Have Elizabeth Warren and Bernie hit a ceiling among Dem. primary voters?
In addition to battleground state polls showing Democratic primary voters prefer moderate candidates, polling from those same states also shows Warren and Sanders trailing Trump in the general election.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) slow but steady ascent in state and national polls over the last several months has been well-documented. There may be a ceiling on how much Democrat support she can amass, however.
Despite of the inroads she’s made with Democratic voters in some of the crucial early primary/caucus states, new polling information released by the New York Times this week shows both Warren and fellow top tier candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have a problem with Democratic voters in key swing states and their desire for a moderate candidate:
A majority of Democratic voters in key states for the 2020 presidential election prefer a moderate candidate who would work with Republican lawmakers instead of a candidate who would fight for a “bold progressive agenda,” according to a new poll.
Democratic primary voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida largely said they want a more moderate presidential nominee, the New York Times–Siena College poll found.
By the numbers, a whopping 62% of Democratic primary voters in these states say they want a moderate candidate who will “promise to find common ground with Republicans.” 55% of them want their nominee to “be more moderate than most Democrats.” Neither Warren nor Sanders have shown much interest in working across the aisle, and the word “moderate” will never describe either of them.
This information confirms the fears of some Democratic establishment types and voters alike who have been raising alarm bells in recent weeks about what they see as deep flaws with Warren, Sanders, and even Joe Biden. They feel that because Warren and Sanders are so far left they would have a tougher time against President Trump in the general election.
There is also concern that Biden’s penchant for flubs and gaffes would hobble him in a race against someone like Trump who loves to needle Biden as a weak candidate.
Related polling numbers also released by the New York Times this week bear this out. In general election match ups in the same battleground states mentioned above, Trump fares better against Warren and Sanders in the general and slightly trails Biden in all states except North Carolina.
In addition to all of this, the polling number crunchers at 538 note that Warren’s polls have “leveled off” since the fourth Democrat debate in October, which also happened to coincide with the rise in questions about Warren’s Medicare for All plan—questions she’d given non-answers to for months.
Now that she’s released details of her plan, the scrutiny has intensified—along with the criticism from other Democrats beyond just her competitors in the presidential race who think the plan is too costly and ultimately will prove deeply unpopular with voters.
It’s not just her Medicare for All plan that has Democrats worried, either. Her persistent attacks on big business are turning off business-minded Democratic voters and donors who say if she ends up being the nominee, they’ll sit out the election—or vote for Trump:
“You’re in a box because you’re a Democrat and you’re thinking, ‘I want to help the party, but she’s going to hurt me, so I’m going to help President Trump,’” said a senior private equity executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity in fear of retribution by party leaders.
Both Warren’s and Sanders’ unapologetic far left stances, combined with Biden’s perceived weaknesses as a general election candidate are reportedly the primary reason billionaire Michael Bloomberg has taken steps to join the presidential race:
Lest there be any doubt about what’s fueling his decision, chief political aide Howard Wolfson explained Bloomberg’s thinking late Thursday as the political world grappled with the significance of his boss’ stunning decision to step toward a run.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated,” Wolfson said, “but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that.”
Of course, Biden’s underwhelming candidacy is only one piece. The other top-tier candidates have glaring weaknesses that have deepened Democrats’ sense of anxiety as well.
Bernie Sanders is a 78-year-old self-described democratic socialist recovering from a heart attack. Pete Buttigieg is 37-year-old mayor whose chief accomplishment is leading a city that can fit into college football stadium. And Warren, who has surged past Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire, wants to eliminate private health insurance in favor of a government-backed plan she’s struggling to explain how she’d pay for.
Those big business Democrats? They seem to like Bloomberg a lot.
We’re less than three months away from the first votes being cast in Iowa. That’s still a long enough time span for the dynamics of the race to change. But one thing that won’t change is both Warren’s and Sanders’ unabashed, take-it-or-leave-it brand of extreme leftism.
Ultimately, it will be up to Democratic voters to decide. But when it comes to states Democrats need to win in the general election in 2020, neither Warren nor Sanders should be too surprised if Democrat primary voters in those states end up showing them the door.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —
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Not when they start letting 16 year olds vote and open the borders
Reports are that the crowds these candidates draw are significantly smaller than a few months ago.
I think even knuckle-dragging liberals can do the math on I get a free $100 but it’s going cost me a cool 1k. Isn’t a boon.
Let’s hope so because there’s a loon contingent of suckers that follows those charlatans around.
I imagine a Warren or Bernie candidacy would reflect a generational split in the D party. The pajama boy contingent wanting everything for free and debt forgiveness, while the working class, boomers and geritol crowd vote to protect their income and accumulated wealth. Biden no doubt benefits from the inversion of that.
I wonder if the extreme tax and spend agenda of Warren and Bernie would fracture support for the D’s traditional wedge issues, like abortion? I.e., where the economic plan for the D’s and R’s are similar in impact, abortion believers run to the D’s. Where the D’s plan to greatly out-tax the R’s, might those inclined to a pro-abortion vote run to the R’s to protect their income / wealth?
Right now, I am with the conventional wisdom that says Biden is the much more palatable choice for most Democrats, and a tempting choice for a lot of Independents.
However I don’t think Joe can make it through a full year of campaigning without being sunk by, well, Hell, pick something from all the targets he offers: Pick two or three.
Then there’s the fact that Biden may well pull the (a lot of? some of?) the traditional White Blue-Collar-Democrat vote, but he has nothing about him or in his resume to bring out either the Black vote, the Hispanic vote, or the Youth vote in the Primaries.
There are no “True Believers” for Joe Biden; his endorsers are only those resigned to the fact there’s nobody better out there running as a Democrat. In short- nobody is going to skip his or her favorite TV show to get off his (or her) as to go out and vote him in the primary.
Sanders knows he’s unelectable but hey! He makes a nice living out of running for President and selling his endorsement for what it’s worth.
Hillary? In her dreams she’ll be declared the candidate by acclimation at the convention, but those seem like the dreams of a broken old alcoholic to me. It’s pretty hard to believe that the Democrats would nominate someone so unpopular she lost to Donald Trump….
I think that leaves ‘Lisabeth’ if I am pronouncing her Indian name correctly. She’ll be the nominee.
The Pundits and Papers will swear that it’s a close race and even that she’s leading all next summer but come next November I foresee another Broken Knee Indian massacre for her.
I’m not sure it matters who wins the nomination at this point. The Democrats as a party have revealed themselves to be gun grabbing, anti-free speech fascists and no amount of pivoting to the center will help even Tulsi Gabbard. She’s the one with the most upside of all the candidates, imho. Bloomberg isn’t even going to run a national campaign so he’s got no shot. Biden will be so dirtied up by February that he couldn’t be elected to small town dogcatcher, Steyer’s got nothing and the pretenders don’t have time now.
Gabbard by April, 2020.
I would worry most about her winning the nomination, as despite her horrible ideas for policy, she comes off normal. She is left of center, which I guess passes for the American moderate leftist these days.
I just don’t see the DNC backing her enough, and they will do anything they can to stop her, in my opinion.
Gabbard will never get more that 10-12% support.
There is a reason Bernie and the injun are in the top 3 and those nuts will never support Gabbard who is only a halfway commie. They want full commie.
Yang and Gabbard, especially the latter, are the only adults in the room.
The Ceiling is that there are only a small, finite supply of bat guano crazy socialists available, and when they are split there aren’t enough to go around.
It may be another 1968 McGovern. The Bernie bros won’t suffer the corrupt crony swamp democ rat twice.
Given the split, there might not be any single candidate with enough votes on the first ballot. Or the second. I predicted the possibility months ago, and it will be really interesting if the nominee is someone not currently running (or viable, e.g. the governor of Montana which is a red state)
The choices of the Democratic runners is like a choice between a Crap Sandwich and a Shite Sandwich. They have the same goals, they only differ in how far they let their masks drop.
The D faithful might want a moderate but there is no such thing these days.
Apparently the supply of insane nutcases is finite. Who knew?
Democratic primary voters in Michigan………
Let me tell you, I live in Michigan and the total IQ of our democrat voters is equal to your youngest childs shoe size at best.
Expect the worst.