For all the hand-wringing among Democrats about which nominee would be most able to unify the party heading into November, Biden is also uniquely positioned to win over Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg supporters. When Sanders supporters are asked about their second choice in the primary, unsurprisingly Warren picks up 32 percent, but Biden follows closely at 28 percent. Similarly, Warren backers support Sanders as a second choice by 33 percent, but Biden is also strong at 24 percent — with Buttigieg trailing with 12 percent. Biden also leads among current Buttigieg and Bloomberg supporters by wide margins when asked about a second option.
Pundits and casual political observers are currently promoting the idea that Democratic primary voters are split ideologically into warring camps, but the “second choice” figures paint a different picture of an electorate ready to unify behind Biden as the nominee.
With just a handful of weeks before Iowans head to their caucuses on Feb. 3, the Vermont senator and progressive groups in particular have trained their attacks on the former vice president. Politico is reporting that “many activist groups and rival campaigns had expected Biden — whose campaign once faced questions about its durability — to have crumbled by now.” But as former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has observed, “voters have seen all this information that’s been thrown at [Biden], and they’ve concluded that he is still the best person to beat Donald Trump.”