Saturday, 7 March 2020

Biden Vs. Bernie: Here’s The First Polling Data After Warren, Bloomberg Drop Out

In the span of just six days, five Democratic presidential candidates dropped out of the race. Tom Steyer called it quits Saturday night after flopping in South Carolina. Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg pulled out the next day and promptly threw his support to former Vice President Joe Biden. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) did the same on Monday. After getting wiped out on Super Tuesday, billionaire Mike Bloomberg ended his half-a-billion-dollar campaign Wednesday, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) followed suit on Thursday. That makes what once was a field of over 20 candidates a contest between just three, one of whom is not really a viable candidate. In other words, it’s all come down to Biden and Bernie.
So, given the choice of just two viable Democratic candidates, how is the race shaking out now?
According to the first big national poll that doesn’t include Warren, the theory that her supporters would flock to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) appears to have been incorrect. A majority of Democrats now support Biden, who, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found, enjoys a 10-point advantage over the democratic socialist who seemed to have taken strong command over the race just last week.
“Just days after Joe Biden’s commanding wins in most of the Super Tuesday primaries, Democrats across the country are again rallying around the former vice president as their best hope for defeating Republican President Donald Trump in November,” Reuters reports.
“In the March 4-5 poll, released on Thursday, 55% of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents said they would support Biden for the Democratic nomination if the only other choice was U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Another 45% said they would vote for Sanders,” reports Reuters.
Since October, the leaderboard for the Democratic presidential nomination has been dominated by Biden and Sanders, with Biden spending far more time at the top. But after the first two primary contests, where Sanders overperformed and Biden grossly underperformed, the national momentum swung decisively in Sanders’ favor. According to Real Clear Politics‘ average of the national polls, Sanders enjoyed a 12-point advantage over Biden on Feb. 22 (29-17).
But heading into South Carolina, “Joementum” picked up and after he carried the state overwhelmingly last Saturday, he surged back into frontrunner status. By March 2, the eve of Super Tuesday, Biden held a razor-thin edge over Sanders (27.3-26.7). After winning 9 of the 15 states up for grabs on Tuesday, the shift was complete: Biden’s lead expanded to over 7 points by Wednesday (34.3-26.8).
By Thursday morning, after Bloomberg dropped out and just before Warren did the same, Biden held a 13-point advantage over Sanders in a Reuters/Ipsos poll, with Warren taking 11 points and Gabbard just Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) just 1 (45-32-11-1).
While many were expecting a vast majority of Warren’s support to transfer to Sanders, Reuters’ new survey indicates that theory was flawed. Her support appears to be relatively evenly divided, some going to Biden, bringing him to 55% support, and some to Sanders, giving him 45% support.
And things are looking up for Biden, with big endorsements streaming in, particularly from former candidates, and polling data showing him to be the favorite in many of the next primaries and caucuses, which will be held on Tuesday March 10 in Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington.

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