The Democratic presidential race is experiencing upheaval. The latest Emerson Poll estimates basic income proponent Andrew Yang (D-New York) out polls both U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) and Pete Buttigieg.
To explain, Emerson gives Yang 8% of the Democratic primary vote. Meanwhile Emerson places Harris at 4% and Buttigieg at 6%. Therefore, Yang is in fourth place in Emerson’s Democratic primary line up.
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware) still led Emerson’s estimates for 23 to 25 September 2019 at 25%. However, Biden fell from 31% in the August 2019 Emerson Poll.
Thus, Emerson estimates Biden lost 6% of his support in a month. If that continues, Biden’s polling could be in the single digits in January 2020. Three more months of such drops and Biden could poll at 3%.
Warren Takes Second Place
Biden is not the only Democrat facing dropping poll numbers in Emerson’s data. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vermont) support fell by 2% to 22%.
Hence, Sanders is now third in Emerson’s rankings. Emerson placed Sanders at second in August with 24%. I think this indicates Sanders’ support is steady and his voters loyal. That could come in handy for Bernie if he wants to make a deal for the vice presidential spot.
U.S. Senator Liz Warren (D-Massachusetts) Emerson ranking rose to second. Dramatically Warren’s support rose by 8% from 15% in August. One more month of that and Warren could be the leader with 31% of the vote. Two months, and Warren could have a strong lead at 39%. In three months, Warren could poll at 48% in December 2019.
However, Yang’s momentum is greater than Warren’s. Emerson estimates Yang’s support doubled from 4% to 8% between August and September. If this trend continues, Yang could poll at 16% in October 2019, 32% in November, and 64% in December. However, I think that is improbable.
Harris and Buttigieg Crash and Burn
Interestingly, Harris’s campaign is crashing fast. Emerson estimates Harris lost over half of her support between August and September 2019.
Specifically, Harris polled at 10% in August 2019 and 4% in September 2019. Thus, Harris lost 60% of her support in a month. Another month of that and Harris could poll at 0%.
Meanwhile, the former media favorite Buttigieg lost half of his support. Emerson placed Buttigieg at 6% in August 2019 and 3% in September 2019. One more month and Buttigieg could poll at 0%.
My prediction is that both Buttigieg and Harris will drop out within the next month. Notably, there is speculation that U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) who is polling at 2% could quit the race. I suspect, Buttigieg, Harris, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) will soon drop out.
To explain, Emerson placed Castro at 2%, Gabbard at 1% and Klobuchar at 0% in its September ranking. However, I suspect both Julian Castro and Beto O’Rourke will stay in the race. To explain, O’Rourke and Castro are from Texas and Texas is the one state where favorite sons still count.
Hence, one of them could win in that state. For instance, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) won the 2016 Republican Primary in the Lone Star State with 43.8% of the vote. However, Donald J. Trump (R-New York) won the nomination. Hence, both Castro and O’Rourke are in a great position to force the frontrunner to play “let’s make a deal” for the Vice Presidential nomination or anything else they want.
Takeaways from the 2019 Democratic Primary Race
Some important takeaways from the Emerson Poll include:
First, voters don’t want moderates or centrists. Only one centrist, Joe Biden, is doing well and his numbers are dropping like a stone. The numbers for two other moderates, Harris and Buttigieg are in Freefall.
Second, media and establishment support is the kiss of death. Harris, Biden, and Buttigieg are all big media and establishment favorites. Yet their support is collapsing despite all the media attention.
Notably, Axios estimates Biden received the most attention in news articles and cable TV mentions. This could be bad news for Warren if the media and establishment try to anoint her the front runner.
Third, voters are turning left. Three of the four leading candidates, Sanders, Warren and Yang are leftists and their combined polling numbers are 53%. Meanwhile, only one moderate candidate, Biden, is still a credible contender and his numbers are dropping fast.
Accordingly, Sanders proposed an extreme wealth tax to soak the highest-income Americans on 24 September 2019, Politico reports. Sanders announced the tax a clone of Warren’s wealth tax the day after Emerson released its latest poll.
Fourth, Democratic voters want more government. Notably, Harris’s polling freefall began after she dropped her support for Medicare for All. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders who held steady on Medicare for All is maintaining his support. In addition, the biggest polling gains were for Basic Income advocate Yang and Warren who supports Social Security expansion and Medicare for all.
In conclusion, I think the current numbers position Warren to win if present trends continue, but Andrew Yang could spoil her party. Expect the race to come down to a Warren and Sanders battle with Warren emerging as the winner because she can appeal to moderates.
Could Warren Beat Trump?
Moreover, Emerson now projects that Warren could win a majority of the popular vote in a contest with Trump. To explain, Emerson’s national head-to-head projection shows Warren at 51% and Trump at 49%.
Note: This does not show Warren could beat Trump. Remember in 2016, Hillary R. Clinton (D-New York), won the popular vote by 2.1% and still lost in the Electoral College. To explain, Clinton won 48.2% of the popular vote and Trump won 46.1%.
However, I think Warren could attract enough swing-state voters to win the Electoral College with her proposal to increase Social Security payments by $200 a month. To clarify 68.573 million Americans including 53.574 million retirees receive Social Security payments. Moreover, Pew Research predicts 23% of America’s electorate will be over 65 and receiving Social Security in 2020. Hence, Warren will find large and receptive audiences for Social Security increase proposal.
In contrast, Emerson placed Biden at 50% and Trump at 49% in a head to race. In addition, Emerson estimates Trump could beat Sanders by 51% to 49% and Harris by 52% to 48%.
Unfortunately, Emerson does not give us a head to ranking for Trump and Yang. Though, I imagine we will see one next month. It looks as if the 2020 Presidential election will be one moderate that Democrats will not enjoy.