Poll Watch
March 29, 2020

Despite some heavy criticism over how his administration has handled the novel coronavirus pandemic, polls continue to deliver good news for President Trump.

A new survey from The Washington Post and ABC News shows Trump is neck-and-neck with former Vice President Joe Biden, the favorite to win the Democratic nomination, months ahead of November's general election. Back in February, before the pandemic enveloped the United States emotionally and physically, Biden was leading in the same poll by seven percentage points. That lead has dwindled to two and, when considering the margin of error, places the two candidates in an effective tie.

Trump outpaces Biden among registered voters when it boils down to whom voters trust more to handle the coronavirus outbreak, although, similar to Biden's overall lead, the difference is statistically insignificant. Where they do separate from one another is on their prospective management of health care and the economy. Biden gets better marks in the former category, while Trump has a healthy lead in the latter.

Another possible area of worry for Biden is the apparent lack of enthusiasm among his supporters. Only 24 percent of his supporters say they are "very enthusiastic" about backing him.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted over the phone between March 22-25, surveying 1,003 adults and 845 registered voters. The margin of error was 3.5 percentage points. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

March 23, 2020

There's no doubt Americans are worried about the novel coronavirus pandemic. A new poll from Monmouth University released Monday reveals that 57 percent of those surveyed consider it their biggest concern right now, well ahead of related things like job security and health care costs, indicating that health in and of itself is the top priority. But, at the same time, many people still believe the U.S. can limit the scale of the outbreak before too long.

Of those polled, 25 percent said they were "very confident" the country will achieve some of its goals in the next few weeks, while 37 percent said they were somewhat confident. That means 36 percent are either "not too" confident, or not confident at all. Still, it seems optimism is winning out, as cities and states around the country impose restrictive measures in the hopes of turning the tide, but the numbers are also split along party lines with Republicans predicting a rosier outlook than Democrats.

It looks like a lot of that hope stems from a positive opinion of the country's governors, who have a 72 percent approval rating for how they've dealt with the crisis. Per the poll, though, people are less satisfied with how their peers are handling things — only 38 percent of those surveyed gave a thumbs up to the American public's response.

The Monmouth University poll was conducted via telephone between March 18 to 22, surveying 851 adults in the United States. The margin of error is 3.4 percentage points. See the full results of the poll here. Tim O'Donnell

March 1, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden now has a convincing Democratic presidential primary win under his belt after he soundly defeated the field in South Carolina on Saturday. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) remains the national favorite for the nomination, and a new poll from CBS suggests he's not giving up that standing anytime soon.

Sanders is 12 points ahead of Biden in California, per the poll, and he leads (though more narrowly) in Texas, as well. Both states will vote on Super Tuesday, and carry by far the most delegates of the 14 states participating, so winning would go along way.

The support for Sanders, who considers himself a democratic socialist, in the poll is seemingly backed up by the fact that likely Democratic voters in both Texas and California said they view socialism more favorably than capitalism.

Sanders' democratic socialism, of course, has often been the source of controversy throughout the primaries, so his supporters will likely be pleased to see the new data.

The CBS News surveys were conducted by YouGov between Feb. 27-29, 2020. A representative sample of 2,200 registered voters in California was selected, including 1,411 self-identified Democrats, as well as independents who plan to vote in the Democratic primary this year. A representative sample of 1,600 registered voters in Texas was selected, including 635 self-identified Democrats, as well as independents who plan to vote in the Democratic primary this year. The margin of error is 4 points in California and 6.2 percent in Texas. Read more at CBS. Tim O'Donnell

February 24, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) won Saturday's Nevada caucuses decisively, after winning the New Hampshire primary and essentially tying former Mayor Pete Buttigieg for first in Iowa. So Sanders is the Democratic frontrunner, and he also leads nationally in a new CBS News/YouGov poll released Sunday, drawing the support of 28 percent of Democratic primary voters. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) jumped to second place in the poll, at 19 percent followed by former Vice President Joe Biden (17 percent), former Mayor Mike Bloomberg (13 percent), and Buttigieg (10 percent).

Warren came in fourth place in the Nevada caucuses, but a large majority of Nevada Democrats cast their early ballots before Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate, and half the respondents in the CBS poll — taken Feb. 20-22, between the debate and the caucuses — were most impressed with Warren's performance. Warren's campaign also reported raising $14 million between the New Hampshire primary and Saturday.

CBS News has Biden leading in the next primary, South Carolina, but the big test will be Super Tuesday, March 3. And only 42 percent of Democratic primary voters have definitely made up their minds about who they will vote for, the poll found. At the same time, 69 percent of Warren's supporters are enthusiast about her candidacy followed by Sanders (65 percent), Biden (53 percent), and Buttigieg (52 percent). Democratic voters pick Sanders (57 percent) and Warren (53 percent) as the candidates who will fight the most for people like them.

A majority of all surveyed voters told CBS News/YouGov that President Trump will definitely (31 percent) or probably (34 percent) win re-election, even though in hypothetical head-to-head matchups, Sanders, Biden, and Warren all narrowly beat Trump.

YouGov conducted the poll Feb. 20-22 among 10,000 registered voters, including 6,598 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents likely to vote in the primary. The margin of error for the entire poll is ±1.2 percentage points and for the Democrats, ±1.7 points. Peter Weber

February 23, 2020

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) may be basking in his victory after the Nevada caucuses, but he can't celebrate for too long. The South Carolina primary is right around the corner, and despite Sanders steadily encroaching into first place for weeks in state polls, it's still former Vice President Joe Biden's state to lose in the week leading up to the vote, a new CBS/YouGov poll revealed Sunday.

Sanders crushed his competition in Nevada, where Biden finished a distant second. South Carolina, though, has always been the early voting state the vice president has had his eye on — and he's still got a chance — but Sanders is right behind him now as Biden's once dominant lead has shrunk to just a five-point advantage over Sanders in the new poll.

Some of that likely has to do with Biden's support among black voters shrinking over the last few months. He still maintains the edge, but billionaire Tom Steyer has shot up to second place among the demographic thanks to a furious final effort in the state. Steyer, in fact, is in third place in the poll, which must excite his campaign, considering he told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday that he'll need a top-three finish next Saturday to get back into the race.

The CBS News survey was conducted by YouGov between February 20-22, 2020. A representative sample of 2,000 registered voters in South Carolina was selected, including 1,238 self-identified Democrats, as well as independents who plan to vote in the Democratic primary this year. The margin of error is 5.5 points. Tim O'Donnell

February 18, 2020

A few days before the Nevada caucuses, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has taken a 12 percentage point lead in the Democratic presidential contest, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Tuesday morning. Sanders has the support of 31 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, up 9 points from the last Marist poll in December, but coming in at No. 2 is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, at 19 percent. That's a 15-point jump since December.

This poll qualifies Bloomberg to participate in Wednesday's Democratic debate, though Bloomberg won't be on the ballot in Saturday's caucuses. Bloomberg's campaign said he plans to participate if he qualifies. The billionaire media tycoon built up his poll numbers with the help of more than $400 million of his personal fortune and lots of advertising. He and the other candidates, especially Sanders, are going after each other with increasing vigor.

Former Vice President Joe Biden comes in third place in the poll at 15 percent, down 9 points since December, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 12 percent (a drop of 5 points), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at 9 percent (down 4 points), and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 8 percent (down from 13 percent). Buttigieg narrowly leads in delegates after strong showings in Iowa and New Hampshire.

All of the candidates beat President Trump in a hypothetical head-to-head matchups, with Biden enjoying the biggest lead, followed by Bloomberg, Sanders, Klobuchar and Buttigieg, and Warren. Sanders leads among most categories except black voters — he's a close second to Biden — moderates, and voters over 45; Bloomberg gets the most support among those last two groups and is No. 3 with black voters.

Marist conducted the poll Feb. 13-16 among 1,416 U.S. adults, including 527 Democrats and leaners. The entire poll, including the head-to-heads with Trump, has a margin of error of ±3.7 percentage points; the Democratic rankings have a margin of error of ±5.4 points. Peter Weber

February 11, 2020

A Quinnipiac University poll released Monday had universally bad news for former Vice President Joe Biden, right as he heads into the New Hampshire primaries. Nationally, the poll found, Biden dropped into second place at 17 percent, the new frontrunner being Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), with 25 percent. Relative newcomer Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor who is significantly outspending everyone in the race, comes in third at 15 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at 14 percent.

But losing his national lead isn't the worst news for Biden. After New Hampshire, where Biden has low exceptions, comes South Carolina, where Biden's strong support among African American voters was expected to keep him on top. According to the Quinnipiac poll, as Axios noted Tuesday, his black firewall is burning. Biden's support among black Democrats dropped to 27 percent in the new poll, from 51 percent in December. And it appears that much of that support shifted to Bloomberg, who jumped to 22 percent support among black voters, followed by Sanders (19 percent), Warren (8 percent), and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg (4 percent). All the Democrats beat President Trump in head-to-head matchups, but Bloomberg's 51-42 percent margin of victory was the largest.

Oddsmakers now have Bloomberg in second place for the Democratic nomination, after Sanders, Axios reports.

The sample size of black voters in the poll probably wasn't very large, though. Quinnipiac conducted its poll Feb. 5-9 among 1,519 registered voters, 665 of whom are Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. It has an overall margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points and a ±3.8 point margin of error for the Democrats and Democratic leaners. Peter Weber

February 10, 2020

Quinnipiac University released a new national poll Monday and it's a doozy.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took his first lead among Democratic presidential candidates in the poll, grabbing 25 percent support from those surveyed, while the usual frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden, dropped 9 percentage points. He's still in second place, but billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks like he's encroaching on Biden's turf, jumping up 8 points to put him in third place and just 2 points behind the former vice president. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) comes right behind Bloomberg.

One of the keys to Bloomberg's rise and Biden's dip appears to be their standing among those surveyed who identify as a moderate or conservative Democrat. Biden generally held a wide lead in the category, per Quinnipiac, but Bloomberg trails him by just 1 percentage point now, 22 to 21.

In other news, Quinnipiac has Sanders, Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg all leading President Trump head to head, despite only Klobuchar and Buttigieg carrying favorable ratings.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,519 registered voters, including 665 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, across the United States over the phone between Feb. 5-9. The margin of error is 2.5 percentage points overall and 3.8 percentage points among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Check out the full poll here. Tim O'Donnell

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