As a self-described democratic-socialist, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would seem to have little in common with President Trump. However, Fox News personality Juan Williams says that there are definite parallels between the two.
“He sure looks a lot like a guy named Donald Trump in 2016 that people underestimated,” Williams opined on an episode of The Five this week, according to Fox.
The commentator went on to characterize Sanders as “a democratic-populist” whose supporters “are a mirror of Trump supporters.” He added: “It’s the most incredible thing.”
Williams isn’t the first to argue that despite their differences in platform, style, and personal lives, Trump and Sanders have some distinct similarities.
Same problems, different answers
While appearing on Real Time with Bill Maher, former Trump campaign manager Steve Bannon said that while he disagreed with Sanders’ policy proposals, the 78-year-old had at accurately identified some of the problems that America is facing.
“I think Bernie has identified the problem,” Bannon told Maher. He went on to list concerns, including wage growth and the difficulty many Americans face in buying a home.
“Yes, Trump and him shared some voters because they both kind of go after the same problem, you’re right,” the host admitted.
From Sanders to Trump
Findings published by the Cooperative Congressional Election Study in 2017 lend support to Maher’s assertion.
Those statistics revealed that 12% of those who supported Sanders in the 2016 Democratic presidential primaries ultimately voted for President Trump in November of that year.
Washington Post writer John Sides published an article the same year in which he questioned whether the phenomenon of Sanders supporters transitioning to vote for Trump may have been enough to spell defeat for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
After looking at several polls, Sides stated: “In short, it may be hard to know exactly how many Sanders-Trump voters there were, or whether they really cost Clinton the election.
“But,” he argues, “it doesn’t appear that many of them were predisposed to support Clinton in the first place.”