An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Tuesday had pretty decent numbers for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.): She was in a virtual tie for second place in the Democratic primary race with former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — all of them at least 12 percentage points behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), steady at 27 percent — and Warren was just behind Sanders in which candidate Democratic voters are most "enthusiastic" about or "comfortable" with.
But how did Warren fare in a head-to-head matchup against President Trump, the question that most captivates Democrats? The poll didn't ask.
The pollsters — Peter Hart (D) and Bill McInturff (R) — asked how Sanders, Biden, Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) would fare against Trump, but not Warren, who polled 1 point higher than Buttigieg and 7 points ahead of Klobuchar. Hart told BuzzFeed News the pollsters only had "space and time" to poll five head-to-head matchups, and "Klobuchar was selected as the fifth candidate" because of her jump to third place in New Hampshire's primary and a lack of data on who her voters are.
The poll tested Warren against Trump "fairly recently," Hart added, and "I suspect she will be part of the next testing." Still, "to Warren backers, the poll was a flashpoint, the culmination of weeks of frustrations" that the media appears to have "erased her candidacy in the wake of her showings in Iowa and New Hampshire," BuzzFeed reports.
In the head-to-head matchups, all five Democrats beat Trump, though the strongest candidate is Biden, who holds a commanding 8-point lead in both the national race and in 11 battleground states. For the other four candidates, the battleground states are a tossup. And despite Sanders' clear lead among Democrats, he also checks off the qualities all voters say they are most uncomfortable with: socialist, recent heart attack, and over 75.
The NBC News/WSJ poll was conducted Feb. 14-17 among 900 registers voters. The overall margin of error is ±3.3 percentage points, and for the 426 Democratic primary voters, ±4.8 points.