Poll Watch
November 10, 2019

A new poll released by Morning Consult on Sunday brought some good news and bad news for potential Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, Politico reports.

Bloomberg, who filed for the Alabama primary Friday, but has not yet made a final decision about officially launching a campaign, finished in sixth place in the poll at 4 percent, which is not terrible considering he's a newcomer. He was also shown beating President Trump by six percentage points in a hypothetical general election matchup. But 25 percent of those surveyed also said they view the former New York City mayor and billionaire unfavorably. That was the highest unfavorable rating in the poll.

His potential Democratic opponents don't seem too high on him entering the race either. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called him out directly during a campaign speech in Iowa on Saturday, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was skeptical of his candidacy during an appearance Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

The Morning Consult Poll was conducted on Nov. 8, surveying 5,387 registered voters. The margin of error was one percentage point. Read more at Politico. Tim O'Donnell

November 5, 2019

Swing voters are real, The New York Times reports, and they don't seem to be too keen on Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) right now.

In a new poll conducted alongside Siena college, the Times found that these swing, or "persuadable," voters — whose most common attribute is that they're ideologically inconsistent — represent about 15 percent of the electorate. The voters, a majority of whom are men, have a favorable view of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but that's not the case for Warren, the Times reports.

Trump trounced Warren among the swing voters in the poll, by a count of 49 percent to 27 percent. In contrast, the president only leads Biden 43 percent to 37 percent. One possible explanation is that Warren is veering too far left for these voters, 80 percent of whom consider themselves either conservative or moderate, meaning it's unlikely they'll head for a ship that's being blown by more progressive winds. Indeed, 82 percent of those surveyed want a candidate whose focused on common ground as opposed to one fighting for a more progressive agenda, which has been a public source of disagreement between Biden, who represents the former, and Warren, who represents the latter.

The New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll was conducted among 3,766 voters across the six most competitive states from the 2016 presidential election. The interviews took place over the phone, and the margin of error was 1.7 percentage points. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

November 5, 2019

The top five Democratic presidential candidates all lead President Trump by significant, growing margins among registered voters and American adults a year before the 2020 election, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) trounce Trump by 17 percentage points, 15 points, and 14 points, respectively, among registered voters.

All Democrats included in the poll — Biden, Warren, Sanders, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) — have steadily improved their standing over Trump since July.

Trump, hindered by a 39 percent approval rating, has lost most ground among independents, who account for most of the shift toward the Democratic candidates. Polls of the handful of swing states that will likely decide the election have shown a much tighter race, though if any Democrat actually beat Trump by double digits, they would almost certainly win both the popular vote and Electoral College. A year before the 2016 election, a Post/ABC News poll had Hillary Clinton leading Trump by 12 points among all adults but only by 3 points among registered voters, ABC News notes.

Trump is facing a slightly fractured Republican Party, the poll found: Only 80 percent of Republicans back him, while 16 percent of GOP-leaning voters say they would vote for Biden, and 30 percent of Republican and GOP-leaners say they wish the party would nominate someone other than Trump. But Democrats face their own fissures: Just over a third of 18- to 29-year-olds say they might sit out 2020 if Biden or Warren is the nominee, while 22 percent say the same of Sanders.

The Washington Post/ABC News poll was conducted by phone Oct. 27-30 among 1,003 adults, including 876 registered voters. The margin of sampling errors for all adults is ±3.5 percentage points and for registered voters, ±4 points. Peter Weber

November 3, 2019

Democratic voters still think former Vice President Joe Biden is their best chance to defeat President Trump, but they're not necessarily sure he's the top candidate for what comes after the election, a new poll from The Washington Post and ABC suggests.

Biden maintained a lead over the field at 28 percent, though Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) trailed by 5 points, which falls within the poll's margin of error. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was the only other candidate to hit double digits at 17 percent, while South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was inching closer at 9 percent. It wasn't the best survey for any of the other candidates, none of whom surpassed the 2 percent threshold, including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who did at least find out she had qualified for the December debate stage on Sunday.

So yet another poll supports the notion Biden is the tenuous favorite, and he was far ahead of the pack when voters were considering who would best stand up to Trump in the general election. The former vice president garnered 42 percent on that question, while Sanders and Warren lagged behind at 16 and 17 percent, respectively. At the same time, the three leading candidates were essentially tied when asked which candidate would bring the most change to Washington with Sanders edging both Warren and Biden by a point with 25 percent. All in all, the numbers indicate voters are still grappling with whether they'll vote purely in terms of policy or if "electability" will emerge as the primary factor.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted by telephone between Oct. 27-30 among a random national sample of U.S. adults. The margin of error was 5.5 percentage points. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

October 8, 2019

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden in the latest poll from Quinnipiac University released Tuesday, but it still looks like Biden has more appeal among black voters and potential swing voters at the moment.

Warren wrangled support from 29 percent of the voters surveyed overall, compared to Biden's 26 percent, while the former vice president was trouncing Warren among black voters, 36 percent to 20 percent.

Biden also led the Massachusetts senator by 16 points among voters who "lean" Democratic. Warren actually saw a pretty precipitous drop when it came to that distinction — 33 percent of Democratic voters were backing her in the survey, compared to just 14 percent of those who leaned Democratic. Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) both had higher marks in the Democratic-leaning category than with surefire Democrats.

That might have something to do with why Biden still held a largely head-to-head lead over President Trump (51 percent to 40 percent) than Warren (49 to 41), despite Warren having the overall edge. In the end, this appears to be yet another poll that will complicate the already-complex "electability" debate.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted over the phone between Oct. 4 and Oct. 7, and 1,483 registered voters were surveyed nationwide. The margin of error was 4.7 percentage points. See the full results of the poll here. Tim O'Donnell

September 29, 2019

More than half of Americans back Congress' impeachment inquiry, a poll released by CBS on Sunday shows.

Naturally, the survey was split along party lines. In total, 55 percent of Americans approve of the inquiry of President Trump, with 87 percent of Democrats supporting it, suggesting that most moderate Democrats are actually aligned with the more left-leaning wing of the party, contrary to speculation. Meanwhile, only 23 percent of Republicans surveyed got behind the inquiry.

The poll was a little less cut and dry on whether Trump should actually be impeached over his communications with Ukraine's government. A plurality responded yes at 42 percent, while 36 percent don't think he deserves it. That leaves a fairly prominent 22 percent that believes it's too soon to tell, either way. The Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out that that means there's quite a bit of room for the 42 percent to increase as more information comes out. Of course, the opposite could also be true.

Ultimately, the decision rests with members of the House, but the opinions of their constituents will no doubt play a role in the outcome. The CBS poll was conducted by YouGov, which interviewed 2,059 U.S. residents between Sept. 26-27. The margin of error is 2.3 percentage points. Tim O'Donnell

September 10, 2019

President Trump might not want to look at a new poll conducted by Univision and the University of Houston.

The survey shows six Democratic presidential candidates leading the incumbent in Texas. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has the healthiest lead over Trump — a 48 percent to 42 percent edge. Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden has Trump beat 47 percent to 43 percent, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is ahead 44 percent to 42 percent. Those three, frequently considered the front-runners in the Democratic primaries, don't come as a huge surprise, but Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) also hold slight advantages. Former Housing Secretary and homegrown Texan Julián Castro is the sixth candidate that Texas would seemingly support over Trump; he has a three point lead over the commander-in-chief.

Those are the only six candidates highlighted in the survey for this particular question. Oddly, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) is not pitted against Trump, though among the Democratic candidates, he finished second only to Biden in the survey, and led all other candidates by seven points or more among Texas Latinx voters. So it appears the El Paso native is doing pretty well in his home state at the moment.

The poll also revealed that 40 percent of voters would vote for any Democratic candidate over Trump, compared to just 33 percent who are committed to voting for the president. The poll was conducted between Aug. 31 and Sept. 6 on the phone and online. It consisted of 1,004 voters and the margin of error was 3.1 percent. See the full results here. Tim O'Donnell

September 10, 2019

President Trump can, on occasion, be unpredictable, but his approval numbers aren't.

He's the only commander-in-chief in the polling era never to never cross the 50 percent threshold, CNBC reports. His Gallup Poll peak is 46 percent and his low his 35 percent, good for an average of 40 percent to date; in Gallup's latest poll, he's right there again with a 39 percent approval rating. The consistency is not inconsequential when considering Trump's long-term electoral prospects, the Century Foundation's Ruy Teixeira told CNBC.

In 2018, just before the Republicans lost control of the House in the mid-term elections, Trump was at his normal 40 percent Gallup approval rating, while 54 percent of those surveyed disapproved of his performance. He's only budged slightly since then — and in the wrong direction, to boot. CNBC's John Hardwood notes that when former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were routed by Republicans in the 1994 and 2010 midterms, respectively, they bounced back in their approval polls before winning re-election in 1996 and 2012.

Vegas oddsmakers still have Trump as the favorite in 2020, perhaps because Obama and Clinton were able to shake off those defeats to gain a second term. But Trump does not appear to be making up the ground his predecessors did to recapture the electorate.

Of course, polls have not recently proven themselves to be the ultimate litmus test for determining presidential elections. Read more at CNBC. Tim O'Donnell

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