Sanders Slips in New Hampshire; Biden, Warren Take Lead

In the “First in the Nation” New Hampshire Primary, the latest Emerson Poll finds the former VP Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren in a statistical dead-heat with 24% and 21% of the vote, respectively. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was leading in the February poll with 27% of the vote is now in third at 13%. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is in fourth at 11% and Sen. Kamala Harris is in fifth with 8%. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who did not qualify for the second Democratic debate, is at 6% in the Granite state, Sen. Cory Booker is at 4%, Andrew Yang is at 3% along with former Congressman John Delaney, and 3% of voters are still undecided (Sept 6-9, 2019, n=483, +/-4.4%).

Prof. Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, found differing outlooks for Sanders and Warren from this poll: “for Warren, only time will tell whether she is peaking this September or solidifying her base in the state. For Sanders, the question is whether his base of 18-29 year olds is splintering away from him, or if this poll is an outlier.”

It appears that New Hampshire voters are less decided on who they will vote for than the national audience, with 62% of voters saying there’s a chance they could change their mind regarding their current primary choice. In the last Emerson national poll, only 50% of voters said they could change their mind.

Trump’s disapproval among New Hampshire voters is at 53% with 40% approval. This is slightly up from the last Emerson Poll in February which had Trump at 52% disapproval and 43% approval in the state.

Trump continues to be popular within the Republican party, defeating his two potential rivals, former Gov. Bill Weld (MA) and former Rep. Joe Walsh (IL) with 80% support followed by Weld at 13% and Walsh at 7% (n=379, +/-5%)

In hypothetical head-to-head matchups, Trump trails all the Democratic candidates except Warren, where he is ahead at 51% to 49%. Outside of Biden’s 10 point lead, Andrew Yang performed second best with 54% of the vote. Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson Polling said “it is interesting to see Yang outperform his Democratic rivals against Trump. In this case, his lower name recognition may allow voters to idealize his candidacy.”

The most important issue for voters in deciding whom they will support for president is the economy at 29%, followed by healthcare at 18%, social issues at 15% and immigration at 11%, the environment at 9%, gun policy at 7% and education at 5%. Impeachment was the least important issue of the eight asked with 3%.

However, there are stark differences in what issues Republican and Democratic voters think are the most important. For Republicans, the economy is the most important issue to voters at 41%, followed by immigration at 17%. Social issues and healthcare are tied in third at 11% each. Democrats are more split on the issues, with a plurality citing social issues at 24%, followed by healthcare at 22%, the environment at 16% and the economy at 9%. Independent voters said the economy was most important to their vote at 30% and healthcare was the second most important at 20%. Immigration and social issues are tied for third most important at 11% each.

After the 2020 census, New Hampshire will be redrawing the congressional and state office district maps. Voters are currently split on who should draw these maps with a plurality, 47%, unsure. 30% think an independent commission should create the maps, while 23% do not favor an independent commission. 

Party affiliation appears to be driving this issue, as Democrats and Independents are more in favor of an independent commission at nearly 2:1 ratio (35% to 17%), while Republicans oppose 2:1, 36% to 18%.

In a potential candidacy for US Senate, former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski leads the Republican field with 23% of the vote, followed by Don Bolduc at 9% and Bill O’Brien at 7%. Despite Lewandowski’s support from Trump, 56% of GOP primary voters are undecided at this point.

If Lewandowski gets the Republican nomination, he starts out about 10 points behind Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, 49% to 39%. This lead puts the incumbent Senator in a strong position from the start, as she is near the 50% threshold incumbents seek. In 2014, Shaheen was re-elected against Scott Brown, 52% to 48%. In the Emerson February poll, Shaheen and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu were both at 44%, with 12% of the electorate undecided.

In the gubernatorial race, Republican Governor Chris Sununu leads his potential Democratic opponent, Dan Feltes, 53% to 37%.

 

Caller ID

The New Hampshire Emerson College poll was conducted September 6-9, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson Polling Director Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,041, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data was weighted by age, education, party, 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=692) and an online panel provided by Amazon Turk and Dyanata (n=349).

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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).

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Colorado 2020: Sanders, Biden and Warren lead Democratic Field; Democrats look to gain Senate seat

A new Emerson Poll finds a very competitive primary shaping up for Super Tuesday 2020 in Colorado with Sen. Bernie Sanders at 26%, former VP Joe Biden at 25% and Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 20%. Sen. Kamala Harris was the only other candidate to break double digits at 13%. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet is polling at 1%. The data was collected August 16-19, n=403, +/-4.8%.

Sanders’ base of support is among 18-29 year olds where he takes 42% of the vote, and he also leads with 30-49 year olds with 34% of the vote but takes only about 12% of the vote from those over 50. Conversely, Biden leads with those over 65 with 43% of the vote while his numbers drop with the younger voters bottoming out at 18% of 18-29 year olds. Warren gets a more consistent percent of the vote from each age group. Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling notes, “the Colorado data is similar to other state and national polls where Sanders holds a base with the youth vote, Biden has his base with older voters and Warren holds equally strong across age groups. If either Sanders or Biden slip, Warren may be the beneficiary”.

Of those who voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Primary, 45% now support Biden, 21% support Warren, 14% support Harris, and just 4% support Sanders. Among those who voted for Sanders in 2016, 53% still support him, 24% support Warren, 9% support Biden, and 3% support Harris.

For the first time in twenty years, Colorado will be holding a primary instead of their traditional caucus which has potential to impact the turnout model of the state. In 2016, Sanders won the state 59% to 40% over Hillary Clinton, but a look at potential new voters shows the top four candidates all popular and vying for new voters’ support. Of new voters who plan to vote in the primary, Harris receives the highest percentage (21%), followed by Sanders (20%), Warren (17%), and Biden (16%). Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson Polling, says that “Colorado will be interesting to watch in 2020 because of the change in their nominating rules, going from a caucus to a primary, should increase turnout from about 13% to perhaps as high as 50% and we will see which candidate is able to attract those new voters, so far they appear split among the top four candidates.” In 2016 Sanders won 11 of 18 caucuses but lost 30 of 41 primaries.

When Democratic voters were asked if they could change their mind and vote for someone else or if they will definitely vote for their chosen candidate, 64% say that there is a chance they could change their mind and vote for someone else, whereas 36% say they will definitely vote for the candidate they chose. Younger and older voters appear the most set in the choices; 50% of those under 30 and 42% of those over 65 plan to stick with their candidate. Among those aged 50-64, a lesser 26% say they would keep their choice and 33% of 30-49 year olds said the same.

In the state, President Trump’s job approval is 54% disapproval / 39% approval. Trump’s approval with Republicans remains strong at 80%, his support is demonstrated in a potential primary match up against former MA Gov. Bill Weld where he leads 86% to 14% (n=339, +/- 5.3%). However, among Independents, Trump’s disapproval is at 57% and his approval is at 34%, contributing to his poor head to head performance against all of his top Democratic challengers. Currently, he is losing the state by larger margins against 4 of his 5 top Democratic challengers than in 2016 when Clinton won the state 48% to 43%.

In a hypothetical Senate matchup between Sen. Cory Gardner and former Governor John Hickenlooper, Hickenlooper holds a strong lead with 53% to 40% for Gardner. 8% are undecided. The key to Hickenlooper’s lead is his strong performance among Independents, among whom he leads Gardner 55% to 34%.

Caller ID

The Colorado Emerson College poll was conducted August 16-19, 2019 under the Supervision of Emerson College Polling Director and Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=1,000, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 3 percentage points. The data was weighted by a 2016 voter model on race, age, gender, party affiliation, education and US congressional district. 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=656) and an online panel provided by Amazon MTurk and Dynata (n=344).

 

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Dallas Morning News/Emerson Poll: Biden leads O’Rourke in Texas presidential primary, race against Sen. John Cornyn wide open

 

A new poll has former Vice President Joe Biden leading Beto O’Rourke in the Texas presidential primary and toppling Donald Trump in a head-to-head showdown.

The survey, conducted by Emerson College for The Dallas Morning News,signals that even with two favorite sons in race, Lone Star State voters want a familiar face as their nominee.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the 2016 runner-up to Hillary Clinton for the party’s nomination, was third with 16% and the only other Democrat beating Trump in the general election.

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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).

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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%.

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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.

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North Carolina 2020: Biden with Early Lead on Trump and Democratic Primary Field

A new Emerson Poll in North Carolina finds President Trump’s popularity underwater, with 52% disapproval and 41% approval (May 31-June 3, +/-3.1%). Trump received 50% of the vote to Clinton’s 46% in 2016, carrying the Tar Heel State and its 15 electoral votes. While the President remains popular within the Republican Party – Trump leads former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld 88% to 12%- the President is tied or trailing against four of the top five Democratic opponents, faring the worst against former Vice-President Joe Biden, who is ahead of Trump 56% to 44%.

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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).

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2020 Texas: Biden and Beto in Dead Heat in Democratic Primary

A new Emerson Poll of Democratic Primary voters in Texas finds former Vice President Joe Biden at 23% and former Texas U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke at 22%. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the only other candidate to clear double digits, polling third at 17%. Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 8% and Senator Elizabeth Warren at 7% are  ahead of former HUD secretary and native Texan Julian Castro, who is at 4%. The poll was conducted April 25-28, 2019, mixed mode, of Democratic primary voters with n=342, +/- 5.3%.

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