Biden’s Still Frontrunner:
The former vice president, Joe Biden, still holds a commanding lead over his closest rivals, Senators Bernie Sanders (VT-I) and Elizabeth Warren (MA-D) in our latest nationwide poll of Democratic likely voters. Senator Kamala Harris, who made a splash during the first debate, (CA-D, 5%) has lost steam since our last poll. South Bend Indiana Mayor, Pete Buttigieg, (6%) and Harris sit in third and fourth place, respectively. Senator Cory Booker (NJ-D) is next with 4% followed by Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN-D) and Beto O’Rourke, both tied at a paltry 3% each.
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Although the former vice president has been written off as of late, we have had Joe Biden leading in our Zogby Poll since the beginning of the year. As a matter of fact, his support has remained steady at or near a third of Democratic likely voters. Biden’s consistency and strength are driven by a few factors: his success with women (28%) and men (35%); he leads both Sanders (15% and 17%, respectively) and Warren among men and women voters (15% and 20%, respectively). Biden is also chipping away at Sanders’ lead with younger voters, specifically older Millennials, aged 18-29. Bernie Sanders has a slight lead over Biden among older Millennials, 23%-21%, while Elizabeth Warren receives 16%. Among Independents, the race between Sanders and Biden remains close: Sanders and Biden are neck and neck at 25% and 24%, respectively, while Elizabeth Warren is in third place with 13%.
Joe Biden starts to pull away from Bernie Sanders among non-college educated likely voters (Biden leads 32%-20%) and liberal voters (Biden leads 27%-19%). In each instance, Elizabeth Warren does well; she receives 16% of non college educated voters and 22% of liberal voters. Of significant importance and what exemplifies the internal struggle within the Democratic Party, is that moderates prefer Joe Biden two to one (33%) over Sanders (14%) and Warren (15%).
The faction of the Democratic Party which prevails could determine who wins the general election against President Trump. The other advantage Biden maintains is his broad support among Hispanics and African Americans. Biden (30%) leads Warren (20%) and Sanders (20%) by double digits among African American voters and is close with Sanders (Sanders leads 28%-25%) among Hispanics, while Warren (5%) lags behind.
Where Biden starts to falter is with the youngest voting bloc—Generation Z voters aged 18-24. Senators Bernie Sanders (29%) and Elizabeth Warren (22%) really take it to Biden (15%) and beat him convincingly among Generation Z voters. When it came to older voters aged 50+, Joe Biden held significant leads over his closest rivals. Among likely voters aged 50-64 Biden (43%) leads Warren (20%) two to one and Sanders (8%) five to one and among voters aged 65+ Biden (41%) leads Warren (24%) and Sanders (10%) by double digits.
Biden (25%) also bests Bernie Sanders (17%) and Elizabeth Warren (13%) among many important swing voter groups such as religious voters (voters who attend services more than once a week). When we drill down among specific religious groups, we see that Biden (28% and 37%, respectively) is beating Warren (19% and 12%, respectively) and Sanders (19% and 16%, respectively) significantly among Born Again Christians and Catholic voters. Both of these groups are big Trump supporters.
To beat Trump, Biden will have to appeal to groups that the President made in-roads with, such as middle class voters, union and suburban voters (specifically suburban women) and rural voters. How does Biden fair with these groups? The following is a breakdown of the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination among swing voters groups needed to defeat Trump in the 2020 general election:
When it came to where voters lived, Biden had more appeal in large, mid-size and small cities. More importantly Biden wins versus Sanders and Warren more than two to one in the suburbs and rural areas of the country. Among suburban women, Biden (36%) leads big against Sanders (18%) and Warren (16%). Among union voters, who were instrumental in electing Trump in “blue wall” states, the former vice president receives 29%, while Warren (21%) and Sanders (9%) lag behind.
When it came to income, Biden led his rivals among the lowest and highest income voters, but won the most among middle income voters whose household income is $50-$75k annually—he wins more than three to one; 43% of middle income voters support Joe Biden compared with 12% who support both Warren and Sanders.
More importantly, Biden holds significant leads over Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders among consumer bloc groups that Trump does extremely well with. Biden (he receives 29%, 33%, 31%, respectively) defeats Sanders (he receives 18%, 17%, 23%, respectively) and Warren (she receives 16%, 18%, 12%, respectively) easily among NASCAR fans, Weekly Walmart shoppers and Weekly Amazon shoppers.
Despite some bad debate performances and some polls showing his lead diminishing, Biden is still the candidate to beat in our latest Zogby Analytics poll. He remains at a steady 31%, which has been consistent over all of 2019 in our polls. It’s still a long way to the finish line, but momentarily “Scranton Joe” is still on top and not irrelevant.
Warren has climbed up to a tie for second place and she continues to build momentum. She is fighting Bernie Sanders to establish herself as the true “progressive” candidate. While she appeals to the youngest voters, she hasn’t made a dent with consumers, such as, NASCAR fans, weekly Walmart and weekly Amazon shoppers. She will also need to strengthen her support with women, union voters, Hispanics and African Americans, if she is to win the nomination.
The next tier of candidates: Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris have lost appeal and neither is receiving double digit support. At the moment it’s hard to see either candidate beating out the frontrunners. Never say die, but it would take some serious health issues or scandals among the top three front runners for “Mayor Pete” and Harris to make a big move.
The nomination for the Democratic Party is still in the early stages, and it looks like a fire fight among Biden, Sanders and Warren, but could a long drawn out and bloody fight benefit the re-election of Trump, time will only tell!