Bernie Sanders says it is 'likely' he would have beaten Donald Trump

Mythili Sampathkumar

Senator Bernie Sanders has said it is “likely” he would have beaten Donald Trump in the 2016 election, but that “it doesn’t matter” now that Mr Trump is president.

He was speaking on Showtime’s The Circus when he was asked about populism in the US and how Mr Trump had tapped into it to win.

“What I recognised was pain. All over this country people are hurting and they are hurting very badly. Trump understood that, by the way, and that's why he said, 'The whole system sucks. I'm going to blow it up,’” Mr Sanders said.

Mr Sanders has been an outspoken critic of the president's policy on the environment, healthcare, the economy, and a host of other issues.

Mr Sanders’ campaign run garnered millions of supporters however he ultimately lost the Democratic Party’s nomination to Hillary Clinton.

Some felt he stayed in the race too long and did not work hard enough to bring his supporters over to Ms Clinton once he lost for the sake of the party winning against Mr Trump.

The Hill reported that a recent Harvard-Harris survey that showed 57 per cent of registered voters viewed Mr Sanders “favorably” compared to other political figures in the US, but the poll did not ask whether they would have voted for him for president.

Mr Sanders went on a Democratic party “unity tour” with party chairman Tom Perez in an effort to galvanise grassroots efforts to oppose Mr Trump’s policies despite making claims that he wants “the establishment” to change.

Mr Sanders said the party will “have to open its door to independents” in order to succeed, adding “and I want to see it succeed”.

“I’m an Independent,” he said, adding that there are likely more fall into that category rather than Republicans and Democrats.

At a rally with Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, Mr Sanders said,“we need a Democratic Party which is not the party of the liberal elite but a party of the working class of this country.”

However, he did not address why he ran as a Democratic presidential candidate instead of campaigning as an Independent.

Mr Sanders has not ruled out a possible presidential bid in 2020.

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