We’ve had some conflicting headlines this week when it comes to the 2020 Democratic nomination race. One of the more excitable notes from The Hill indicates that Kamala Harris has seen a “notable rise” in the polls since announcing her candidacy. That may be true, but the notable rise in question still only puts her at around 13%. In the meantime, two men who haven’t even decided if they want to run are still lapping the rest of the field.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) are the most popular potential Democratic presidential candidates, but they are also the top second choices among registered voters, according to a Morning Consult survey released this week.
The poll found that Sanders was the second choice for 27 percent of Biden’s supporters. Another 15 percent of Biden supporters said they would back Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) while 9 percent said they supported Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
Among Sanders’s supporters, 26 percent said they supported Biden as a second choice, followed by Warren at 16 percent and Harris at 7 percent.
In terms of who’s leading the pack, there are no surprises here. Biden and Sanders are still well out in front with 29 and 22 percent respectively. The interesting feature of this poll is the second choice question. If the person you personally support doesn’t get the nomination, who would you like to see it go to? With all of the discussion surrounding the Democratic civil war between the hard left and the more moderate establishment Dems, you might think that would be reflected in the second choice option. For example, a Sanders supporter might default to Gillibrand or Warren if Bernie doesn’t run. Biden supporters might gravitate toward Hickenlooper or even Bloomberg.
That’s not the case at all, though. For Sanders fans, their top number two choice is Biden and vice versa. They’re most likely seen as the proven performers who have been through the mill and would be able to give Donald Trump a run for his money. It makes you wonder what all the talking heads at CNN and MSNBC are thinking when they keep talking about the wave of progressive, socialist women who are going to zoom into the lead any day now. We should also keep in mind that neither Sanders nor Biden have even declared that they’re running yet. If/when they do, those numbers will probably go up further.
As to the also-ran candidates I mentioned above, there’ still not much good news for anyone but Harris. Remember Pete Buttigieg, the gay mayor of South Bend? He’s at zero percent. Here are three names that all have something in common: Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Julian Castro… all of whom have declared their candidacy. They share the honor of coming in at one percent. Klobuchar, Booker, Beto and Warren managed 3,5,7 and 8 percent respectively. None of those big progressive names are getting out of single digits yet.
I’m sure it’s still possible that a major shift will take place, but there are no signs of it so far. If the debates and primaries were kicking off this week it would be looking like a brawl between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. And given the second choice polling we’re seeing, the eventual winner might take the loser as their veep pick just to solidfy the base.