Conventional Wisdom Says Warren Dropping Out Should Help Sanders. Polling Says Otherwise…
With reports stating that Sen. Elizabeth Warren plans to announce on Thursday that she will drop her bid for the Democratic nomination to run for president, many people are beginning to speculate what this will mean for the remainder of the race.
The two top-tier candidates remaining in the chase for the nomination are Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. Warren and Sanders were both the most progressive candidates running, so it stands to reason that Sanders would benefit the most from Warren’s departure, given that they’re ideologically similar.
However, that sort of “conventional wisdom” doesn’t translate to what the polls are telling us. According to Morning Consult, which has been tracking the progress of the Democratic Party’s nomination process daily, while more of Warren’s base of support will move over to Sanders’s column, it’s not by much.
In fact, 43 percent of Warren’s supporters said recently that Sanders was their second pick, while 36 percent said it was Biden they’d vote for if the Massachusetts senator dropped out.
Presently, Biden has the largest segment of support from Democratic-leaning voters, with 36 percent nationally saying they plan to vote for him. If you add his share of Warren supporters to that, he could see that 36 percent increase to 40 percent, Morning Consult said.
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Meanwhile, Sanders is polling with 28 percent of Dems supporting him nationally. Adding Warren’s supporters who pick him as their second choice increases his total to a potential of 33 percent.
That doesn’t even take into account Michael Bloomberg’s base of support. The former New York City mayor dropped out of the race earlier this week, before Warren did, and endorsed Biden almost immediately after.
Not surprisingly, Morning Consult found that there was a split that favored Biden. If Bloomberg’s share of voters who picked Biden as their second pick do indeed support him from here on out, it increases Biden’s Democratic-leaning vote share by 8 points. Some of Bloomberg’s supporters did tell the polling organization that they’d support Sanders instead, but not as many, potentially increasing his vote share by just 4 points.
Overall, as a result of both Bloomberg and Warren dropping out, Biden can expect as much as a 12-point boost in his national polling numbers. Sanders, meanwhile, can expect to see a 9-point boost.
Polling data may change, but overall, it seems that this is now Biden’s race to lose.