Poll: Booker maintains low support, but slightly up, among Dem voters nationwide

By Emily Bader
United States | Jun 19, 2019 at 1:35 pm

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is maintaining minimal support among Democratic voters nationwide, but is up a percentage point from May, according to the latest Monmouth University Poll.

Coming in as the front runner is former Vice President Joe Biden with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders now virtually tied for second place.

The poll found that Biden is considered the most-electable candidate against President Donald Trump — among both his own supporters and those who are currently backing other candidates.

Among a field of 24 contenders, Biden has 32% support from Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, compared to 33% last month. Warren’s support has moved up five points to 15% from 10% in May. Sanders is holding steady at 14%, which is similar to his 15% support last month.

Other candidates in the poll include California Sen. Kamala Harris (8%, down from 11% in May), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (5% current, 6% May), former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (3% current, 4% May), Booker (2% current, 1% May), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (2% current, 1% May). Candidates receiving 1% of support include Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (down from 3% in May), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and author Marianne Williamson.  The remaining 11 candidates in the poll receive less than 1% or were not selected by any respondents.

“Biden maintains his lead but there is plenty percolating in the tier right below him. Next week will provide the first opportunity for voters to see these candidates side by side.  Well, at least they’ll see some of them side by side,” Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute, said.

The poll asked respondents about the perceived “electability” of 11 candidates and found Biden is considered the top nominee with the best chance of beating Trump in 2020. When asked to rate Biden on a scale from 0 (would definitely lose to Trump) to 10 (would definitely beat Trump), 59% of voters gave him an 8, 9 or 10. Just 9% scored him less than 5. Sanders and Warren are somewhat less electable, the poll found, but similar to eachother. Sanders has an average score of 6.5 among 93% of Democratic voters and Warren averages a 6.4 from 84% of voters. Harris averages a 6 from 83%, Buttigieg averages 5.6 from 75%, O’Rourke averages 5.3 from 78% and Booker averages 5.3 from 78%.

“Democratic voters have told us that electability matters in 2020. The perception that Biden is the party’s best shot against Trump separates him from the rest of the pack in the minds of his own supporters. Other Democratic voters also tend to see Biden as a highly electable nominee. This could play to his advantage as the field gets winnowed, but only if he can maintain this aura as the primary campaign really gets underway,” Murray said.

“Electability is in the eye of the supporter. At this early stage of the race, voters have not had a chance to make direct comparisons among the candidates, which makes it is easier to project a sense of electability on almost anyone in the field. All this could change after next week’s debates,” he said.

The poll was conducted from June 12 to 17 with 751 adults in the United States. Results are based on 306 registered voters who identify as Democrats or leaning, which has a +/- 5.6 percentage point margin of error.

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | emilybader