A fresh national poll from Monmouth University is a real doozie for the Biden campaign, which has been engaged in a fair amount of circular reasoning about his frontrunner status. He's the frontrunner because he's consistently leading in the polls, further solidifying his frontrunner status, etc. As I've warned previously, however, what happens when your electability argument starts to falter? A recent New York Times piece discussed how Biden's support is far from enthusiastic, leading to concerns that he may have a glass jaw. But have those concerns been overstated, given his consistent, solid polling lead? Why panic when his struggles haven't really dented him, after all. Welp:
??NEW: Monmouth poll shows Sanders AND Warren (20%) overtaking Biden (19%) among Democratic voters nationally.— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 26, 2019
In early primary states, Biden & Warren are tied at 20%, followed by Sanders at 16%. Biden's support among moderate/conservative Dems has been cut in half since June.
We'll see if this poll turns out to be an aberrant outlier, but according to these numbers, Biden has been matched -- and even slightly surpassed -- by both far-left contenders in the top tier. Most interesting is the finding that although the former Vice President has seen his support among self-identified liberal voters wane, which isn't all that surprising, his bigger problem has been hemorrhaging support from moderate and conservative primary voters:
Biden lost support over the past two months among Democrats who call themselves moderate or conservative (from 40% to 22%) with the shift among these voters accruing to both Sanders (from 10% to 20%) and Warren (from 6% to 16%). Biden also lost support among liberals (from 24% to 15%), but this group’s backing has scattered to a variety of other candidates.
Perhaps Biden's gaffe-prone shakiness has taken a more serious toll than was previously understood. And considering that these self-identified "moderates" and "conservatives" have largely flocked to hardcore leftists Bernie and Liz, perhaps those voters are, in fact, neither moderate nor conservative. As I mentioned in the tweet above, Biden and Warren are exactly tied in the early states, which Monmouth defines as states that hold their primaries or caucuses on or before Super Tuesday (March 3rd, 2020). Among the later states, Biden slips deeper into third place (17 percent), with Bernie Sanders drawing the most support (23 percent); this suggests that Sanders has every incentive to stick around for the long haul. And it may be a long haul. As for policy, there's some dissonance on healthcare among Democratic partisans. Fully 81 percent say it's at least somewhat important that the party nominates someone who supports 'Medicare for All,' with a clear majority -- 58 percent -- calling it "very important." But then there's this:
In the new Monmouth poll, >80% of Democrats say it's somewhat or very important that the party's nominee supports 'Medicare for All'...but only a fraction of these voters actually favor full-blown single-payer, under which private coverage is effectively abolished. pic.twitter.com/gqizG0yTGX— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 26, 2019
Asked a follow-up, among those who chose the "public option," a plurality said maintaining private coverage should always remain an option. Again, this is a poll of Democrats. Still, the survey shows that most Democrats favor an immediate or eventual shift to full-on single-payer, government-run healthcare -- an outcome that both Sanders' bill and Biden's plan would ultimately deliver. I'll leave you with this boulder of salt: It's only one poll, with a very small sample size. Anyway, I'm sure this'll help:
Biden: "I just spoke at Dartmouth on health care, at the medical school — or not — I guess it wasn’t actually on the campus because people from the medical school were — I want to be clear, I’m not going nuts. I’m not sure whether it’s a medical school or where the hell I spoke.” pic.twitter.com/k5VWObFXSm— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) August 26, 2019
UPDATE - On the other hand:
New Morning Consult national Dem poll:— Steve Kornacki (@SteveKornacki) August 27, 2019