Speaking on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday, Fox Business Network host Charles Payne predicted the impact of a potential Bernie Sanders presidency, noting that the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful “is a juggernaut right now.”
Payne made the comment following the release of a new Fox News Poll which showed Sanders, I-Vt., has surged.
The poll, conducted Jan. 19 - Jan. 22, shows that the Democratic nomination race has tightened at the top with the Independent senator from Vermont pulling within three percentage points of front-runner Joe Biden, who appears to have lost support to billionaire Michael Bloomberg.
Biden receives 26 percent support among Democratic primary voters and Sanders 23 percent. They are followed by Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent, Bloomberg 10 percent, Pete Buttigieg 7 percent, Andrew Yang 5 percent, and Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer at 3 percent apiece. All others receive 1 percent or less.
The former vice president’s three-point advantage is his narrowest to date. He’s down four points since last month, while Bloomberg (+5) and Sanders (+3) have made gains.
When asked how he thinks the markets would react if Sanders wins the nomination Payne said, “I use one word: ‘Timber.’”
“If Bernie gets elected, the economy falls apart,” he added.
With one week to go until Iowa’s caucuses kick off the presidential nominating calendar, a New York Times/Siena College poll released on Saturday shows Sanders in the driver’s seat in the Hawkeye State, with a seven-point lead over the rest of the field.
“It would be a mistake for President Trump to underestimate Bernie Sanders,” Payne said on Tuesday. “I think he will beat all the other candidates hands down.”
In the Fox News Poll released last week, each Democratic candidate tested beats Trump in hypothetical head-to-heads, with Trump trailing Sanders by six points (48-42 percent).
Payne said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that anyone who assumes Sanders cannot win the election “would be making a mistake.”
“He is a juggernaut right now,” Payne said. “I'm telling you, right now he is a juggernaut.”
He then said the “social justice kind of issues” that Sanders pushes, including climate change, “have taken on such proportions that they’ve moved the needle in the world of business.”
“A lot of folks who are doing well may feel bad for their cousin who is not and may even consider a Sanders,” he continued.
Payne added, “There are some people who just believe that capitalism needs to be tweaked to a degree and, while Bernie Sanders may not be their choice per se, they’re intrigued by the idea of making a more level playing field.”
Fox News’ Dana Blanton and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.