DONALD Trump would BEAT Bernie Sanders in a head-to-head election battle but it would be a much closer contest with any of the other Democrat candidates, a study claims.
A new report by the Center for Politics (CFP) claims the sitting president would be the "favorite" to claim victory over nomination frontrunner Sanders.
However, political researchers say if the president was to take on any of the other Democratic hopefuls in November he could be looking at a dead heat.
The study reads: "In our view, we think a Sanders nomination would tilt the election more toward Trump, to the point where the ratings would reflect him as something of a favorite.
"However, we would not put Trump over 270 electoral votes in our ratings, at least not initially and based on the information we have now.
"But these ratings changes would force Democrats to sweep the two Toss-ups, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and also hang onto the Leans Democratic states, specifically Michigan, that if Sanders proves to be weak will be very much in play."
The University of Virginia-based CFP has also released what the electoral map might look like in a match-up between the Vermont senator and Trump.
The map allots 260 electoral votes to Trump, 248 to Sanders and puts 30 too close to call.
Another map pitting Trump against an "unknown Democrat" shows 248 electoral votes for each side, with 42 seen as a virtual toss up.
The Sanders v Trump map shows – in theory – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia, as well as Nebraska's 2nd District all moving in the Republican's direction.
The report's authors – Kyle Kondik and J. Miles Coleman – explained: " What we're doing here is giving the Republicans a boost in places where recent Democratic gains have been fueled by growth in affluent, highly-educated suburbs.
"Sanders may ultimately replicate Hillary Clinton's numbers in places like metro Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix.
"Still, there are reasons to believe that his left-wing economic and governing philosophy, particularly as contrasted with many Americans' positive views of the economy, may cost the Democrats some support in these places."
The blow for Sanders comes after former president Barack Obama reportedly told fellow Democrats that he worries it could be hard to unite around Bernie.
Obama admitted that uniting the Democratic Party around the 78-year-old presidential candidate "could be difficult," an anonymous associate told The New York Times.
His alleged words come after Sanders had a huge Nevada caucus win that crushed his opponents.
Sanders' rivals for the party's nomination have also suggested nominating him would be a major risk for the party.
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