Elections National

Polling and Campaign Report – 4/13/19

Harry Enten: “We need to be cautious in interpreting early polling data. We’ve got about 10 months to go until the Iowa caucuses. A lot of things can change.”

“Caution doesn’t mean dismissal, however. As the New York Times’ Nate Cohn has noted, “Biden would be a strong contender for 2020 if the past were a reliable guide.” Now Cohn rightly offers the disclaimer that some recent elections have shown that being ahead in the polls at this point is no guarantee of victory. Still, it’s worth pointing out that the polls had Donald Trump winning the nomination long before analysts (such as yours truly) did.”

“Biden’s current 30% nationally is not to be taken lightly. Examine a 2011 analysis of early primary polls from years past by FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver. When a candidate with high name recognition averages 30% in the polls in the first half of the year before the primary, said candidate has a 2 in 5 chance of winning the nomination. Biden has averaged about 30% in every month so far this year, despite more candidates entering the race.”

First Read: “If you consider Bernie Sanders to be the front-runner — or one of the front-runners — in the Democratic race for president, then isn’t he underperforming in the early states he easily won or essentially tied back in 2016?”

“A Monmouth poll of Iowa released on Thursday found Sanders in second place with support from 16 percent of likely caucus-goers… A new St. Anselm/New Hampshire Institute of Politics poll also had Sanders at 16 percent in the Granite State… Yet back in 2016, Sanders won a whopping 60 percent in New Hampshire in his race against Clinton.”

“Yes, the 2020 field is much larger than the one four years ago… But how do you know that the collective political press corps is still treating Sanders more as an insurgent rather than as a legitimate front-runner, despite his name ID and money?”

“Answer: There’s more attention on Buttigieg in third place at nearly 10 percent in both states, or on Biden leading before he’s announced a presidential bid, than on Sanders’ pedestrian numbers in states he already won or essentially tied. Sanders still gets treated more as an insurgent than a front-runner, even when he is a front-runner.”

First Read: “The Dems’ bundler model (whereby candidates race to get maxed-out checks from donors) has been replaced by the ActBlue model (where they hunt for small-dollar donors over the internet).”

“This transformation — at least for the first quarter — has resulted in less overall money.”

“In the first quarter of 2007, the Top 6 Dem candidates (Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Richardson, Dodd) raised a combined $85 million, led by Obama and Clinton at about $25 million each. Yet in the first quarter of 2019, the Top 7 Dem candidates so far (Sanders, Harris, O’Rourke, Buttigieg, Warren, Klobuchar, Booker) have raised a combined $63 million.”

“But the transformation also has resulted in many more small donors, who can donate again. And again. And again.”

Gallup: “White Americans without college degrees helped propel Donald Trump to an upset victory in the 2016 election and have been one of his most supportive subgroups during his presidency. The group’s support for Trump may largely reflect their political leanings as much as their affinity for Trump, as currently, 59% of non-college whites identify as Republicans or say they are independents who lean toward the Republican Party.”

“But non-college-educated whites were firmly aligned with the GOP well before Trump announced his presidential candidacy on June 16, 2015. In 2014, 54% of whites without college degrees identified as Republicans or were Republican-leaning independents, compared with 34% who were Democrats or Democratic leaners.”

Jonathan Bernstein: “The campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination has been going on for over two years now, and the current phase of it seems unavoidable; CNN alone seems to hold a town hall candidate showcase practically every night. The ‘invisible primary’ gets more visible every cycle. If you’re heavily engaged in party politics, you may be spending hours a week on it; if you are just dedicated to following what’s happening in the news, you’re probably sick of the whole thing by now. ”

“And yet this is worth remembering: Most voters aren’t paying attention to any of it. Most Democratic voters have a pretty good idea of who Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are; they have at best passing familiarity with the other candidates. They haven’t watched any of the town halls all the way through, and may not have watched any of them at all. They haven’t seen clips on their Twitter feeds (if they use Twitter), or if they have, the candidates still tend to blur together. They don’t regularly talk with their friends about the candidates, or perhaps not at all.”

“There’s nothing at all wrong with that. After all, if all you do politically is vote, then tuning in this early is a big waste of time.”

Kyle Kondik: “One aspect of this year’s calendar that could speed a knockout blow is that the calendar is frontloaded. As the nominating calendar is currently constructed, almost two-thirds of the total number of pledged delegates will be awarded in the first seven weeks of the nominating season, from Feb. 3, 2020 through March 17, 2020.”

“This is why we led this article with Yogi Berra quote — it gets late early this primary season, with 64% of the pledged delegates slated to be awarded by mid-March. That percentage is subject to change, but it could get even higher if, for instance, states like Colorado and Georgia, neither of which has officially set a date but very well could vote on Super Tuesday, opt to also schedule themselves early in the calendar. New York, as mentioned, is another important state that is not scheduled yet (it voted in April in 2016).”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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