Bernie Sanders and his wife Jane at a rally in Austin on Sunday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

Just the facts, please: A Quinnipiac Poll last week showed Sanders beating Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania. A CBS News/YouGov poll showed Sanders beating Trump nationally.

  • Texas Lyceum poll shows Sanders doing better against Trump in Texas than any Democrat, losing by just three points.

He’s socially savvier: Sanders has much larger followings on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other platforms than his rivals — and has consistently shown new media sophistication others lack. 

Loyalty matters: The guy’s base writes checks regularly, for years now, making him the best-funded non-billionaire in the Democratic game. His supporters also show up — on social, at rallies, in elections. Ask Trump if this matters. 

Socialism hasn’t killed him: It’s not like Sanders hides his big government socialism — he has screamed it to the nation for a half-decade. Maybe voters don’t care, just like 45% don’t care about Trump’s outlandishness.

Peter Hamby, who works for Snapchat and writes for Vanity Fair, argues "bed-wetting" Democrats might have it all wrong:

  • "Instead of asking if Sanders is unelectable, ask another question: What if Sanders is actually the MOST electable Democrat? In the age of Trump, hyper-partisanship, institutional distrust, and social media, Sanders could be examined as a candidate almost custom-built to go head-to-head with Trump this year."
  • He’s a Trump-like celebrity: "Running for president has always been about winning the attention war, and the competition for attention has never been more difficult than it is in 2020,” Hamby writes. Sanders has way more old-school and new-age celebrity than the rest of his rivals combined. 

The bottom line: The truth is we are all clueless about what voters want or will accept. That includes everyone on Twitter, inside the Democratic establishment — and me!

Go deeper

Scoop: Lawmakers tee up hearing with academics ahead of antitrust report

Big Tech CEOs testify before the House Judiciary antitrust panel in June. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Pool/AFP via Getty Images.

Mostly academics will be testifying at Thursday's House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee hearing which will reveal where its year-long investigation into big tech and competition is going, a source familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: The hearing is the next step following testimony from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, Google's Sundar Pichai, Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Apple's Tim Cook before the committee in July. A showing of academics and think-tank types signals the lawmakers are still sorting out competition theories and possible legislative fixes to perceived antitrust abuses.

Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 33,454,037 — Total deaths: 1,003,571 — Total recoveries: 23,204,219Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 7,165,067 — Total deaths: 205,476 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.