November National Poll: Support for Impeachment Declines; Biden and Sanders Lead Democratic Primary

A new Emerson poll finds President Trump’s approval has increased in the last month with 48% approval and 47% disapproval, a bounce from 43% approval in the last Emerson National poll in October. Support for impeachment has flipped since October from 48% support with 44% opposing to now 45% opposed and 43% in support. The biggest swing is among Independents, who oppose impeachment now 49% to 34%, which is a reversal from October where they supported impeachment 48% to 39%.

The impeachment hearings are being watched or followed by 69% of voters. A plurality (26%) is getting their information from Fox News, 24% are getting their information from 1 of the 3 network stations (ABC, NBC, CBS), 16% are watching CNN, 15% MSNBC and 19% are going somewhere else for their information.

The president’s support in the Republican primary increased this month to 93% against primary challengers Bill Weld and Joe Walsh. Trump’s head to head matchups in the General Election against the top Democratic candidates have also tightened since October, now trailing Sanders by 1 point and leading his other three potential opponents.

The economy is the number one issue for Republicans (50%) and Independents (35%), while for Democrats, healthcare ranked highest at 25%. Overall, the economy continues to be the most important issue for one in three voters (34%) in deciding who they will vote for President. Healthcare is the second most important overall at 18%, followed by immigration and social issues at 10% each. The environment and impeachment were next at 7% apiece, with foreign policy being the least important issue for voters at 3%.

Senator Bernie Sanders is gaining momentum in the race for the Democratic nomination, increasing 2 points from October to at 27%. Former Vice President Joe Biden is also at 27%, holding steady from October. Senator Elizabeth Warren is in third place at 20%, down a point. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is at 7% and Andrew Yang rounds out the top 5 at 4%. All other candidates are below 4%. (MM, n= 468, +/- 4.6%)

Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling says that “Biden and Sanders continue to hold their bases, which should concern Warren, as she has waited for one of the front runners to slip these past few months – yet, their support seems to be crystalizing.”

Sanders continues to hold a strong lead with younger voters in the primary. Among voters under 50, Sanders received 37% support, followed by Warren with 22%, Biden with 15% and Yang with 7%. Among voters 50 and over, Biden continues to lead with 44% support, followed by Warren with 16%, Sanders with 13% and Buttigieg with 12%.

Voters also were asked how much respect they have for the police. 59% said they have a great deal of respect, 31% said they have some respect, and 10% have hardly any respect. This is in comparison to the Gallup poll which first asked this question in 1965 and found 71% had a great deal of respect, 22% had some, and 4% hardly any. 

Biden supporters are found to have the most respect for police of the top three Democratic candidates, as 65% said a great deal, 26% said some and 10% said hardly any. Among Warren supporters, 36% said a great deal, 44% said some, and 20% said hardly any. And within Sanders supporters, 22% said a great deal, 44% said some and 34% said hardly any.

Sanders holds a lead among Hispanic or Latino voters with 36% support, followed by Biden with 23% and Warren with 22%. Sanders leads by a smaller margin with White voters with 29% support followed by Biden and Warren with 21%, and Buttigieg with 9%. Biden continues to lead with African American voters with 42% support, followed by Warren with 18%, Sanders with 17% and Buttigieg with 7%. 

Looking at ideology, Sanders leads with very liberal voters with 45% support, followed by Warren with 23%, Biden with 16% and Buttigieg and Yang with 4%. Among somewhat liberal voters Warren and Sanders lead with 26%, followed by Biden with 23% and Yang with 8%. Among moderate/conservative voters, Biden leads with 39% support, followed by Sanders with 14% and Warren and Buttigieg with 12%. 

Among those who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 primary, Biden leads with 40% support, followed by Warren with 19%, and Sanders and Buttigieg with 12%. Among those who supported Sanders in the 2016 primary, 48% still support him, followed by Warren with 23%, and Biden with 14%. 

When asked if they would definitely vote for their candidate or if they could change their mind, Sanders supporters are the most committed to their preferred candidate as 71% of his supporters said they will definitely vote for him. 60% of Biden supporters, 46% of Warren supporters and 31% of Buttigieg supporters said the same. 

When asked if they would support the Democratic nominee for president regardless if he or she was not their first choice in the primaries the majority of respondents said they would. 68% said they were very likely and 15% said they were somewhat likely. 93% of Buttigieg supporters reported that they were very likely to support the nominee. Followed with 80% for Warren supporters, and 77% of Biden supporters. The least likely to support the nominee of the top candidates were Sanders supporters, with only 61% reporting that they were very likely. 

Two new candidates who entered the Democratic race since October have had little impact; Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick each take less than 1 percent of the vote. When asked if Bloomberg should enter the Democratic Primary, only 16% of Democratic primary voters think Bloomberg should. Asked the same question about 2016 nominee and former Secretary Hillary Clinton, 24% support Clinton running again.

Kimball thinks “the only angle and hope candidates like Bloomberg or Patrick have for the nomination – is a brokered convention, and while unlikely, the elimination of Super Delegates in 2020 makes it more possible though it hasn’t happened since 1952 for either party.”

Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters are watching or following the political protests in Hong Kong. A significant majority at 59% think Hong Kong should be independent from China, 7% said they should not be, and 34% were unsure. Asians as an ethnic group were the most in support of independence at 78% as compared with Hispanics, Whites and African Americans. 

Caller ID

The National Emerson College poll was conducted November 17-20, 2019 under the Supervision of Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,092, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 2.9 percentage points. The data was weighted based on 2016 voter model of age, mode, party registration, ethnicity, and region. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=713) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=379).

 

Full Results

November Transparency Initiative

Biden, Sanders, Warren Maintain Front Runner Status in Democratic Primary

A new Emerson Poll finds former VP Joe Biden continues to hold a small lead in the Democratic primary nationally with 27% support, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders at 25% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 21%, no other candidates clears 6%. (n=430, +/- 4.7%). This represents a small shift from Emerson’s September poll that had Biden at 25%, Warren at 23% and Sanders at 22%.

Sanders continues to dominate the 18-29 age group with 45% of the vote, followed by Warren at 17%, and Andrew Yang with 15%. As voters get older, Sanders sees his support drop, with 28% among 30-49 year olds, and only 15% of those 50-64 and 6% of voters over 65. Biden is more popular with older voters, receiving 12% support from 18-29 year olds, 17% from 30-49 year olds and 44% of voters over 50. Warren continues to pull similar support from those under 50 and those over 50. Emerson Polling Research Assistant Isabel Holloway notes that “having a more even age distribution of supporters could put Warren in a strong position, but, in order to capitalize on this strategy, either Biden or Sanders would need to lose their hold on their older and younger bases.”

Biden leads those who supported Clinton in the 2016 primary with 42%, followed by Warren with 16% and Sanders with 14%. Sanders holds a lead among those who supported him in the 2016 primary with 39% support, followed by Warren with 25% and Biden with 12%. Research Assistant Brendan Kane points out that “in order to create a winning coalition in the primary, Sanders will need to win back more of the voters who supported him in 2016 from Warren than he is currently receiving.” 

Sanders also leads among very/somewhat liberal voters with 30% support, followed by Warren with 25% and Biden with 21%. Among moderate/conservative voters, Biden leads with 36% support followed by Sanders and Warren with 16%.

President Trump’s job approval numbers are down 5 points from last month, at 47% disapproval and 43% approval (n=1,000, +/-3%). However, within a potential Republican Primary, Trump remains strong as he leads a field of three potential rivals with 91% of the vote (n=378, +/-4.9%)

In potential head to head matchups against the top three Democratic rivals, Trump trails Warren, Biden, and Sanders 51% to 49%.


The most important issue for voters in deciding their vote for president continues to be the economy at 31%, followed by social issues at 14%, healthcare at 13%, impeachment at 11%, immigration at 10% and the environment at 8%. Gun policy and education are tied at 5%, and foreign policy is the least important issue for voters at 4%.

For Democrats, the second most important issue relative to their vote for President is impeachment at 19%. Republicans are not as concerned with impeachment; it ranks near the bottom at 3%. Independents lie in the middle, with 11% seeing impeachment as the most important issue. This is a change from the September Emerson Poll where impeachment was the least important issue for voters at 3%, and healthcare was the second most important issue at 19%. Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling concludes that “the shift in priority of issues appears to be Democrats moving their focus from healthcare to impeachment; the challenge for Democrats will be to convince Independents that impeachment is a very important issue to be addressed.”  

The economy is the most important issue for Republican voters at 45% and Independents at 28%, as compared among Democrats where 20% chose it as the most important issue.

Voters are slightly in favor of impeachment of President Trump at this time, with 48% in support and 44% oppose, 9% were unsure. Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling says that “impeachment does have the potential to boomerang on Democrats if President Trump is not convicted, as 35% of voters said they would be more likely to vote for President Trump if he is impeached and not convicted, while a lesser 28% saying a lack of conviction would make them less likely to vote for Trump.”

Several Democratic candidates have suggested a buyback assault weapons gun policy; a plurality, 46% oppose any type of assault weapons buyback program while 31% support a mandatory assault weapons buyback program, and 22% support a voluntary assault weapons buyback program. The most popular choice for Democrats is a mandatory buyback program with 50% support. A majority of Republicans (61%) and Independents (53%) support neither policy.

Voters are split on the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw American troops in Syria with 40% in support, 39% oppose, 20% were unsure, while  2% had never heard of the issue.

Voters strongly oppose (70%) employers to be allowed to change or eliminate an employee’s health insurance against the employee’s wishes. 11% support the employers’ ability to change insurance and 20% were unsure.

 

Caller ID

The National Emerson College poll was conducted October 18-21, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director and Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1000, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data was weighted by region, gender, age, race and mode based on 2016 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=655) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=345).

Full Results

Transparency Initiative

Warren Surges, Biden Slips, and Sanders Holds, Three Way Dead Heat for the Nomination

The September 2019 Emerson national poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden losing support, now at 25%, down six points from 31% in August. Senator Elizabeth Warren has jumped 8 points, from 15% to 23%, while Senator Bernie Sanders holds his ground only dropping 2 points to 22% from 24%. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang increased his support to 8%, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is at 6%, and Senator Kamala Harris is at 4%. No other candidate polls higher than 2%. (MM, RV, n=462, +/-4.6%, 9/21-23)

Sanders continues to hold an advantage with voters under 50, with 28% support from that group of voters. Conversely, Biden continues to dominate the older vote with 42% support from those age 50 or over. Warren competes with her rivals with both age groups,  as she receives 23% support from those under 50 and 23% support among those 50 and over. 

Among voters who supported Sanders in 2016, 37% still support him, 23% now support Warren, 10% now support Biden and 9% now support Yang.  In contrast, among those who supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, 41% now support Biden, 22% support Warren, 14% support Sanders, and 6% support Harris.

Despite accusations of abuse of power and potential impeachment proceedings, President Trump’s overall approval has hit his highest point since February 2017 with a 48% approval and 47% disapproval – up from August where the President  had an approval rating of 43% and disapproval rating of 52%. In the poll, voters do not support war with Iran, with 66% saying the US should not go to war with Iran, while only 12% support such action.  Professor Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, notes, “Perhaps, the President’s increased popularity nationally is a result of his reluctance to translate his administration’s hawkish rhetoric into the belligerent reality of war.”  

Trump also continues to dominate a potential Republican primary with 89% of the vote against his 3 announced opponents, former Gov. Bill Weld, former Rep. Mark Sanford, and former Rep. Joe Walsh (n=363, +/- 5.1%).

Biden appears to have lost support as well in the general election;   he has dropped 7 points in his head-to-head against Trump, now statistically tied at 50% to 49%. Warren’s numbers have improved against Trump, from being tied in the last poll, to a 51% to 49% two point advantage now. Warren polled best among Democrats in this month’s head to head match-ups with Trump. (n=1,019, +/-3%)

 

Issues

The most important issue for voters in deciding their vote for President is the economy at 34%, followed closely by healthcare at 19%. Immigration is at 12%, along with social issues and the environment at 6%.

For Democrats, healthcare is the most important issue at 29%, followed by the economy (18%), and social issues (18%). For Republicans, the economy leads with 48%, followed by immigration (20%). Among Independents, the economy was most important with 38%, followed by healthcare (19%), Immigration (14%), the environment (9%) and social issues (8%).

Voters attitudes toward e-cigarette/vaping use as a public health problem has slightly increased in the last 6 months, with currently 75% of voters say vaping is a somewhat or very serious health problem, up from 73% in Emerson’s March National Poll.

Voters were asked who would they rather have as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:  64% prefer Pelosi as compared to 36% opting for Ocasio-Cortez. Pelosi had greater support from all voters regardless of party affiliation.

Voters do not appear interested in repealing the 22nd amendment, limiting a U.S. president to a maximum of two 4 year terms, with 68% opposed and 17% in support.  Republicans were slightly more open to the idea with 29% support, while only 13% of Democrats and 8% of Independents supported repeal. 

A plurality of voters, 45%, plan to have a flu vaccine shot this winter, as compared to 35% who do not, and  23% who are unsure.

A split half sample was conducted to test the semantics of support for a carbon tax vs. a financial fine for carbon pollution. The questions garnered significantly different results.

When the question was phrased as “Would you support or oppose a carbon tax?” – 35% of voters were in support, 27% were opposed and 38% were unsure. In contrast when the phrasing was “Would you support or oppose a fine on corporations that pollute the air with carbon dioxide?” – 52% of voters supported, 25% opposed, and 24% were unsure.

Professor Spencer Kimball explains:  “this data suggest that the word choice influences voter attitude about a proposed policy. In this case, instead of talking  about a carbon tax, candidates should refer to a financial fine, in order to lead to greater acceptance of the policy; of course, opponents of the policy should describe such action as a tax.” 

 

Caller ID

The September National Emerson College poll was conducted September 21-23, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,019, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data was weighted by ethnicity, age, mode, gender, region based on 2016 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=667) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=352).

Full Results

Transparency Initiative

August National Poll: Sanders Closing Gap with Biden; Mayor Pete Fades

In the latest Emerson national poll, former VP Joe Biden continues to lead the Democratic primary at 31%, similar to the numbers found in both of Emerson’s July national polls. Sen. Bernie Sanders gained some ground from the previous poll, with his numbers up for the second time in a row from 20% to 24%. Sen. Elizabeth Warren holds at 15% and Sen. Kamala Harris is at 10%. No other candidate clears 4%. Data was collected August 24-26, n=627, +/-3.9%.

Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, points out that “Mayor Pete Buttigieg has seen his poll numbers drop all summer and is now at 3%, behind Andrew Yang who is at 4%. Mayor Pete has raised enough money to stay in the race for now but will need a strong debate performance to remain relevant.”

There continues to be a large age divide in the democratic primary with Sanders receiving 36% support of those under the age of 50 compared to 11% support among those 50 and over. Biden, on the other hand, has the support of 21% of those under 50 and 44% of those 50 and over. Warren’s support is more consistent as she is at 14% with voters under 50 and 17% with voters 50 and over. And Harris is at 8% among under 50 year olds and 12% among those 50 and up. 

Sanders’ support also disproportionately comes from those making less than $100,000 a year as he has the support of 38% of voters whose household income is under $50,000 a year and 22% support of those who make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. Sanders receives just 6% support of those who make over $100,000 a year. Biden and Warren’s support is much more evenly spread out between the income brackets. 

Democratic primary voters appear to be locking in their choices, with 50% saying they will definitely vote for the candidate they’ve chosen at this time, up from 41% who were decided in early July. Biden and Sanders have the most loyal supporters, with 63% and 62% of their supporters indicating they are sticking with their candidate. Additionally, 45% of Warren supporters and 39% of Harris supporters say they will stick with their choice.

Presidents Trump’s approval has dropped a point to 43%. His disapproval rating has risen 6 points from the last Emerson poll in July to 52%, his highest disapproval rating since January’s national poll. However, despite this, he continues to lead his potential GOP opponent, former MA Gov. Bill Weld 84% to 16%. (n=558, +/-4.1%)

In five hypothetical general election match-ups, Trump trails Biden, but is in a statistical dead heat with the four other leading Democratic candidates.

Issues

The most important issue for voters in determining their vote remains the economy at 26%, followed by health care at 20%, immigration at 14% and the environment at 11%. The least important issues included social issues at 8%, foreign policy/terrorism at 7%, impeachment and gun policy both at 5%, and education at 4%. Among Democrats, the most important issue is healthcare (28%), followed by the environment (17%), and the economy (14%). Among Republicans, the most important issue is the economy (37%), followed by immigration (21%), and foreign policy and terrorism (10%).

Regarding the environment, voters were asked of the importance of a Presidential candidate prioritizing combating climate change. 69% said the issue was very or somewhat important to them, while 31% said it was not that important or not at all important to them. Among Democratic primary voters, 87% said that it was either very important or somewhat important compared to just 50% of Republican primary voters who said the same. The party gap between those who said it was very important is even greater as 59% of Democratic primary voters said it was very important and only 18% of Republican primary voters said that it was very important to them.

Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, said “while nearly 7 in 10 people said combating climate change was a priority, only about 1 in 10 said it was the most important issue in determining who they will vote for. This might explain why Gov. Jay Inslee’s environmental message was unable to gain traction on the campaign trail in 2020.”

Last week, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested the Electoral College should be replaced, and voters appear split on whether the Electoral College is a fair process to elect the President. Forty-five percent (45%) say it is a fair process, 38% say it is not, and 17% were undecided.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of Democratic Primary voters, say the Electoral College is not a fair process and 19% say it is, compared to 71% of Republican Primary voters who say it is a fair process to elect the president and 17% say it is not. 

Voters are split regarding the cause of death of Billionaire convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein: 34% believe he was murdered, 33% believe he committed suicide, and 32% are unsure. Party affiliation has a strong impact on what voters believe on this issue, as 46% of Republicans say it was murder vs. 26% say it was suicide. Among Democrats, 38% say it was suicide as compared to 26%b who  believe he was murdered. Of Independents, 31% believe he was murdered, 37% believe he committed suicide, and 33% are unsure.

Regarding QANON, a far-right conspiracy theory detailing a supposed secret plot by an alleged “deep state” against U.S. President Donald Trump and his supporters, 5% of voters believe in QANON, while 22% do not. 73% were unsure or had not heard of QANON. 6% of both Democrats and Republicans say that they are believers in QANON as compared to 2% of Independents. 

Methodological Brief

In this survey, respondents were split, with half being asked if a candidate promised to limit people’s access to guns would that make them more or less likely to support that candidate, while the other half were asked if candidate promised to not limit gun access would that make them more or less likely to support that candidate. 

Forty-percent (40%) of respondents said that a candidate promising to limit access to guns would make them more likely to support the candidate, 37% said it would make them less likely and 23% said it would make no difference.

In the other version of the question, 28% of respondents said a candidate promising to not limit access to guns would make them more likely to support the candidate, 42% said it would make them less likely and 30% said it would make no difference to them. 

Caller ID

The national Emerson College poll was conducted August 24-26, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,458, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 2.5 percentage points. The data was weighted by age, region, income, and education based on 2016 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=955) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=503).

Full Results

Transparency Initiative

July National Poll: Biden extends support while Bernie Bounces Back

In Emerson’s latest poll, former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead the Democratic Primary by a significant margin. Biden’s numbers increased slightly to 33% from the last Emerson national poll in which Biden received 30% of the vote. Sen. Bernie Sanders had the largest bounce of any candidate, increasing by 5 points to 20%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren dropped a point to 14% and Sen. Kamala Harris dropped 4 points to 11%. The only other candidates above 3% are Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 6% and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke at 4%. Data was collected July 27-29 of 520 Democratic primary voters, +/- 4.2% margin of error.

Sanders re-established his lead among 18-29 year olds receiving 36% support among that age group, in the earlier July poll Sanders was at 24% of the vote among 18-29 year olds. Warren follows him now with 17% of the youth vote, followed by Biden with 12% and Buttigieg with 10%. Among 30-49 year olds, Biden leads with 24%, followed by Sanders with 21%, Warren with 14% and Harris with 10%. Biden has a greater lead with those age 50-64 with 46% support, followed by Sanders with 15%, Warren with 14% and Harris with 13%. And then among those over the age of 65, Biden also leads with 51% support, followed by Harris with 11%, Warren with 10% and Sanders with 8%.

Among Democratic Primary voters that describe themselves as “Very Liberal”, Sanders leads with 30%, followed by Warren at 25%, Biden at 16% and Harris at 13%. Among those that describe themselves as “Somewhat Liberal”, Biden leads with 31%, followed by Sanders at 22%, Warren at 15% and Harris at 9%. And among voters who describe themselves as “Moderate” or “Conservative”, Biden leads with 45% support, followed by Sanders at 12%, Harris at 11% and Warren at 7%. 

Of respondents who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic Primary, 47% support Biden, 15% support Warren, 14% support Harris and 10% support Sanders. Of those voted for Sanders in the 2016 Primary, 36% still support him, 19% support Biden, and 11% support Warren and Harris. 

President Trump’s job approval improved slightly from early this month and is now at 45% approval and 46% disapproval.  His support within the Republican party continues to be strong as Trump dominates a potential primary against former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld 91% to 8%. The Republican primary poll was n=467 with a +/-4.5%.

In potential head to head matchups, President Trump runs slightly closer to some of his potential Democratic opponents than in previous Emerson polls. Biden and Sanders each lead Trump by 2 points at 51% to 49%, Warren is tied at 50% with Trump, and Harris and Buttigieg both trail by 4 points, 48% to 52%. Spencer Kimball, Director of the Emerson Poll, notes how “this is the second poll where Biden has seen his general election support dip since the first debate. This may have more to do with the more liberal positions he took, but in the last 3 weeks his head to head matchups with Trump have tightened 8 points.”


When asked to choose the most important issue in determining their vote for president, immigration tops the list for voters at 24%, followed closely by the economy at 22%.  The issue of impeachment jumped from under 5% in the last two Emerson polls to the third most important issue, at 12%.

There is a party divide on this question, as among Republican primary voters, 40% chose immigration as the most important issue, followed by the economy at 31%, and gun control and social issues at 8%. Among Democratic primary voters, impeachment is the most important issue at 19%, followed by healthcare at 16%, and social issues and the economy at 13%. 

Among those who voted for Donald Trump in 2016, 41% say their most determining issue for their vote in 2020 is immigration, followed by the economy at 28%, whereas the plurality of Clinton voters say impeachment is the most important issue at 21%, followed by health care at 15%. Kimball notes “the Democrats are taking a gamble with an increased emphasis on impeachment proceedings following the Mueller hearings, considering how effective their Healthcare argument was in 2018. It would seem to make sense to stick with that issue, but now the party seems torn between the two.” 

July 30th National July 9th National  June 25th National
Economy 22% 26% 33%
Healthcare 10% 21% 21%
Immigration 24% 17% 12%
Impeachment 12% 4% 2%
Social Issues 10% 16% 11%

Voters appear less excited for the second set of Democratic debates coming up this week, with 57% of respondents planning on watching some or part of the debates compared to the 72% who planned to watch the June debates. 

The Democratic House leadership is struggling with favorability among voters; Speaker Nancy Pelosi has a 28% favorable opinion and a 46% unfavorable opinion. The House “squad,” consisting of Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Illan Omar and Ayanna Pressley share this image problem. Ocasio-Cortez is at 30% favorable and 47% unfavorable, Tlaib is at 26% favorable and 42% unfavorable, Omar is at 25% favorable and 46% unfavorable, and Pressley is at 24% favorable and 35% unfavorable. 

Among Democrats, Pelosi is at 51% favorable/18% unfavorable, Ocasio-Cortez is at 54% favorable/17% unfavorable, Omar is at 46% favorable/20% unfavorable, Tlaib is at 48% favorable/17% unfavorable and Pressley is at 44% favorable/14% unfavorable. 

Caller ID

The national Emerson College poll was conducted July 27-29, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,233, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 2.7 percentage points. The data was weighted by age, region, income, and education based on 2016 turnout modeling. It is important to remember that subsets based on gender, age, party breakdown, ethnicity and region carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines only (n=794) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk (n=439).

Full Results

Transparency Initative

July National Poll: Biden extends lead in Democratic Primary, Trump Closes the Gap in the General Election.

The first Democratic debate has shaken up the race for the Democratic nomination. Compared to June’s national poll, former VP Joe Biden extended his lead, Sen. Bernie Sanders lost ground, Sen. Kamala Harris doubled her support, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren held steady. Despite Biden losing 4 points of his support from 34% to 30%, he extended his lead in the Democratic primary from 7 points in June to 15 points, as his main rival, Sanders dropped 12 points to 15% from his June number of 27%. Harris saw her numbers improve 8 points to 15%, and Warren ticked up one point from June to 15% of the vote, creating a three way tie for second.  The data was collected July 6-8 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.

+ Read More

June National Poll: All Eyes on the Democratic Debates; Biden, Sanders and Warren Separate from the Field

A new national poll finds the Democratic field coming into focus as the candidates prepare for this week’s first debates. Joe Biden continues to hold his announcement bounce, and has gained a point since May –  now holding 34% of the vote, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders who moved up 2 points to 27%. Senator Elizabeth Warren has broken away from the rest of those running, into 3rd place – improving from 10% of the vote up to 14%. Senator Kamala Harris comes in fourth with 7%, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in fifth with 6%, and Senator Cory Booker follows in sixth with 3% of the vote. All other candidates poll at 1% or lower. The data was collected June 21-24, and has a margin of error of +/-4.5% for the Democratic primary.

+ Read More

May National Poll: Biden Back In the Lead for the Democratic Nomination

A new Emerson National Poll finds former Vice President Joe Biden with a bump from his official entrance into the race, taking back the lead over Senator Bernie Sanders. The poll finds Biden with 33% and Sanders with 25%. The April Emerson Poll had Sanders ahead of Biden 29% to 24% making this a 13 point swing in favor of the former Vice President. Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren are tied for 3rd with each getting 10% of the vote, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounds out the top 5 with 8%. No other candidate in the field clears 3% (n=429, +/-4.7%, MM, May 10-13, 2019).

+ Read More

April National Poll: Bernie Takes Lead for Democratic Nomination, Mayor Pete On The Move

A new national Emerson poll, including 20 Democratic candidates for President, found Senator Bernie Sanders ahead of the pack with 29%, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 24%. They were followed by Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 9%, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke and Senator Kamala Harris at 8%, and Senator Elizabeth Warren at 7%. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former HUD secretary Julian Castro were at 3%. The poll was conducted April 11-14 of Democratic Primary voters with a subset of n=356, +/- 5.2%.

Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, said “while still early in the nominating process, it looks like Mayor Pete is the candidate capturing voters’ imagination; the numbers had him at 0% in mid-February, 3% in March and now at 9% in April.”

Kimball also noted that “Biden has seen his support drop. In February, he led Sanders 27% to 17%, and in March the two were tied at 26%. Now, Sanders has a 5 point lead, 29% to 24%.”

+ Read More

National Poll: Sanders Tied with Biden; Beto Gets Post-Announcement Bump

Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are tied at 26% in the most recent Emerson national poll. Sanders’ support has increased 9 points from the Emerson February national poll, taken before he announced his campaign for President. Following the frontrunners in the poll are California Senator Kamala Harris at 12% and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke at 11%. O’Rourke’s support has increased 7 points from Emerson’s February national poll. Rounding out the top five is Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at 8%. The poll was conducted March 17-18 of Democratic Primary voters with a subset of n=487, +/- 4.4%.

+ Read More