The latest Emerson Poll lends credence to the popular notion that the Democratic Party is inhospitable to old white guys. The poll numbers for US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) collapsed in June.
Notably, Emerson’s estimate of Sanders’ support fell from 27% in June 2019 to 15% in July. Thus, Bernie lost 12% of his support in a month. If this repeats in July, Bernie’s support will be 3% in August, and he will tie Andrew Yang (D-New York).
Biden, did a little better than Bernie his support fell by 4% from 34% in June 2019 to 30% in July 2019. If Biden’s support falls by 4% each month between July and the 3 February 2019 Iowa caucus, the former vice president will have a 6% level of support.
To clarify, if you multiply 4% by six, the number of months until the Iowa Caucus you get 24%. Thus, Biden needs to do something and fast, or he’s toast.
Women Candidates Gain
The big winners in the race are two ladies; US Senators Kamala Harris (D-California) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
Emerson estimates Warren’s support among probable Democratic voters went from 14% in June to 15% in July. Meanwhile, Harris’s support grew from 7% in June to 15% in July.
Thus, Harris gained 8% in just one month. If Senator Harris repeats that performance in August she will be at 23%. If she repeats the performance in September, Harris will be the front runner at 31%.
Are White Males the Real Loser in the Democratic Primary?
Support for another white male, Mayor Pete Butigieg (D-Indiana) also fell. Emerson had Butigieg at 6% in June and 5% in July.
The real loser here is Bernie, who is losing supporters to Warren and Harris. However, Biden is not taking support from other candidates. Instead, Warren and Harris are taking support from both the socialist senator and the former veep.
Andrew Yang’s Support Tripled
Mathematically the second biggest gain in Emerson’s estimate was to New York businessman and basic-income advocate Andrew Yang.
Yang’s support tripled from 1% in June to 3% in July. Thus, Yang is now the candidate with the fastest growing support. If Yang repeats that performance in August, he will be the fifth place candidate at 9%.
If Yang repeats in September he’ll be at 27% and number two. A repeat in October would give Yang 81% making him unbeatable. To clarify nine times three is 27 and three times 27 is 81.
Beto is the Man to Watch
However, another candidate had a similar rate of growth to the Asian Yang. It was the white male pretending to be Mexican; Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).
To explain, Emerson estimated the former Congressman’s support at 1% in June and 4% in July. Thus, O’Rourke’s support quadrupled in a month. If he repeats that in August, O’Rourke will be at 16%.
A repeat in September could put O’Rourke at a very respectable 64%. Thus, Beto is the man to watch.
Therefore, there are serious two dark horse candidates in a position to disrupt the Democratic primary. The growth in Yang and O’Rourke’s support shows the race is totally unsettled.
What is Happening in the Democratic Primary?
Once again, I say the Democratic Primary looks like the Republican contest in 2015 and 2016.
To explain, there are several strong candidates and unorthodox contenders coming in from left. In another similarity, Democratic voters seem unimpressed by the leading candidates.
Like Republicans in 2016, Democrats do not know they want, but they know what they do not want. What Democrats do not want is the leading candidates. They want something different.
Harris, Warren, Beto, and Yang differ greatly from the establishment. Tellingly, Biden is the only establishment candidate with double-digit support and his support is collapsing.
Is Social Media to Blame?
I think another similarity to 2016 is the role social media is playing in the Democratic primary.
Additionally, The New York Post calculates Yang picked up the most social media supporters of any candidate. Meanwhile, Beto has a passionate army of social-media savvy supporters in Texas pushing his cause.
Importantly, Harris’s support exploded when she finally got serious about social media after the first Democratic debate. In particular, Harris used the debate to create a meme that quickly went viral.
Interestingly, Harris used the words “that little girl was me” in a debate with Biden over arcane busing policy to create a meme that went viral. The Senator’s organization was ready with a t-shirt and social media meme to promote her cause. As a result, Harris picked up 70,000 followers, The New York Post calculates.
Who will Rule Social Media?
Harris’s success could be short-lived; however, Warren is upping her social media game. Vox reports Warren is getting good at meme creation and connecting with supporters. Twitter calculates Warren had 5.16 followers on 14 July 2019.
Therefore, the 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary and the 2020 Presidential Race will be decided in Social Media. Only time will tell which candidate can conquer that domain.