As noted previously, polls today are worthless. That aside, they still make news as pretty much every conservative news outlet is heralding the latest Fox Poll that shows Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton. He’s not.
It’s human nature to reply to poll questions with the answer that serves a person’s perspective. That perspective is assigned by the current state of affairs, in particular the greatest opposition to what a person hopes to happen. This isn’t psychological mumbo jumbo. It’s common sense.
Right now, Trump is not the biggest foe for Bernie Sanders supporters. Even those who absolutely, positively do not want to see Trump as the President view Clinton as the biggest threat to their goal of putting Sanders in the White House. As a result, many of his supporters who will reluctantly vote for Clinton over Trump in the general election will answer poll questions by pretending to support Trump. There are absolutely no consequences for doing so. On the other hand, if painting Clinton as unable to beat Trump helps position Sanders in a better light for future primary voters, then it makes sense to declare that Trump is their man even if they would rather leave the country than live under a Trump regime.
On the Republican side, this was happening as well for a long time. Those who supported Ted Cruz or other candidates would reply that they would vote for Clinton in a head-to-head with Trump. Now that most have lost all hope of stopping Trump from getting the nomination, there’s no reason to lie.
When (if?) Clinton can vanquish Sanders, there will be a short period of discontent and “opposition polling,” but once the dust settles and the general election campaigns hit high gear, the majority of current Sanders supporters will hold their nose and vote for Clinton just as Cruz supporters will hold their nose and vote for Trump.