Biden Leads Early Dem Poll, But How Much Is It Worth?

Politics News 2020 Democratic Primary
Biden Leads Early Dem Poll, But How Much Is It Worth?

New polling from Monmouth reveals a sizeable lead for Joe Biden in this very early stage of the race.

It’s never a good idea to take polls this early too seriously. If these were emblematic of how the election shook out, we’d still be cleaning up President Giuliani’s mess. What they are helpful to understand is how well-known each candidate is, and given that “undecided” is the fourth most popular pick for 2020, some clear advantages have emerged. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have name recognition that no one else in this race does, and it gives them a higher floor of support than some of the more relative unknowns.

What this Monmouth poll also reveals is the generational split on the left.

The latest Gallup polling reveals that just 14% of Democrats view Bernie unfavorably versus 78% who like him, and figures like this help reveal where that 14% are concentrated. If you’re under 50 years old, odds are you’re probably talking about Bernie’s platform. If you’re over 50 years old, odds are you’re probably talking about the 2016 primary.

There’s also a gender split on the left, as reflected by Biden’s drop-off amongst women and Kamala Harris’s rise.

For anyone who uses the term “Bernie Bro,” understand that you are erasing the 16% of Dem women who say they support him (and to give you an idea how detached from reality this sexist slur is, 17% of men say they support Bernie). When it comes to race, Biden slips a bit, but it’s Kamala Harris whose splits are most interesting.

If you’re a Kamala stan, odds are better that you are white than not, and this likely has to do with her objectively not progressive prosecutorial record. Lastly, there is a significant split on the left amongst white people with and without college degrees.

This is where Joe Biden can make the strongest case for his presidency. White Democrats with a college degree seem to be very split on who they want to back, while a Biden-Bernie ticket sure looks like it would win a majority of white Dems without a college degree. For the majority of Democrats who want an electable challenger, this polling demonstrates that a lot of these candidates can be considered “electable,” especially when facing the most unpopular president of our lifetimes.

Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.

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