Democratic voters are not enthusiastic about backing former Vice President Joe Biden to take on President Trump this November in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.
Less than 1-in-4 people (24 percent) answered that they are highly enthusiastic about supporting him, a figure that is “the lowest on record for a Democratic presidential campaign” over the past 20 years.
SAD: New ABC/WaPo poll finds just 24% of Joe Biden supporters are strongly enthusiastic about voting him, "the lowest on record for a Democratic presidential campaign."
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) March 29, 2020
New ABC/WaPo poll:
• “strong enthusiasm for Biden among his supporters — at just 24% — is the lowest on record for a Dem prez candidate in 20 yrs”
• 15% of Bernie supporters back Trump over Biden
• Biden’s lead over Trump narrowed from 52-45 to 49-47https://t.co/qVGoFc1Azm
— Holly Otterbein (@hollyotterbein) March 29, 2020
Support for President Trump stands at 53 percent, more than doubling Biden’s meager 24 percent.
ABC News reports voters holding their nose at the idea of voting for Biden is comparable to those same voters backing Hillary Clinton in 2016:
Perhaps the Democrats’ biggest risk is under the surface, in Trump’s big advantage in backers who are “very” enthusiastic about supporting him. Strong enthusiasm for a candidate can help boost turnout on Election Day, a must-have particularly for Democrats, who rely more on motivating less-frequent voters to come to the polls.
While trailing Trump by 29 points in high-level enthusiasm, Biden makes up some of the difference with those who are “somewhat” enthusiastic. But he still trails Trump by 12 points in the combined measure, 74 vs. 86%.
There’s déjà vu in these results: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton found herself in largely the same position four years ago. She, too, had a slim lead among Democrats for the nomination and ran essentially evenly with Trump among registered voters. And she lagged in enthusiasm, with a low of 32% very enthusiastic in September 2016. Biden is 8 points under that mark now.
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that the American people trust President Trump to handle the economy and the coronavirus outbreak over Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/wHc9ptnwlY
— Francis Brennan (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@FrancisBrennan) March 29, 2020
According to the report, Biden faces another similar challenge to Clinton: Bernie Sanders.
Sanders is still in the running for the presidency, despite significantly trailing Biden. And, perhaps more importantly, his voters will be up for grabs should he drop from the race.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 15 percent of Sanders’ current supporters would choose Trump over Biden in a prospective match-up.
The clearing of the Democratic field hasn’t led to much change in the profiles of Biden and Sanders supporters, but there’s a magnitude shift for Biden. Seniors and black voters have been good for him in the past, but with significant shares interested in other candidates. They’ve coalesced: Eighty-three percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning seniors prefer Biden over Sanders, up 63 points from February; two-thirds of blacks say the same, a 34-point increase.
Eighty percent of Sanders backers say they’ll vote for Biden against Trump; as noted, 15% say they’d back Trump. (This is familiar: Twenty percent of Sanders supporters said they’d vote for Trump in spring 2016.) For context, 15% of Sanders supporters is 6% of all leaned Democrats, and Trump won 8% of Democrats in 2016. Still, Biden wants all the in-party support he can muster.
Further, among Sanders supporters who say they’d vote for Biden in November, a mere 9% are very enthusiastic about doing so. More, but still only 49%, are “somewhat” enthusiastic.