to Trump in 2016: 'Bernie Is Electable'

Conservative CNN host S.E. Cupp pushed back against questions about Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders' electability, arguing that the concerns from establishment Democrats is similar to Republican opposition to Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Many Democratic lawmakers and pundits have raised concerns about Sanders ability to win in the general election against Trump while also criticizing him for labeling himself a "Democratic socialist." In the wake of the Vermont senator's win in New Hampshire last Tuesday, the concerns and criticisms have increased as the candidate has surged to the top of most national polls.

"There are parallels between the Never-Trump concerns and the growing concerns of Never-Sanders Democrats," Cupp, who identifies as a Republican but opposes Trump's presidency, said on her Saturday evening show S.E. Cupp Unfiltered.

"Here's the deal. Bernie is electable, in ways that Trump was electable in 2016," the host said. "Bernie, like Trump, is counting, not on the support of a majority of the Democrats to win the nomination, but on just enough of his very loyal base to carry him over the line.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Bernie Sanders
Joined by members of Make the Road Action and his supporters, Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (i-Vermont), participates in a March to the Polls on February 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada Alex Wong/Getty

"Just like Trump, he's relying on a big field and a divided field to give him the most votes," she continued. "But he's also electable because Trump is a very flawed candidate."

Newsweek subscription offers >

Cupp went on to note that most Democrat candidates beat Trump in polls featuring hypothetical one-on-one match-ups, noting that it also looks like a close race in key swing states. "So to Democrats, I say learn from us Never-Trumpers," she said "We were wrong about the kind of candidate Trump was, but we were right about the kind of president he would become."

As the conservative host explained, establishment Republicans were widely opposed to Trump's candidacy up until he secured the party's 2016 nomination. A group of so-called "Never-Trumpers" even attempted a last-minute effort to block his formal nomination at the Republican National Convention.

But Trump was widely popular with voters and most Republicans have now aligned behind his leadership, although there are still some lifelong Republicans who regularly criticize the president and his administration. Some members of the GOP have also become independent in opposition to Trump's transformation of the party.

Establishment Democrats have begun floating the idea of attempting to block Sanders potential nomination if he wins the most delegates, but not an outright majority. Such a scenario appears highly plausible as there are still multiple strong candidates in the race for the party's nomination. But despite the criticism from establishment Democrats, the senator appears to be widely popular with Democratic voters.

According to Morning Consult's most recent polling data, 74 percent of Democratic voters view Sanders favorably, while former Vice President Joe Biden comes in second with 68 percent favorability. Following Sanders win in New Hampshire, 29 percent of respondents said they would vote in support of the senator, while Biden came in at a distant second at just 19 percent.

Conservative CNN Host Compares Bernie Sanders' Electability to Trump in 2016: 'Bernie Is Electable' | U.S.