NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, April 12th, 2019

Poll Watch: Democratic voters in California offer strong support to Joe Biden

A recent Quin­nip­i­ac Uni­ver­si­ty poll asked vot­ers in Cal­i­for­nia, the nation’s largest state, about the upcom­ing Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial pri­ma­ry.

The poll shows that for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden still leads the field, with 26% of Demo­c­ra­t­ic lean­ing vot­ers sup­port­ing his can­di­da­cy. He is trailed by Bernie Sanders (18%) and California’s own Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris (17%).

South Bend May­or Pete Buttigieg and Mass­a­chu­setts Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren came a dis­tant joint-fourth, with 7% each.

The Quin­nip­i­ac researchers also asked vot­ers more in-depth ques­tions about the race: who they thought would be the best leader; who they thought had the best chance of beat­ing Trump; and who had the best pol­i­cy ideas.

Biden did well in all three cat­e­gories.

Joe Biden stud­ies the audi­ence at Net­roots Nation dur­ing his Thurs­day after­noon keynote. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

31% and 35% respec­tive­ly say that he is the best leader and the best can­di­date for beat­ing Trump. Although more respon­dents thought that Bernie Sanders had bet­ter pol­i­cy ideas (23% to Biden’s 13%), 52% of vot­ers say it is more impor­tant for a can­di­date to be a good leader than to have good pol­i­cy ideas.

Biden has is seen as a strong leader by Cal­i­for­ni­ans

Biden has not yet declared if he will run for the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion, and has recent­ly been rat­tled by a num­ber of events – most par­tic­u­lar­ly, the op-ed writ­ten by Lucy Flo­res that claimed that Biden’s inap­pro­pri­ate touch­ing of her at a cam­paign event in 2014 made her feel “uneasy, gross and con­fused”.

How­ev­er, the poll showed that Cal­i­for­nia vot­ers don’t seem par­tic­u­lar­ly trou­bled by the accu­sa­tions against Biden.

67% of the women sur­veyed said that the accu­sa­tions against Biden were not seri­ous – that num­ber among Democ­rats was almost three quar­ters.

Cal­i­for­nia will play an instru­men­tal role in the selec­tion of the next Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee. In 2017 the state decid­ed to move its pri­ma­ry date to the begin­ning of March, join­ing sev­en oth­er states on “Super Tues­day”.

Joe Biden at MLK Day Breakfast

For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden at the Nation­al Action Net­work Mar­tin Luther King Jr. Day Break­fast, where AFGE Nation­al Sec­re­tary-Trea­sur­er Everett Kel­ley received a labor leader award. (Pho­to: AFGE, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

In 2016, Cal­i­for­nia held its pri­maries in June, by which time the most pop­u­lous state’s votes were large­ly irrel­e­vant; by June of 2016, both Hillary Clin­ton and Don­ald Trump were the pre­sump­tive nom­i­nees.

Mov­ing the pri­ma­ry to Super Tues­day will make com­pe­ti­tion for California’s over four hun­dred del­e­gates much fiercer (since 1,885 are need­ed to win the nom­i­na­tion) and can­di­dates will be like­ly end up pay­ing much more atten­tion to the spe­cif­ic pri­or­i­ties of Cal­i­forn­ian vot­ers than they did in 2016.

At the time of the change, the state’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty Chair, Eric Bau­mann, said that Cal­i­for­nia was “the beat­ing heart of the nation­al resis­tance to Trump” and should “play a piv­otal role in select­ing a pro­gres­sive cham­pi­on” to face Trump in 2020. This ear­ly polling sug­gests that despite his recent rough patch, Joe Biden has a good shot at becom­ing that pro­gres­sive cham­pi­on.

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One Comment

  1. I think the fac­tor in that is name recog­ni­tion. I think at this time, can­di­dates are build­ing their cam­paigns in oth­er regions of the coun­try.

    # by Maple Valley Mike :: April 13th, 2019 at 7:55 AM