Poll Watch
July 2, 2019

The first major poll after last week's inaugural 2020 Democratic presidential debates confirms the conventional wisdom: They were great for Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and bad for former Vice President Joe Biden. The CNN/SSRS poll released Monday evening showed Biden as the top pick of 22 percent of Democrats, down 10 percentage points from CNN's last poll in May; Harris jumped 9 points to 17 percent, and Warren got an 8-point bump, to 15 percent. Previous runner-up Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) dropped 4 points to 14 percent and fourth place.

All other candidates are in the single digits. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (Texas) lost 2 points, coming in at 3 percent support, while South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped 1 point, to 4 percent. "For those keeping score at home, that's the field's women up 17 points and its men down 17 points," notes Aaron Blake at The Washington Post.

Biden's strongest support in the poll was among black voters (36 percent) and older voters (34 percent), though the one issue Harris beats him on is handling race relations (she got 29 percent to Biden's second-pace 16 percent). A solid 43 percent of Democrats still think Biden is best positioned to beat President Trump, followed by Sanders (13 percent) and Warren and Harris (12 percent). Among all Americans, 56 percent favored a national health insurance plan, even if it raises taxes (85 percent of Democrats agreed), though only 21 percent of Americans favored a national health insurance plan that eliminated private insurance.

SSRS conducted the poll by phone June 28-30, reaching 1,613 adults. The full sample has a margin of error of ±3 percentage points; the subsample of 656 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents has a margin of error of ±4.7 points. Peter Weber

June 19, 2019

It feels like a bit of cycle.

A new poll conducted by Avalanche — a progressive public-opinion research group — shows that if the nebulous term "electability" is removed as a factor in the 2020 Democratic primaries, the race looks quite different, Axios reports. In an "electability"-free world, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) actually led former Vice President Joe Biden, 21 percent to 19 percent among those polled by Avalanche, while in many other national polls, Biden often leads substantially.

The problem for Warren, though, is reportedly not the idea that a woman isn't capable of performing the job, but the fact that too many voters are concerned that other voters won't elect a woman. It's less about Warren and more about America, Avalanche writes.

So, the distrust in their fellow voters leads people to edge away from Warren's candidacy in favor of Biden, whom voters feel has a better chance of defeating President Trump in the general election. While regular polls show Biden as the favorite among 29 percent of Democrats, that number drops to 19 percent without the "electability" factor. Warren, meanwhile, jumps from 16 percent to 21 percent when "electability" isn't considered.

For reference, Avalanche's survey shows that 97 percent of likely Democratic voters believe getting Trump out of the White House is very important, while only 28 percent feel confident that he'll lose. That, coupled with the fact that 62 percent believe that Americans won't elect a woman, is why, Avalanche's data suggests, Warren is lagging behind Biden.

Avalanche conducted a listening survey of 1,871 registered voters between May 30-June 3. No margin of error was reported. Read more at Axios. Tim O'Donnell

June 17, 2019

When ABC News obtained internal poll numbers from President Trump's re-election campaign showing him getting crushed by Joe Biden in 15 of 17 key states, the Trump campaign pushed back by arguing that the poll numbers were outdated.

"These leaked numbers are ancient, in campaign terms, from months-old polling that began in March before two major events had occurred: The release of the summary of the Mueller report exonerating the president, and the beginning of the Democrat candidates defining themselves with their far-left policy message," said Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale. "Since then, we have seen huge swings in the president's favor across the 17 states we have polled."

A Fox News poll released Sunday suggests that most voters don't think Special Counsel Robert Mueller exonerated Trump. A record 50 percent of registered voters say they now think Trump's campaign coordinated with Russia during the 2016 election, up from 44 percent in March, and another 50 percent of voters now support impeaching Trump, versus 48 percent who oppose impeachment — though the 50 percent includes 43 percent who want Trump impeached and removed from office and 7 percent who want him impeached but not ousted.

Support for impeaching Trump has risen 5 percentage points among Democrats since June 2018 and 15 points among independents. When it comes to coordinating with Russia, the rise was fueled by a 14-point bump among independents, a 6-point increase among Democrats, and a 3-point rise among Republicans. At the same time, 56 percent of voters said it's "not at all" likely Trump will actually be impeached.

The poll was conducted via telephone by Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R) June 9-12 — so before ABC News showed Trump welcoming political dirt on opponents from foreign governments — among 1,001 registers voters nationwide. The margin of sampling error of ±3 percentage points. Peter Weber

June 12, 2019

If the 2020 presidential election were held today, President Trump would lose to every major Democratic candidate — and he'd be crushed by former Vice President Joe Biden, according to a national Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Biden's 13-point lead is underpinned by a 30-point lead among independents, who back him 58 percent to 28 percent over Trump. All six Democrats put in head-to-head races with Trump beat him among independents, and the president's best number among that group is 34 percent, versus Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). In the Democratic primary, Biden leads with 30 percent, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) at 19 percent and Warren at 15 percent. Everyone else was in single digits.

"Numbers this far out from a general election are hard to read, and could change between now and November 2020," CNN cautions. "They should be thought of as a snapshot in time rather than a predictor of the future." At the same time, a Fox News poll in mid-May had only slightly better news for Trump — he was losing to Biden by 11 points.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,214 voters nationwide June 6-10, and this poll has an overall margin of error of ±3.5 percentage points. Peter Weber

May 22, 2019

President Trump was apparently thinking about his poll numbers on Wednesday morning, and he wasn't happy.

Sixty-five percent isn't out of the realm of possibility for most presidents, but Trump has never risen above 46 percent in Gallup's tracking poll (he's now at 42 percent). It isn't clear what Trump hoped to accomplish with this tweet, which appears to say a quarter of the electorate is either gullible or stupid, and Trump doesn't say which polls he's objecting to, though several fit the bill.

Trump's poll numbers had been improving on good economic news and after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, Ed Kilgore notes at New York, but now he's back to the low 40s, "very near where he's usually been, with somewhat more frequent and recent dips into the high 30s." Trump's RealClearPolitics approval average on Wednesday was 42.7 percent, and FiveThirtyEight pegged his approval at 41.2.

A CBS News poll released Wednesday notched Trump's approval rating at a moderately high 41 percent, but a Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday put Trump 19 points under water, with 38 percent of voters approving and 57 percent disapproving. And as Harry Enten pointed out on CNN Wednesday morning, 54 percent of voters in that poll said they would definitely vote against Trump in 2020, putting him in an unwanted league of his own.

In the CBS News poll, 71 percent of Americans say the economy is good, and 50 percent of them approve of Trump's handling of the economy, his highest number. His numbers on everything else — trade, foreign policy, immigration — are considerably worse. It's hard to blame that on the "Witch Hunt." Peter Weber

May 1, 2019

President Trump's job approval rating has ticked up to 43 percent in a CNN/SSRS poll released Wednesday, a 1 percentage point improvement since March and Trump's highest rating since April 2017. Trump's disapproval rating also rose 1 point, to 52 percent. A presidency-high 35 percent of voters strongly approve of Trump's job performance. Other polls have show Trump's approval rating drop significantly after Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report was released two weeks ago. Trump's FiveThirtyEight approval average is 41 percent and RealClearPolitics puts it at 43 percent.

With Mueller's report in, 44 percent of adults in the CNN poll say congressional Democrats are doing too much to investigate Trump, up from 38 percent in March; most of that shift has come from independents, 46 percent of whom say Democrats are going too far. But the same people largely approve of individual aspects of oversight: 66 percent want Trump to release his tax returns, 61 percent favor Congress taking legal action to get the unredacted Mueller report, 58 percent want Congress to investigate if Trump committed obstruction of justice, and 54 percent say Trump isn't doing enough to cooperate with Democratic investigations.

A 48 percent plurality say they already believe Trump obstructed justice during the Mueller investigation, versus 45 percent who say he did not; 50 percent say Trump's public comments on the investigation have been mostly false; and 51 percent disapprove of how Trump has handled the Mueller report's release.

SSRS conducted the poll April 25-28 among 1,007 adults nationwide via phone. The full sample has a margin of error of ±3.8 percentage points. Peter Weber

April 30, 2019

It was "a huge opening weekend for former Vice President Joe Biden — think Avengers: Endgame here," CNN's John Berman said on Tuesday morning's New Day, introducing a new national poll that shows Biden taking a commanding lead in the 2020 Democratic field one day after officially joining the race.

In the CNN/SSRS poll, conducted April 25-29, Biden opened up a commanding lead in the 20-person Democratic field, grabbing 39 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, more than double the support of his next-closest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), at 15 percent. Next is Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 8 percent, followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 7 percent, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke at 6 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) at 5 percent. Biden's support jumped 11 percentage points since the last CNN/SSRS poll, while Buttigieg jumped 6 points and everybody else lost ground.

The top issue for Democrats and leaners was combating climate change, and the most important attribute for a candidate was ability to beat President Trump, the poll found. Biden's early message has focused on beating Trump. He leads the other 19 candidates among all major demographic groups, including half of non-white voters, but two-thirds of voters said they could still change their mind about which candidate they support. Biden's lead in the CNN poll is slightly larger than in Monday's Morning Consult tracking poll, which had Biden leading Sanders 36 percent to 22 percent; that poll was conducted April 22-28.

SSRS polled 1,007 adults nationwide over the phone, but the sample of 411 Democratic and Democratic-leaning independent registered voters has a margin or sampling error of ±5.9 percentage points. Peter Weber

April 25, 2019

Joe Biden kicked off his presidential campaign on Thursday as the clear frontrunner not only in the Democratic field but also the general election, according to Politico/Morning Consult polling. In a head-to-head contest with President Trump, Biden draws 42 percent to Trump's 34 percent, an 8-percentage point lead that puts Trump in a much worse position than former President Barack Obama when he was running for re-election in 2012. Morning Consult conducted the poll April 19-21 among 1992 registered voters; the poll has a ±2-point margin of error.

Biden is ahead of closest Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), 30 percent to 24 percent, in Morning Consult's weekly tracking polls. Biden and Sanders are followed by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9 percent), California Sen. Kamala Harris (8 percent), Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (7 percent), and Beto O'Rourke (6 percent). The tracking poll covers April 15-21, is based on 14,336 interviews with Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of error of ±1 percentage point.

Biden's coalition is older, more racially diverse, and more moderate than Sanders voters, Morning Consult found. Biden just edges out Sanders in favorability ratings, though his net favorability dropped 5 points from January, a period in which he was accused of inappropriate handsiness. Peter Weber

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