Trust in a crisis bolsters Biden's electability argument

Trust over Sen. Bernie Sanders to handle a crisis added weight to former Vice President Joe Biden’s electability argument in Democratic primaries Tuesday – but a lack of enthusiasm for either candidate was apparent in exit poll results, potentially raising questions for the fall campaign ahead.

Sixty percent in Missouri, 51% in same-day voter results in Michigan and 46% in preliminary data from Washington picked Biden as more trusted to handle a crisis. Fifty-seven to 66% also saw him as better able to defeat President Donald Trump, cementing the claim to perceived electability that lifted Biden on Super Tuesday. (Neither question was asked in Mississippi, which also had an exit poll.)

At the same time, enthusiasm was not widespread. Just 41% in Missouri, 35% in Washington and 31% of same-day voters in Michigan were enthusiastic about Biden as the nominee. Sanders fared worse in Missouri, the same in Washington and had slightly better enthusiasm than Biden’s in Michigan, 36%. (Again, the question wasn’t asked in Mississippi.)