The two “outsider” contenders for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations respectively have very little in common, besides being outsiders to their party apparatus. According to Nate Silver over at, they cannot be compared to each other. And, Nate says, the biggest commonality is that they both could get the nomination.

1. Trump and Sanders Do Not Compare

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2. An Apple and Orange

A lot of people are linking the candidacies of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump under headings like “populist” and “anti-establishment.” Most of these comparisons are too cute for their own good — not only because it’s too early to come to many conclusions about the campaign, but also because Trump and Sanders are fundamentally different breeds of candidates who are situated very differently in their respective nomination races.

Consider the following. 

1. Trump is “winning” (for now), and Sanders isn’t.

2. Sanders is campaigning on substantive policy positions, and Trump is largely campaigning on the force of his personality.

3. Sanders is a career politician; Trump isn’t.

4. Trump is getting considerably more media attention.

5. Sanders has a much better “ground game.”

6. Sanders holds policy positions of a typical liberal Democrat; Trump’s are all over the place.

7. Sanders’s support divides fairly clearly along ideological and demographic lines; Trump’s doesn’t.

8. Sanders’s candidacy has clear historical precedents; they’re less obvious for Trump.

9. Trump is running against a field of 16 candidates; Sanders is running against one overwhelming front-runner.

10. Trump is a much greater threat to his party establishment.

What Sanders and Trump have in common is they’re both unlikely to be nominated. Trump is nominally winning, but the GOP race is much more volatile. And if he doesn’t lose steam on his own accord, the Republican establishment will use every tool at its disposal to stop him. via


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