Bernie Sanders could defeat President Trump in the 2020 presidential election, GOP political consultant, according to former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove.

“When only 37% of Americans in the RealClearPolitics average think the country is going in the right direction while 56.4% think it’s on the wrong track, Mr. Sanders could be perceived as an agent of change,” Mr. Rove wrote about the socialist Vermont senator in his Wall Street Journal op-ed.

“If he is the Democratic nominee, Mr. Trump’s task will be to convince Americans that a socialist turn would be a ruinous change. Based on Monday’s town hall, that won’t be as easy as Republicans may think. Mr. Sanders is a real contender,” he added, referring to Mr. Sanders high-rated Fox News town hall that brought in almost 2.6 million viewers.

Mr. Rove added the senator has improved as a candidate since 2016 and can “smooth socialism’s rough edges” while resonating with voters on the issue of income disparity.

Mr. Sanders has ranked high in the polls since entering the now crowded 2020 presidential field. In most major national polls he has ranked second, only falling behind former Vice President Joseph Biden, who has yet to formally enter the race.

Mr. Trump claimed Tuesday his supporters weren’t allowed into Monday’s Fox News town hall for Mr. Sanders and predicted the Democratic primary race would come down to “Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden.”

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