According to political polling expert Harry Enten, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been plummeting in the latest round of 2020 Democratic presidential polls. Enten wrote at CNN yesterday:
Our new CNN poll puts Sanders favorable rating at 46% compared to an unfavorable rating of 45% among registered voters. This is only the latest poll to have Sanders at basically even in his net favorability rating (favorable-unfavorable). A Quinnipiac University poll from late December gave the Vermont senator a net favorability of just +2 points. An average of all recent polls put Sanders' net favorability at about -1 points.
Compare that to where Sanders was at the end of his 2016 presidential bid. Sanders had a 59% favorable rating to 36% unfavorable rating among all voters in a CNN poll taken in June 2016.
Sanders was able to hold onto much of his popularity through last year. A CNN poll taken in early December 2018 gave him a +13 net favorability rating with all voters. A Gallup poll in September 2018 had him at a +15 net favorability rating with all adults.
Enten then speculates as to why this precipitous decline in Sanders' favorability number may have transpired:
So, what's changed? I'd argue that Sanders was benefiting from not being in a competitive campaign. (Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has garnered the most support in general election polls among the Democrats, may be benefiting from a similar effect.) When you're not being thought of a viable threat to win a party's nomination, opponents tend to lay off. The last time Sanders was thought of as at least a minor threat to win the Democratic nomination was in March 2016. His net favorability rating back then among all voters was +3 points in a CNN poll.
Sanders, famously, was the 2016 Democratic presidential field runner-up, behind nominee Hillary Clinton. As Paul Sperry wrote at The New York Post in January 2016, Sanders' career history is rife with open support for Communist regimes and sundry Marxist causes:
In the early ’70s, Sanders helped found the Liberty Union Party, which called for the nationalization of all US banks and the public takeover of all private utility companies.
After failed runs for Congress, Sanders in 1981 managed to get elected mayor of Burlington, Vt., where he restricted property rights for landlords, set price controls and raised property taxes to pay for communal land trusts...
In 1985, he traveled to [Nicaragua] to celebrate the rise to power of the Marxist-Leninist Sandinista government. He called it a "heroic revolution."...
Sanders also adopted a Soviet sister city outside Moscow and honeymooned with his second wife in the USSR. He put up a Soviet flag in his office, shocking even the Birkenstock-wearing local liberals. At the time, the Evil Empire was on the march around the world, and threatening the US with nuclear annihilation.
Then, in 1989, as the West was on the verge of winning the Cold War, Sanders addressed the national conference of the US Peace Council — a known front for the Communist Party USA, whose members swore an oath not only to the Soviet Union but to "the triumph of Soviet power in the US."