As in previous rounds of this survey, I also asked activists whom they do not want to see as the nominee. Spiritual author Marianne Williamson and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard continue to top this list, with 24 of 31 activists (77 percent) and 22 of 31 activists (71 percent) opposing them. But the field’s two billionaires, Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg, are also very disliked, with 16 of 31 activists (52 percent) opposing both of them, although Sanders notably still solicits a stronger negative reaction with 19 of 31 activists (61 percent) opposing him. However, this metric contains a bit of good news for Biden, who is now only opposed by five of 31 activists (16 percent), down from 24 percent (seven of 29 activists) in October and 31 percent (nine of 29 activists) in August. This doesn’t mean that Biden has pacified all his detractors, but it is telling that his opposition number has decreased while his support has slowly ticked upward; party insiders may well be warming to him.
Another area in which Biden may be building support is in respondents’ answers to my question about which candidate activists think other Democrats who are active in their communities are leaning toward, regardless of the activists’ own preferences. In October, 14 of 29 activists (48 percent) said that their communities were leaning toward Warren. But her numbers have dropped pretty significantly, with only six of 31 (19 percent) saying so now. Biden’s numbers, on the other hand, have increased from three of 29 (10 percent) two months ago to eight of 31 (26 percent). Buttigieg is showing strength here as well, with six of 31 (19 percent) saying they think their communities lean toward him; only one activist has said this in any of the previous rounds. However, seven of 31 (23 percent) maintain that people in their communities haven’t made up their minds.