/Biden and Bernie the only Democrats to beat Trump in new poll

Biden and Bernie the only Democrats to beat Trump in new poll

Joe Biden

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads Trump by 7 points overall in the POLITICO/Morning Consult survey and also posts larger leads than the other Democratic candidates among independents (by 8 points), self-identified moderates (27 points) and voters in the Midwest (5 points). | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

politico/morning consult poll

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult survey buttresses an argument Biden is taking to new lengths: That he’s the most promising option to oust the president.

Joe Biden is taking his electability pitch to new lengths.

Only eight seconds into his first TV ad launched Tuesday, there’s a full-screen graphic showing Biden leading President Donald Trump by between 9 and 13 points in four recent polls.

Story Continued Below

“We have to beat Donald Trump,” the narrator says. “And all the polls agree: Joe Biden is the strongest Democrat to do the job.”

Jill Biden was equally blunt in New Hampshire on Monday, telling voters, “I know that not all of you are committed to my husband, and I respect that. But I want you to think about your candidate, his or her electability, and who’s going to win this race.”

Every Democratic candidate is trying to make the case he or she can beat Trump — but Biden is taking the electability argument farther than any candidate in recent memory. And he has the numbers to back it up: A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll is just the latest survey showing the former VP with the biggest lead over Trump. It has Biden up 7 point over the president in a hypothetical general election matchup, 42 percent to 35 percent. Other than Bernie Sanders, who led Trump by 5 points, every other Democrat is either tied with the incumbent or trails him.

Biden’s emphasis on his ability to win is a risky campaign strategy: It plays directly to Democrats’ desire, first and foremost, to oust Trump. But if Biden stumbles in polls, his main argument to voters will vanish. Already, there are signs his favorability ratings, which spiked at the end of the Obama administration, are ticking back down since his return to the campaign trail.

Biden isn’t alone in making poll-centric appeals to voters. Sanders has sought to allay fears that, as a self-proclaimed socialist, he would lose in the general. He points out in interviews and debates that he, too, usually leads the president in head-to-head matchups.

And Trump, the man they’re vying to face, frequently mentions his standing in the poll. Just this week, he tweeted a less-than-gold-standard poll that showed his approval rating narrowly above 50 percent and blasted a typical ally, Fox News, for its survey showing him trailing the major Democratic contenders.

Making the case for Biden’s electability goes beyond simply highlighting favorable polls. Much of the campaign’s programming is geared toward building the case that the former vice president is the best candidate to take on the GOP incumbent Democrats want to kick out of office so badly that many a’re willing to put their ideological preferences aside.

“Clearly, his experience, his decency, his connection to the middle class, the fact that he can get a lot done, he has results, he can work across party lines — all of those go into the fact that he can beat Trump,” said John Anzalone, Biden’s pollster.

The 2020 election is still 440 days away, and general-election match-up polls this far out aren’t very predictive. At this point in 2015, Hillary Clinton had a more-than-10-point lead over Trump in the RealClearPolitics average.

And while primary polling becomes more predictive as the first votes of the nominating process draw closer, general-election polls still lack predictive power until later on. An analysis by FiveThirtyEight of polls conducted a year before Election Day — so three or four months from now in this cycle — shows they were off by roughly 10 percentage points. A headline about it, published two months ago, read, “Should We Take These Early General Election Polls Seriously? $#!% No!”

But Biden is wringing them for all they’re worth, and it’s easy to see why: His structural advantages over Trump are greater than his opponents, at least for now.

Biden leads Trump by 7 points overall in the POLITICO/Morning Consult survey and also posts larger leads than the other Democratic candidates among independents (by 8 points), self-identified moderates (27 points) and voters in the Midwest (5 points).

Biden “would potentially attract the most broad swath of voters across the ideological spectrum in a matchup against President Trump,” said Tyler Sinclair, Morning Consult’s vice president. “Our polling shows 38 percent of independents and 9 percent of Republicans say they would vote for Biden over Trump, respectively. Bernie Sanders receives the same level of support among independents but less Republican support at 6 percent, while Elizabeth Warren holds at 32 percent of independents and 5 percent of Republicans.”

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted Aug. 16-18, surveying 1,998 registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

The former vice president’s advantage extends to other polls. The Fox News poll last week showed him leading Trump by 12 points, 50 percent to 38 percent. Sanders (9 points), Warren (7 points) and Kamala Harris (6 points) also led Trump, but by smaller margins.

Early general-election polls might not be predictive, but they do offer some insight. In this case, the early polls say more about Trump than they do the Democrats challenging him.

In the POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, Trump ranges from the 7-point deficit to Biden, to an 8-point lead against Beto O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg. But that’s only because O’Rourke and Buttigieg lack the profile of their party’s frontrunners. In fact, despite this wide spread in the margins, Trump comes in at 35 percent or 36 percent in each of the seven different matchups tested — a troubling place for an incumbent, especially when the majority of voters also disapprove of his job performance.

The Fox News poll showed similar results in its four match-ups: Trump was hovering just below 40 percent, no matter which Democrat against whom he was matched up.

Morning Consult is a nonpartisan media and technology company that provides data-driven research and insights on politics, policy and business strategy.

More details on the poll and its methodology can be found in these two documents: Toplines: https://politi.co/30lLqqC | Crosstabs: https://politi.co/2zbe4Ph

Please follow and like us:
Original Source