“It’s Elizabeth Warren’s nomination to lose…”, Matt Drudge tweeted on Wednesday.
Drudge rarely tweets, and when he does, he eventually deletes them.
The “hers to lose” message was accompanied by a picture of Warren’s Washington Square Park rally. There were 20,000 people at the event.
Fast forward a few days and ‘Liz has overtaken Joe Biden in Iowa.
That’s according to the latest Des Moines Register/CNN poll released Saturday evening.
Warren now holds a 2-percentage point lead over Biden at 22% to the former vice president’s 20% among likely Democratic caucusgoers. This is the first time she’s led in the Register poll. In December, she was at just 8%. That rose to 9% in March after she formally announced.
Bernie Sanders has fallen to 11%. No other candidate polled in double-digits. (Pete Buttigieg, 9%; Kamala Harris, 6%; Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker 3%; Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang and Beto O’Rourke, 2%).
“This is the first major shakeup”, J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., which conducted the poll, said. “It’s the first time we’ve had someone other than Joe Biden at the top of the leader board”.
The Register has more color. To wit:
Today, the universe of people who say they are considering Warren in some way — 71% of likely Democratic caucusgoers — is larger than it is for any other candidate.
That includes 22% who say she is their first choice for president, 20% who say she is their second choice and another 29% who say they are actively considering her.
For reference, just 60% say they are considering Biden in some way, which isn’t all that much different from Buttigieg’s 55% and Harris’s 55%. What’s interesting is that Bernie polls just 50% on that score. Clearly, that indicates some voters are inclined to rule out his agenda altogether likely because it’s seen as extreme.
Given the similarities with Sanders’s proposals, it’s notable that nearly three-quarters of likely Democratic caucusgoers are considering Warren in some way. In June, that number was just 61%.
“That appears to be a powerful leap forward and suggests that she can improve further, because she’s got these people actively considering her and thinking of her as a second choice”, the above-mentioned Selzer said. “She’s got a huge number there. Those people can be converted”.
Warren’s favorability is also the highest in the field at 75%. Biden is at 66%.
Of course, it’s far from over and Biden does have one thing going for him. Of those who say he’s their first choice, 26% say they’ve made up their mind. That figure is just 12% for Warren.
For now, though, it looks like Warren’s message about actually having a plan for everything is resonating, alongside her left-wing populist appeal, which helps her court voters who might be sympathetic to Bernie’s agenda, but aren’t willing to go “full-Sanders”, as it were.
For Harris and Buttigieg, we’ll likely never know what their “real” poll numbers are. Biden is hoarding the centrist vote and somehow, voters can’t seem to come to terms with the objective reality that no matter how much Democrats might want to believe that Joe is up for this, he clearly is not. His last debate performance was better, but “better” is a relative term. Trump will steamroll him, assuming, of course, that the president isn’t impeached or committed by the time somebody locks up the Democratic nomination.
Still, that Harris has failed to parlay her breakout first debate performance into sustainably strong poll numbers is disappointing, to say the least.
And speaking of disappointing, it just didn’t work out for Beto. While it’s easy to make a list of reasons why he’s not polling strongly, nobody (least of all him) seems to be able to explain why he’s barely polling at all.