The Zogby PollĀ®: 2020 Democratic Primary Report & Nationwide Likely Voters Poll

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Nationwide Poll of Likely Democratic Primary Voters

  • Joe Biden still remains at the top of the fray and has been resilient during the last year, especially with many gaffes, accusations and some rough debate performances.
  • Do Sanders and Warren have what it takes to unseat Biden and gain momentum? At the moment based on the national numbers, probably not, but their true test will come in the next two months. Whoever comes out winning Iowa and New Hampshire will have a lot of momentum, fundraising and attention on their side.
  • Michael Bloomberg, despite spending hundreds of millions on ad buys, is in a distant fourth, but overall has made his point. It's going to be a hard and expensive path to the nomination if he skips the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

Biden still resilient as he leads the field while Sanders and Warren battle for second place; Bloomberg makes a splash!

With the inclusion of newcomer, former Mayor of New York City and businessman, Michael Bloomberg as a candidate, the former Vice President Joe Biden is still holding on to his lead with 30% of support among likely Democratic primary voters. Biden has steadily been in the lead on a national level for over a year and half in our polling. His next closest rival is Senator Bernie Sanders (VT-D) at 20%, followed closely behind by Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA-D). Warren has seen her star fade as of late, most likely due to her inability to explain how "Medicare for All" would be paid for, without raising taxes on most voters.  Bloomberg makes a splash in the race by leapfrogging new media favorite, Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, but both he and Bloomberg remain neck and neck. The next level of candidates, who look to qualify for the next Democratic debate in December, are businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer, and Rep. Tulsi Gabbarb (HI-D).

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At the moment, Biden leads among almost all the important surveyed sub-groups, including: men (35%), women (26%), African Americans (42%), voters aged 30+ (32%), all income groups, college and non-college educated voters (30% and 31%, respectively), large and small city voters (30% and 27%, respectively), suburban voters (35%), and rural voters (29%). More importantly, he does well with the swing voters, such as NASCAR fans (35%), suburban women (32%) and weekly Amazon Shoppers (30%).

Bernie Sanders is the perennial second place candidate in most sub-group categories, although he has not truly separated himself outside the margin of error from Elizabeth Warren in all the important sub-groups. The senator from Vermont does lead a few important categories. Among Independents Sanders leads Biden nearly two to one (Sanders leads 29% to 16%), and among younger likely voters aged 18-29 (34% to 11%), Sanders leads three to one against Biden. Sanders leads Biden among Walmart shoppers (Sanders leads 27% to 26%) and Hispanics (Sanders leads 23% to 17%).

Running in a close third place for the 2020 Democratic nomination is Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is also neck and neck with Bernie Sanders in some important categories. Sanders still leads Warren convincingly among younger voters 18-29 (Sanders leads Warren 34% to 21%), Independents (Sanders leads 29% to 16%) and weekly Walmart shoppers (Sanders leads 27% to 16%), but the numbers are closer with women (both tied at 22%), suburban voters (Warren leads Sanders 17% to 12%), suburban women (both tied at 19%), union voters (Sanders leads 16% to 15%) and Hispanic voters (Sanders leads Warren 23% to 21%). In fourth place is newcomer, Michael Bloomberg, who reached double digits with Republicans (13%), independents (10%), Catholics voters (11%), voters who attend religious services more than once a week (10%) and voters with household incomes of $25k-$35k (12%).

Hillary fails to impress Democratic primary voters

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There has been some hype as to whether Hillary Clinton will enter the Democratic primary contest again. She hasn't exactly ruled it out, but based on the numbers it doesn't look too realistic, at least in the near future. The "big three" Biden (28%), Sanders (20%), and Warren (12%) still remain at the top of the heap. Michael Bloomberg (9%) and Pete Buttigieg (8%) are next in line, while remaining below double digit support.

Hillary Clinton gets 6% of vote and is in sixth place. The rest of field--Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang receive 3%, while Amy Klobuchar (2%) and Tulsi Gabbard (2%) receive less than the generic option of "someone else" (3%).

With the inclusion of Hillary Clinton as a candidate, nothing much changes with how frontrunner Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders receive support from certain demographic groups. The same trends continue to hold for the front runners: Joe Biden (the former Vice President) leads most sub-groups, while Bernie Sanders is doing best with younger voters aged 18-29 (38%), Independents (29%), Hispanics (25%) and urban parents (33%).

Clinton's inclusion in the race does the most damage to Elizabeth Warren, who was beating Sanders among suburban and weekly Amazon shoppers voters and also running close with Sanders among women and Hispanics; Sanders pulls ahead of Warren among these groups with Clinton in the race. Hillary Clinton did do well with likely voters aged 50-64 (10%) but that's about it when it came to areas where she received double-digit support.

As for the ideology of voters, both moderates (28%) and liberals (30%) preferred Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders (23% and 20%, respectively), Michael Bloomberg (11% and 8%, respectively) and Elizabeth Warren (10% and 14%, respectively). Michael Bloomberg did do well with Independents (17%) and was in second place behind Joe Biden.

With Clinton in the race, the former Vice President was also leading his rivals comfortably among key groups that will be important for the 2020 general election. These are suburban voters (35%), suburban women (25%), consumer blocs, such as, weekly Amazon shoppers (26%) and NASCAR fans (29%). He also did very well with African Americans (42%).

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Nationwide Poll of Likely Voters
12/5/19 - 12/8/19

Likely voters believe House Democrats are more concerned with impeachment than passing legislation

  • Two thirds of voters believe the Democrats are more interested in impeaching the president as opposed to passing legislation that will help Americans. A majority of Democrats (53%) believe this is the case too.
  • This feeling of politics first permeated a majority of every sub-group: all felt that Democrats in Congress were more concerned with impeaching the President rather than passing legislation that helps Americans.

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The overall numbers were resounding when it came to how sub-groups felt about the nature of House Democrats using impeachment for political purposes. Majorities of men (69%), women (65%), younger voters aged 18-29 (54%), Hispanics (56%), African Americans (61%), Independents (67%), and suburban voters (67%) all felt Democrats in Congress were more interested in impeachment rather than passing important legislation.

Most voters and Democrats at least somewhat agree the Democratic Party takes their close relationship with African Americans for granted.

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A third of likely voters strongly agree and 61% at least somewhat agree (strongly and somewhat agree combined) that Democrats take their relationship with African Americans for granted.

A majority of almost every sub-group we surveyed at least somewhat agreed with this notion of Democrats taking their relationship with African Americans for granted. A majority (55%) of Democrats at least somewhat agreed, as did a similar number of Independents (56%).

The groups most likely to agree that Democrats are taking their relationship with African American voters for granted were men (69% at somewhat agree/20% at least somewhat disagree) Millennials (1980-1995) (61% at somewhat agree/23% at least somewhat disagree), urban parents (74% at somewhat agree/19% at least somewhat disagree), Independents (56% at somewhat agree/19% at least somewhat disagree) and African Americans (74% at somewhat agree/15% at least somewhat disagree).

A majority of likely voters think Democrats and Republicans are in a semi-violent civil war

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A third of likely voters strongly agree and nearly three-quarters at least somewhat agree that United States is in a "semi-violent civil war between Democrats and Republicans." Important demographic groups, such as, age, income, race, residence, region, ideology, and education did not play into how surveyed voters felt regarding the political divide presently in the U.S. A majority of every sub-group surveyed at least somewhat agreed that there is presently a "semi- violent civil war raging between Democrats and Republicans."

The groups that felt strongest were likely voters who attended religious services more than once a week (83% at least somewhat agree/10% at least somewhat disagree), married voters (76% at least somewhat agree/19% at least somewhat disagree), NASCAR fans (77% at least somewhat agree/17% at least somewhat disagree), social networkers (80% at least somewhat agree/17% at least somewhat disagree), voters sympathetic to alt-right politics (81% at least somewhat agree/18% at least somewhat disagree), urban parents (79% at least somewhat agree/17% at least somewhat disagree), and weekly Amazon shoppers (80% at least somewhat agree/16% at least somewhat disagree).

A lot of the political divide in America is driven by the non-stop/24 hrs. news cycle and vitriol coming out of Washington, D.C. The impending impeachment of President Trump by House Democrats has the country on edge.

Attitudes are split on whether a Democratic President can help the economy

  • Likely voters are split on whether a newly elected Democratic president will help or hurt the American economy while a fifth of likely voters are not sure. There were some variances in the data when it came to sub-groups. Important swing voters, such as, weekly Walmart shoppers and NASCAR fans were also split too.

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Younger voters, in particular, aged 18-29 (47% help/25% hurt), 18-24 (54% help/19% hurt), Generation Z-born 1996-2010-(61% help/18% hurt), African Americans (68% help/16% hurt), large city voters (57% help/31% hurt), union voters (56% help/26% hurt), weekly Amazon shoppers (51% help/36% hurt), and urban parents (50% help/34% hurt) felt a Democratic president would be more helpful for the American economy.

Overall, there is still room for Democratic candidates to plead their case that they can do more for the economy than Trump, but that time is fading and they need to shift their message to important swing voters such as women, small city voters, and suburban voters, all of which are split on the issue of a newly elected Democratic president helping or hurting the economy.

Republicans (18% help/71% hurt), voters aged 65+ (30% help/55% hurt) voters whose household income is $100-$150k (37% help/45% hurt), Independents (27% help/37% hurt), married voters (39% help/48% hurt) and suburban men (39% help/47% hurt) all felt Democratic president would hurt the economy.

More voters think if a Democrat is elected president their financial outlook will be better

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Again voters are deadlocked as to whether a Democrat elected president in 2020 will be better or worse for their personal finances.

The demographic groups surveyed fell into line based on their political leanings: younger voters such as Millennials-born 1980-1995-(47% better/27% worse) and Generation Z voters-born 1996-2010-(59% better/18% worse) were much more likely to say that a newly elected Democrat would be better for their personal finances as did Hispanic (55% better/22% worse) and African American voters (53% better/12% worse).

The oldest voters-Silent Generation-born pre 1946-(18% better/56% worse), voters aged 65+ (21% better/54% worse) and 70+ (18% better/58% worse) felt the exact opposite. They were much more prone to think a Democratic president would be worse for their personal finances. More Independents (23% better/40% worse) thought a Democratic president would be worse for their personal finances while suburban women (30% better/30% worse/40% the same) were split on the topic.

Likely voters are more likely to support their representative if he/she favors impeaching Trump

  • Nearly as many voters say that they are more as less likely to vote for their Congressman/Congresswoman if they favor impeaching President Trump. Almost a quarter of likely voters responded it would make no difference in their decision to vote for their representative.

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Generation Z-born 1996-2010 (40% more likely/22% less likely/27% no difference) and Millennials-born 1980-1995 (42% more likely/25% less likely/23% no difference)-were much more likely to vote for their Congressman/Congresswoman if they favored impeaching the president.

What's interesting about this question and the results among the important sub-groups, is that some are leaning one way regarding the importance of impeachment and others the other when deciding whether to vote for their Congressional representative. Based on the results it's hard to say if impeachment is going to be a big deal or not in voters' minds, but at the moment it doesn't appear to be working well for Democrats when it comes to how swing voters are going to vote in 2020. For instance, Independents (21% more likely/33% less likely/30% no difference) are less likely to vote for their representative, but suburban women (28% more likely/25% less likely/32% no difference) are slightly more likely to vote for their representative if that person favors impeaching Trump.

Among all the suburban voters surveyed (29% more likely/32% less likely/29% no difference), slightly more were less likely to vote for their representative if they favored impeachment. When it came to consumers, weekly Walmart shoppers (37% more likely/35% less likely/21% no difference) were split, while NASCAR fans (39% more likely/37% less likely/18% no difference) and weekly Amazon shoppers (50% more likely/31% less likely/14% no difference) were much more likely to support their Congressman/Congresswomen if they favored impeaching President Trump.

Nationwide Poll Conclusion and takeaways

  • Right now the country and Washington D.C. are gripped by the impending impeachment of President Trump. Most voters have dug in their heels, but whether they support impeachment or not, most voters feel the Democrats (even Democrats agree!) are more concerned with impeachment than doing the work of the people. This is frustrating for people and leading to a real divide which is unhealthy for the country.

  • It's no wonder most people feel the U.S. is in the midst of a semi-violent civil war between Democrats and Republicans. Majorities of every sub-group surveyed agreed with the idea. With things being so divided could an establishment moderate like Joe Biden bring the country together and heal the political divide?

  • Although the President is leading his rivals in still too close to call races with the top three Democratic candidates, and riding high with very good job approval numbers in recent Zogby Analytics polls, voters were still split on whether a Democratic president would help or hurt the U.S. economy and make their personal financial outlook better or worse. This is an opening for Democrats and one which could be impacted by a recession, which would hurt Trump's chances at re-election.

  • Another possible advantage for Democrats in 2020 is slightly more voters are likely to support their Congressman/Congresswoman if they favor impeachment. On the flipside, a combined majority of voters said they were less likely to support their representative and that it makes no difference in their decision. Right now impeachment is looking like a crap shoot for Democrats. Maybe it helps their election chances in 2020, maybe it doesn't.

Zogby Analytics Methodology

Nationwide Poll of Likely Voters
12/5/19 - 12/8/19

Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 865 likely voters in the United States. The political party breakdown for this poll is as follows: 36% Democrat, 36% Republican and 28% Independent/unaffiliated. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for the poll of 865 likely voters is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited and screened as likely voters to be eligible to participate in this interactive poll. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that each respondent can only access the survey one time.

Nationwide Poll of Likely Democratic Primary Voters
12/5/19 - 12/8/19

Zogby Analytics conducted an online poll of 443 likely Democratic Primary voters in the United States. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for the poll of 443 is +/- 4.7 percentage points.

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited and screened to be likely Democratic Primary voters to be eligible to participate in this interactive poll. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Poll Weighting

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion.

About Zogby Analytics

Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.

The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.