Poll Watch
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

February 8, 2020

It might come down to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg once again.

In its latest poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, CNN shows Sanders leading the pack in the Granite State ahead of Tuesday's primary. The senator picked up 28 percent support in the survey, leading his closest contender Buttigieg by seven points. The two went toe to toe in the hotly contested — and mildly controversial — Iowa caucuses last week, with Buttigieg reeling in more delegates while Sanders led in terms of raw votes. New Hampshire, it seems, could provide another close race between the two, especially considering Iowa polls showed Sanders leading Buttigieg by a similar amount in the lead up to the caucuses.

The CNN poll wasn't much to look at for anyone else. Former Vice President Joe Biden likely won't be surprised to hear he came in third with 11 percent, while no one else hit double digits. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) didn't get the New England love shown to Sanders in the survey, finishing with just 9 percent.

Per CNN, Biden slid five points and Buttigieg rose six, indicating the mayor might be taking some of the vice president's voters.

The CNN New Hampshire Poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center between Feb. 4-7 among a random sample of 365 likely Democratic primary voters. The margin of error was 5.1 percent. Read more at CNN. Tim O'Donnell

January 27, 2020

A Fox News poll released Sunday has some good news for President Trump, but if you combine it with the poll's bad news, it's not at all clear where Trump stands with the American public or how voters are feeling about the state of the union.

On the positive side, 55 percent of voters said the economy is good or excellent, the highest number since 59 percent said they felt positive about the economy in January 2001 (two months before the start of the ugly 2001 recession). A 42 percent plurality of voters credit Trump and the Republicans for the economy, and Trump's job approval rating on the economy is a record 56 percent.

The bad news? A 55 percent majority of voters say the way the economy works is unfair and 56 percent say they are dissatisfied with how things are going in the country, Fox News found. Trump's overall approval rating is 45 percent, with 54 percent disapproving, and he is underwater on all non-economy issues: guns (-9 percentage points), immigration (-15 points), foreign policy (-16 points), health care (-16 points), government spending (-18 points), race relations (-19 points), the environment (-22 points), even trade deals (-1 point).

Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson sees the glass half full: "The president's job approval on the economy has consistently outpaced his overall job approval," and "a strong economy creates a good foundation for an incumbent seeking re-election, even if voters will also say things could always be even better or more fair." Democratic pollster Chris Anderson, whose firm conducted the Fox News poll with GOP pollster Daron Shaw, argued that Trump's approval on the economy "is tenuous ground on which to stake his re-election," because "outside the Republican base, voters think the economy under Trump doesn't work for most people."

The poll was conducted Jan. 19-22 by Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Co. (R), surveying 1,005 randomly selected registered votes over the phone. The poll's overall margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. Peter Weber

January 25, 2020

With little more than a week to go until the Democratic Iowa caucus, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is in command in the state, a new poll from The New York Times and Siena College revealed Saturday.

Sanders picked up 25 percent support in the latest survey, ahead of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), all of whom are huddled closely at 18, 17, and 15 percent, respectively. That's a fairly sizable lead for Sanders, but as the Times points out, Iowans are known to shake things up late in the game, so nothing's a given in what's been a topsy-turvy race all year. But, for the moment, it doesn't look like Sanders' absence from the campaign trail because of the Senate impeachment trial has hurt him — indeed, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) reportedly filled in for him to much fanfare Saturday.

The Times did highlight, however, that Sanders' lead is contradictory to another key element in the poll. The majority of Iowa Democrats prefer a candidate who is more moderate than most Democrats at 55 percent, compared to just 38 percent who want someone more liberal than the average party member. Sanders, it's safe to say, falls into the latter camp. With candidates like Biden and Buttigieg lumped together in second and third, along with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) at 8 percent, it appears that those moderate voters are split. It remains to be seen if they'll coalesce in the lead up to the caucus, but if they don't they may cancel each other out in the process.

The New York Times/Siena College Research Institute survey of 1,689 registered voters in Iowa, including 584 Democratic caucusgoers, was conducted from Jan. 20 to Jan. 23. The margin of error for the Democratic caucus electorate is 4.8 percentage points. Read more at The New York Times. Tim O'Donnell

January 22, 2020

A CNN-SSRS poll released Wednesday morning found a new national frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), though his lead over former Vice President Joe Biden is within the poll's margin of error, "meaning there is no clear leader in this poll," CNN says. Sanders, with 27 percent support among registered voters who are Democrats or Democratic-leaning, and Biden, polling at 24 percent, are now in a category of their own, though, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has fallen to a distant third at 14 percent.

"For the first time in the entirety of this campaign, in CNN's national polling, Joe Biden doesn't have the lead position all to himself," CNN political director David Chalian said on Wednesday's New Day. Sanders jumped 7 percentage points since December by eating into Biden's support among nonwhite voters and Warren's support among liberal Democrats.

The most important quality Democratic voters said they valued was electability, and Biden still held a commanding lead among candidates seen as the most likely to defeat President Trump, but Sanders leads in voter enthusiasm, CNN reports. Nine percent of men and 20 percent of women said they didn't think a woman can win the presidency.

In head-to-head polling against Trump, all six leading Democrats beat Trump nationally, with only Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-Minn.) lead falling within the margin of error, but the candidates were all essentially tied with Trump in the 15 battleground states CNN identified. Trump's approval rating in the poll was 43 percent.

SSRS conducted the poll Jan. 16-19 among 1,156 adults, and the full sample has a margin of sampling error of ±3.4 percentage points. For the sample of 500 Democrats, the margin of error was ±5.3 percentage points. Peter Weber

January 11, 2020

In one of the most extensive studies so far on the views of the 2020 presidential race among black voters conducted by The Washington Post and non-partisan research firm, Ipsos, former Vice President Joe Biden is holding on to a commanding lead over the rest of the Democratic field.

Biden picked up 48 percent of the vote in the survey, which amounts to a whopping 28 point lead over the next candidate in line, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Voters referenced Biden's experience and ability to take on President Trump head to head as some of the reasons he's garnered their support to date. In the South, which could be a key region for picking up delegates in the primaries, Biden's doing even better at 53 percent.

The notable exception to Biden's dominance is age. Black voters between 18 and 34 support Sanders at 42 percent, thanks to his policies on housing and student debt, for example, per the Post. Still, Biden remains in second place among the demographic with 30 percent.

The Post-Ipsos survey was conducted online between Jan. 2-8 from a sample of 769 Democratic-leaning black voters. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points. Read more at The Washington Post. Tim O'Donnell

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