Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said he is “much more comfortable” with the GOP nominee going up against Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders in the November general presidential election, saying the former secretary of state is not “likable.”
“I think everyone that has analyzed this knows that Hillary Clinton is in the ditch,” Priebus said on Friday in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We don’t know how far in the ditch she’s going to go, but she’s not doing well. She’s not even winning.”
Blitzer responded, saying Clinton has won almost 2.5 million more votes than Sanders and a million more than GOP front-runner Donald Trump. But the chairman held fast, pointing to the ongoing federal probe into Clinton’s private email server, which she exclusively used while serving as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.
“I’d rather run against Hillary Clinton because she’s defined, she’s not liked. And you know, in a popular cultural vote in America, that’s a really important question, and she doesn’t do well on that question. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the FBI,” he said.
Priebus added that he doesn’t fear contesting either of the Democratic candidates and said, “After eight years of Obama, I think this is our year. But we have to work hard.”
In a Reuters/Ipsos online poll that was released on Wednesday, Clinton beat Trump in a hypothetical general election matchup, with 43 percent of registered voters choosing her and 34 percent voting for Trump. The same poll showed Clinton winning over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 42 percent to 33 percent, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, 41 percent to 31 percent.
On the campaign trail and during Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Brooklyn, however, Sanders touted polling to argue that he’s the best Democratic candidate to win in November. In the Reuters/Ipsos poll, Sanders led Clinton by 1 point among registered Democratic voters, 49 versus 48 percent.
Still, Clinton has a significant lead in pledged delegates. According to NBC News, Clinton has 1,287 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 1,043.