Poll: Battleground-State Dems Prefer Moderates
November 11, 2019 | by James G. Dalton
Most Democrats in several key states for the presidential election would prefer a moderate candidate who would “promise to find common ground with Republicans,” according to a new poll from The New York Times/Siena College.
The poll surveyed Democratic primary voters in six states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Arizona and Florida. Most voters wanted a moderate candidate over a more liberal one, and wanted a candidate who would work with the GOP rather than one who would “fight for a bold progressive agenda.”
Voters were asked, “would you prefer a candidate who would…”
- Promise to find common ground with Republicans: 62 percent.
- Promise to fight for a bold progressive agenda: 33 percent.
- Be more moderate than most Democrats: 55 percent.
- Be more liberal than most Democrats: 39 percent.
- Promise to bring politics in Washington back to normal: 49 percent.
- Promise to bring fundamental, systematic change to American society: 45 percent.
The poll also showed three clear front-runners in those states: former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who were the only Democratic candidates with double-digit support in any state.
Voters that want a moderate and a return to normalcy in D.C. prefer Biden, but voters looking for a progressive candidate, one that will fight for progressive issues and bring systemic change to society are split between Warren and Sanders.
The Times notes that “The divisions go beyond ideology and ambition: Older, nonwhite Democrats and those without college degrees strongly favor Mr. Biden. But younger Democrats of all races prefer Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, while those with college degrees overwhelmingly prefer Ms. Warren.”
The poll surveyed 1,568 Democratic primary voters in six states from Oct. 13 to Oct. 26, 2019, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.