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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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%.”

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Massachusetts 2020: Sanders, Biden lead Warren in her home state; Mayor Pete in top four. Trump popular only with his base.

The first Emerson Poll in Massachusetts of the 2020 primary finds Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders with 26% of the vote in the Democratic field, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 23%, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at 14%, Mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg at 11%, former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke at 8%, and California Senator Kamala Harris at 7%. 5% of voters are looking for another candidate. (April 4-7, n=371, +/- 5%).

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