Who is Winning the Democratic Presidential Primary?

Telling who is winning the Democratic Presidential Primary is hard because the polls diverge.

First, the August 2019 Emerson Poll has former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Delaware). However, Biden’s lead is tenuous because Emerson estimates only 31% of Democrats support him.

However, the August 2019 Monmouth University Poll has Biden tied with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) at 20%. In contrast, Emerson places Warren third at 15%.

Interestingly, Monmouth breaks the polling down into early voting states and other states. In the early voting states, Warren and Biden tie for the lead at 20%, while U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) is third at 16%.

In the other states, Sanders leads at 23%, while Warren is second at 23% and Biden is third at 17%. Moreover, in the other states, the early favorite Kamala Harris (California) is at 5% but Harris is at 12% in early voting states.

Poll shows why Biden will Loose

So which of these polls is correct? In my estimation, both polls are correct but they measure different data.

To clarify, the Monmouth University Poll breaks down voters by state. In contrast, the Emerson Poll is an accurate measure of nationwide attitudes.

Primaries, however, are fought on a state by state by state basis. Therefore, the Monmouth Poll gives us a better picture of how the primary is going on the ground.

Joe Biden, in particular, is not dealing well on the ground even though he is popular nationwide. To explain, Biden polls well nationwide but not on a state-by-state basis.

Biden is doing poorly because he has no effective grassroots organizations. Tellingly, the two candidates with effective grassroots organizations; Sanders and Warren, are winning on the ground.

Democratic Primary could Spell Trouble for Trump

In addition, the one lesser candidate with a real grassroots organization, Andrew Yang (D-New York) is experiencing steady poll growth. Monmouth estimates Yang’s support in early voting states grew from 2% in May to 3% in June to 5% in August.

The 2016 contest demonstrates that presidential victory is all about the ground game. To explain, President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) had a decent ground game, but Hillary R. Clinton (D-New York) had no grassroots organization.

I think Sanders and Warren’s will grassroots coalition be unbeatable if they combine forces. That could spell real trouble for Trump in November 2020. Notably, both Sanders and Warren are doing well in the red and purple states Trump needs for reelection.

Some Insights from the Latest Democratic Primary Polls

Here are a few interesting insights from the latest Democratic Presidential Primary Polls.

  • Liz Warren is winning the likability contest. Monmouth estimates that 65% of Democrats give Warren a favorable rating. That number is up from 60% in May. However, Biden still receives a 66% favorability rating among Democrats.
  • Joe Biden has a serious likability problem. Monmouth calculates that 25%, one-in-four, Democrats holds an unfavorable view of Biden.
  • Biden is winning big because he is the only moderate Democrat left standing. The other three big candidates; Warren, Sanders, and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) are leftists. The other moderates are dropping like flies.
  • North Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is fading fast. Monmouth estimates Buttigieg’s support fell from 6% in June to 4% in August. Meanwhile, Emerson estimates Buttigieg’s support dropped to 3% in August from 6% in July.
  • Basic Income advocate Andrew Yang (D-New York) is the only lesser candidate whose support is growing. Emerson estimates Yang’s support grew from 2% in June to 3% in August.
  • Kamala Harris is losing support. Monmouth estimates Harris was at 12% in August and 11% in June. Meanwhile, Emerson estimates Harris was at 14% in July and 10% in August.
  • Bernie could carry many states. For instance, Emerson estimates Sanders would win the Colorado Democratic primary if they held it now by 26%. However, Biden could come in second with 25%.
  • Leftists own this presidential primary. For instance, Emerson estimates the four top leftist candidates; Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Yang, received 53% of the support in August. Meanwhile Monmouth estimates those candidates get 52% of the vote in early primary states and 49% in other states.
  • The big media’s grasp of what is happening on the ground is as bad as it was in 2016. The media considers Pete Buttigieg a serious candidate, when voters ignore him, for example. However, Buttigieg is a darling of the New York media. In addition, reporters are paying more attention to fringe figures like Marianne Williamson (D-Los Angeles) and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado), who dropped out, than serious candidates.
  • Voters care about economic not cultural issues. Notably, the one major candidate focused on cultural issues, Buttigieg, is fading fast. Meanwhile three of the most successful candidates, Sanders, Warren, and Yang focus on economic issues. However, the media will work hard to make the race about culture.

In the final analysis, I think, Biden will lose big if two or three popular leftist candidates drop out. To explain, I don’t see how Biden can win if the leftist vote unifies behind one candidate.

Moreover, I cannot see Warren or Bernie endorsing Biden. However, I can see Warren and Sanders joining forces against Biden.