Monmouth Poll: Biden, Sanders, Warren Bunched Up

Diaz and Sanders, who's ffighting for the pole position in today's Monmouth University Poll.

Most Americans agree that George Washington was a better president than either Donald Trump or Barack Obama – but there are some interesting partisan divisions in that opinion.  Jumping ahead to 2020, Trump’s reelection prospects are holding steady in the latest Monmouth University Poll.  Former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders continue to swap positions as the top three contenders for the Democratic nomination.  Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg enters the race with low favorability ratings among voters of every partisan stripe.

Just over 4-in-10 (43%) registered voters feel that Trump should be reelected, while a majority (54%) say it is time to have someone new in the Oval Office.  These numbers have not really budged in the past month (42% reelect and 55% someone new in November). The current results are statistically similar to late September when news broke about the Ukraine call (39% reelect and 57% someone new) and August when the House impeachment inquiry was just getting started (39% reelect and 57% someone new).

“The impeachment hearings over the past month have not moved the reelection needle in either direction,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Trump currently has a personal rating of 46% favorable and 52% unfavorable among registered voters. The president’s personal rating has grown slightly more positive since news of the Ukraine call first broke, but the shifts so far are not statistically significant. He had a 44%-54% rating in November and a 43%-56% rating in late September.  Moreover, there continues to be a wide net negative gap among those who have a strong opinion of the president – 33% very favorable versus 47% very unfavorable.

The leading Democratic contenders to take on the president in 2020 have also seen little change in their own personal ratings over the past month. Biden has a rating of 43% favorable and 50% unfavorable among all registered voters (identical to his 43%-50% rating in November), Sanders has a rating of 41% favorable and 54% unfavorable (identical to his 41%-54% rating in November), and Warren has a rating of 40% favorable and 50% unfavorable (slightly more negative than her 42%-44% rating in November).  South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg gets a 34% favorable and 35% unfavorable rating, which is a slight improvement from his 27%-34% rating in November.

Bloomberg has a 26% favorable and 54% unfavorable rating among all registered voters.  Bloomberg earns a split decision (40% favorable and 39% unfavorable) from Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, but has a decidedly negative rating among Republicans and Republican-leaners (12%-72%) as well as among independents who do not lean toward either party (26%-51%).

“Bloomberg said he got into this race because he wants to defeat Trump, but his campaign kicks off with even lower ratings than the incumbent. That is not the most auspicious start, but views of Bloomberg are not as deeply held as they are for Trump, so he has room to shift those opinions,” said Murray.

Bloomberg’s rating among Democrats and Democratic-leaners is much lower than other contenders in the field.  Warren (76% favorable and 15% unfavorable), Biden (76%-20%) and Sanders (74%-21%) have broad popularity among party voters. Warren’s rating has ticked down slightly since November (from 79%-9%), Biden’s has held steady (from 76%-19%), and Sanders’ has ticked up (from 72%-25%). Buttigieg earns a 53%-18% rating among his fellow Democrats, similar to his rating in November (49%-16%).  Bloomberg’s within-party favorability is also worse than entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who currently gets a 42%-17% rating.

2020 CANDIDATE OPINION AMONG DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

Net favorability rating:

Dec ’19

Nov ’19

Sep ’19

Aug ’19

May ’19

Apr ’19

Mar ’19

Jan ’19

Elizabeth Warren

+61

+70

+66

+52

+46

+32

+30

+40

Joe Biden

+56

+57

+52

+41

+57

+56

+63

+71

Bernie Sanders

+53

+47

+56

+40

+44

+44

+53

+49

Pete Buttigieg

+35

+33

+41

+29

+24

+29

n/a

+2

Andrew Yang

+25

n/a

n/a

+12

-1

n/a

n/a

0

Mike Bloomberg

+1

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

+1

+10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloomberg’s current net +1 party rating (40%-39%) is similar to what he earned in a Monmouth poll conducted back in March when he initially flirted with a presidential run.  Democratic opinion was evenly divided then at 27% favorable and 26% unfavorable. He had a somewhat more positive rating in Monmouth’s initial poll of the potential Democratic field in January 2019 (35%-25%).

Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters continue to be divided over who they want to put up against Trump in 2020.  The top contenders continue to be Biden (26%), Sanders (21%), and Warren (17%). However, these three are in a slightly different order than where they stood last month (23% Biden, 23% Warren, and 20% Sanders) or in late September (28% Warren, 25% Biden, and 15% Sanders).  Buttigieg is the preferred choice of 8% of Democratic-identifying voters (similar to 9% in November and 5% in September).

Bloomberg enters the race at 5% support nationally.  He had 2% support in March and 4% in January when he was included as one of the potential contenders for the Democratic nomination.  Other candidates registering support in the current poll are Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (4%), Yang (3%), New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (2%) and seven other candidates who earn 1% or less.

            The poll also finds that more Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters continue to prefer a candidate who would be stronger against Trump even if they disagree with that candidate on most issues (56%) than say they want a nominee who aligns with them on the issues but would have a hard time beating Trump (30%).  This result is virtually unchanged from the 58% to 34% response this question received in May and the 56% to 33% result in January.

Among those Democrats who prioritize electability, 31% support Biden in the “horse race,” followed by Warren (18%), Sanders (17%), Buttigieg (8%), Klobuchar (6%), and Bloomberg (4%).  Among those who stick with issue alignment, 33% support Sanders followed by Biden (15%), Warren (15%), Buttigieg (12%), Yang (5%), and Bloomberg (3%).  In Monmouth’s May 2019 poll, electability voters named Biden (36%) as their top pick, followed by Sanders (14%) and Warren (10%), as well as California Sen. Kamala Harris (14%) who has since dropped out of the race.  Among those who valued issue alignment over electability in May, Biden (26%) led Sanders (18%), Warren (9%), Buttigieg (8%), and Harris (7%).

            The poll also asked all registered voters if the nation’s first president was better than either of the two most recent occupants of that office. For the current incumbent, 71% say Washington was better while 15% pick Trump. Against the current president’s immediate predecessor, Washington gets the vote of 58% compared to 33% who say Obama was better.  Among Republican voters, Washington edges out Trump by a narrow 44% to 37% margin. Among Democratic voters, though, the “Father of Our Country” trails Obama by a 29% to 63% margin.  It’s worth noting that among independent voters, Washington does even better against Trump (72%-11%) than against Obama (62%-28%).  This question was inspired by a recent Economist/YouGov Poll that asked whether Trump or Abraham Lincoln was a better “Republican president.”

            “There is a combination of factors at work when you ask a question like this. Democrats may be more likely than Republicans to be influenced by recency bias, valuing what they are familiar with over historical opinion. It’s a fun question to ask, but I’m not sure what it means,” said Murray.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from December 4 to 8, 2019 with 903 adults in the United States. The results in this release are based on 838 registered voters and have a +/- 3.4 percentage point sampling margin of error.  This release also includes results based on 384 voters who identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party which have a margin of error of +/- 5.0 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

[Q1-4 held for future release.]

[Note: Q5 was rotated with Q4-Trump impeachment question, which will be released tomorrow.]

5.     Looking ahead to the 2020 election for President, do you think that Donald Trump should be reelected, or do you think that it is time to have someone else in office?

TREND: ALL REGISTERED VOTERS

Dec.
2019

Nov.
2019

Sept.
2019

Aug.
2019

June
2019

May
2019

March
2019

Jan.
2019

Nov.
2018

Should be reelected

43%

42%

39%

39%

37%

37%

38%

38%

37%

Someone else in office

54%

55%

57%

57%

59%

60%

57%

57%

58%

(VOL) Don’t know

3%

3%

4%

4%

4%

4%

5%

5%

4%

(n)

(838)

(835)

(1,017)

(689)

(660)

(719)

(746)

(735)

(716)

[Q6-10 held for future release.]

[Q11 WAS ASKED OF DEMOCRATS/LEANING DEMOCRATIC VOTERS.]

11.   I know the 2020 election is far away, but who would you support for the Democratic nomination for president if the candidates were the following? [INCLUDES LEANERS] [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

TREND:
(with leaners)

Dec.

2019

Nov.

2019

Sept.

2019

Aug.

2019

June

2019

May

2019

April

2019

March

2019

Jan.

2019

Joe Biden

26%

23%

25%

19%

32%

33%

27%

28%

29%

Bernie Sanders

21%

20%

15%

20%

14%

15%

20%

25%

16%

Elizabeth Warren

17%

23%

28%

20%

15%

10%

6%

8%

8%

Pete Buttigieg

8%

9%

5%

4%

5%

6%

8%

<1%

0%

Mike Bloomberg

5%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2%

4%

Amy Klobuchar

4%

2%

1%

1%

1%

3%

1%

3%

2%

Andrew Yang

3%

3%

2%

3%

2%

1%

<1%

1%

1%

Cory Booker

2%

3%

1%

4%

2%

1%

2%

5%

4%

Julián Castro

1%

0%

1%

2%

<1%

1%

<1%

1%

1%

Deval Patrick

1%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Tom Steyer

1%

1%

1%

<1%

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Tulsi Gabbard

<1%

<1%

<1%

1%

1%

1%

0%

<1%

1%

Marianne Williamson

<1%

<1%

2%

2%

1%

1%

<1%

<1%

n/a

Michael Bennet

0%

<1%

0%

<1%

0%

<1%

0%

<1%

n/a

John Delaney

0%

0%

<1%

0%

0%

<1%

0%

0%

<1%

(VOL) Other

<1%

1%

1%

3%

3%

2%

5%

4%

5%

(VOL) No one

3%

1%

2%

<1%

1%

2%

3%

<1%

3%

(VOL) Undecided

11%

7%

10%

10%

11%

9%

14%

8%

9%

Kamala Harris *

n/a

5%

5%

8%

8%

11%

8%

10%

11%

Beto O’Rourke *

n/a

n/a

1%

2%

3%

4%

4%

6%

7%

  (n)

(384)

(345)

(434)

(298)

(306)

(334)

(330)

(310)

(313)

     * Candidate not included in current poll.

[Q12 WAS ASKED OF DEMOCRATS/LEANING DEMOCRATIC VOTERS.]

12.   Which type of candidate would you prefer if you had to make a choice between: a Democrat you agree with on most issues but would have a hard time beating Donald Trump or a Democrat you do NOT agree with on most issues but would be a stronger candidate against Donald Trump? [CHOICES WERE ROTATED]

  TREND:
DEMOCRATS/DEM LEANERS ONLY

Dec.

2019

May

2019

Jan.

2019

Agrees with but hard time

beating Trump

30%

34%

33%

Do not agree with but stronger

against Trump

56%

58%

56%

(VOL) Rejects choice

5%

2%

2%

(VOL) Don’t know

9%

6%

10%

(n)

(384)

(334)

(313)

[Q13 held for future release.]

[ASKED OF EVERYONE.]

14.   I’m going to read you the names of some people who are running for president in 2020.  Please tell me if your general impression of each is very favorable, somewhat favorable, somewhat unfavorable, or very unfavorable, or if you don’t really have an opinion. If you have not heard of the person, just let me know. [NAMES WERE ROTATED]

TREND: ALL REGISTERED VOTERS

Very favorable

Somewhat favorable

Somewhat unfavorable

Very unfavorable

No
opinion

Not

heard of

(n)

Former Vice President Joe Biden

18%

25%

16%

34%

6%

1%

(838)

   — November 2019

18%

25%

17%

33%

7%

0%

(835)

   — September 2019

20%

26%

18%

27%

8%

1%

(1,017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

20%

21%

15%

39%

4%

1%

(838)

   — November 2019

20%

21%

14%

40%

4%

1%

(835)

   — September 2019

18%

24%

12%

37%

7%

1%

(1,017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren

18%

22%

11%

39%

6%

4%

(838)

   — November 2019

20%

22%

9%

35%

9%

5%

(835)

   — September 2019

22%

20%

9%

31%

11%

8%

(1,017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg

13%

21%

13%

22%

16%

16%

(838)

   — November 2019

9%

18%

13%

21%

20%

18%

(835)

   — September 2019

13%

17%

11%

20%

18%

21%

(1,017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg

7%

19%

21%

33%

14%

6%

(838)

   — November 2019

   — September 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

4%

21%

11%

17%

22%

24%

(838)

   — November 2019

   — September 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President Donald Trump

33%

13%

5%

47%

2%

0%

(838)

   — November 2019

34%

10%

4%

50%

2%

0%

(835)

   — September 2019

30%

13%

6%

50%

3%

0%

(1,017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TREND:

DEMOCRATS/DEM LEANERS ONLY

Favor-able

Unfavor-able

No opinion

Not

heard of

(n)

Former Vice President Joe Biden

76%

20%

4%

1%

(384)

  — November 2019

76%

19%

5%

0%

(345)

  — September 2019

72%

20%

7%

1%

(434)

   — August 2019

66%

25%

8%

1%

(298)

  — May 2019

74%

17%

7%

1%

(334)

  — April  2019

72%

16%

12%

1%

(330)

  — March  2019

76%

13%

9%

2%

(310)

  — January  2019

80%

9%

8%

3%

(313)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

74%

21%

3%

0%

(384)

  — November 2019

72%

25%

3%

1%

(345)

  — September 2019

75%

19%

5%

1%

(434)

  — August 2019

64%

24%

10%

2%

(298)

  — May 2019

65%

21%

12%

2%

(334)

  — April  2019

65%

21%

13%

1%

(330)

  — March  2019

70%

17%

10%

3%

(310)

  — January  2019

68%

19%

9%

4%

(313)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren

76%

15%

6%

4%

(384)

  — November 2019

79%

9%

9%

4%

(345)

  — September 2019

75%

9%

10%

6%

(434)

  — August 2019

65%

13%

16%

7%

(298)

  — May 2019

60%

14%

14%

12%

(334)

  — April  2019

51%

19%

18%

12%

(330)

  — March  2019

49%

19%

15%

17%

(310)

  — January  2019

57%

17%

16%

11%

(313)

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg

53%

18%

14%

14%

(384)

  — November 2019

49%

16%

21%

13%

(345)

  — September 2019

53%

12%

18%

17%

(434)

  — August 2019

43%

14%

20%

23%

(298)

  — May 2019

35%

11%

24%

30%

(334)

  — April  2019

35%

6%

25%

34%

(330)

  — March  2019

  — January  2019

8%

6%

27%

58%

(313)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg

40%

39%

16%

5%

(384)

  — November 2019

  — September 2019

   — August 2019

 — May 2019

  — April  2019

  — March  2019

27%

26%

31%

17%

(310)

  — January  2019

35%

25%

33%

7%

(313)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

42%

17%

27%

14%

(384)

  — November 2019

  — September 2019

  — August 2019

24%

12%

36%

29%

(298)

  — May 2019

12%

13%

33%

42%

(334)

  — April  2019

  — March  2019

  — January  2019

10%

10%

26%

53%

(313)

 

 

 

 

 

 

[ASKED OF EVERYONE.]

[QUESTIONS 15 & 16 WERE ROTATED]

15.   Who was a better president: George Washington or Donald Trump?

ALL REGISTERED VOTERS

Dec.

2019

George Washington

71%

Donald Trump

15%

(VOL) Both equally

5%

(VOL) Don’t know

9%

(n)

(838)

16.   Who was a better president: George Washington or Barack Obama?

ALL REGISTERED VOTERS

Dec.

2019

George Washington

58%

Barack Obama

33%

(VOL) Both equally

3%

(VOL) Don’t know

6%

(n)

(838)

[Q17-26 held for future release.]

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from December 4 to 8, 2019 with a national random sample of 903 adults age 18 and older, in English. This includes 363 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 540 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone. The results in this poll release are based on a subsample of 838 registered voters. Telephone numbers were selected through random digit dialing and landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (CPS 2018 supplement). Data collection support provided by Braun Research (field) and Dynata (RDD sample). For results based on the registered voter sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

REGISTERED VOTERS

 

 

27% Republican

42% Independent

31% Democrat

 

49% Male

51% Female

 

28% 18-34

34% 35-54

38% 55+

 

67% White

12% Black

15% Hispanic

  6% Asian/Other

 

68% No degree

32% 4 year degree

 

 

DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)

DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

 

37% Male

63% Female

 

34% 18-34

29% 35-54

37% 55+

 

58% White

21% Black

14% Hispanic

  8% Asian/Other

 

58% No degree

42% 4 year degree

 

MARGIN OF ERROR

unweighted  sample

moe
(+/-)

REGISTERED VOTERS

 

838

3.4%

SELF-REPORTED

PARTY ID

Republican

227

6.5%

Independent

334

5.4%

Democrat

270

6.0%

PARTY ID

LEANERS ADDED

Rep + leaners

359

5.2%

True independent

91

10.3%

Dem + leaners

384

5.0%

IDEOLOGY

Liberal

177

7.4%

Moderate

343

5.3%

Conservative

288

5.8%

GENDER

Male

406

4.9%

Female

432

4.7%

AGE

18-34

160

7.8%

35-54

307

5.6%

55+

363

5.2%

RACE

White, non-Hispanic

642

3.9%

Other

171

7.5%

COLLEGE GRADUATE

No degree

384

5.0%

4 year degree

443

4.7%

WHITE COLLEGE

White, no degree

283

5.8%

White, 4 year degree

351

5.2%

INCOME

<$50K

214

6.7%

$50 to <100K

290

5.8%

$100K+

270

6.0%

2016 VOTE BY COUNTY

 

Trump 10+ pts

309

5.6%

Swing <10 pts

193

7.1%

Clinton 10+ pts

336

5.4%

MARGIN OF ERROR

 

 

 

unweighted  sample

moe
(+/-)

DEMOCRATIC VOTERS

 

384

5.0%

IDEOLOGY

Liberal

162

7.7%

Moderate/Conservative

211

6.8%

GENDER

Male

139

8.3%

Female

245

6.3%

AGE

18-49

181

7.3%

50+

202

6.9%

RACE

White, non-Hispanic

273

5.9%

Other

106

9.5%

COLLEGE GRADUATE

No degree

140

8.3%

4 year degree

239

6.3%

PRIMARY CALENDAR

Early state

152

8.0%

 

After March 3

232

6.4%

 

###

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