What did the Iowa caucuses tell us about a democratic frontrunner? Nothing. What did the New Hampshire tell us? Not much. Thankfully the Associated Press lays it all out for us. “Conducted for the Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago, AP VoteCast is a wide-ranging survey of more than 3,000 Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire.”
In essence, the polling is a clear indication that Democrats are having one heck of a time choosing who to rally behind. Although Michael Bloomberg was not on the ballot in New Hampshire, Sanders won by a hair because “moderate voters, who made up a majority in New Hampshire, splintered their votes, allowing a young and more liberal coalition to carry Sanders.” To put it bluntly, Sanders is not the party’s favorite candidate.
Just who is the favored candidate? According to the report, “the Democratic nomination and the outcome of the 2020 election will ultimately depend on how a disparate group of voters find a way to come together.” Additionally, New Hampshire voters who generally “fit the profile of Biden’s supporters in Iowa” ended up going for “Klobuchar and, to a lesser extent, Buttigieg” instead of Biden.
Although Klobuchar and Buttigieg had beefed up showings in New Hampshire, just how committed are their supporters? VoteCast says “a stunning 56% of her supporters said they made up their minds in the days before Tuesday’s primary.” Some more underwhelming news for Klobuchar is that 80% of her voters “said they would also be comfortable if Buttigieg became the nominee, and 41% identified him as their second choice.” Ouch.
What did the Iowa caucuses tell us about a democratic frontrunner? Nothing.
As for Buttigieg’s following, AP reports “the Midwesterner enjoys broad support, just not among liberals” as roughly 8 in 10 of his supporters “self-identified as moderate or conservative.” Similar to the Klobuchar findings, 72% of Buttigieg voters said they “would be satisfied” with Klobuchar as the nominee. However, only 29% said Klobuchar was their second choice. Looks like a coin toss would suffice for these voters.
Sanders’ base is the most loyal, but their makeup is not conducive to a national win. “Four in 10 of Sanders’ voters said they knew all along that they would back him, evidence of his strong core of support.” Overall, Sanders carries the “disproportionately young and very liberal” voters. In addition to a majority of his supporters not holding a college degree, Sanders is the “top choice of nonwhite voters and LGBT voters – cohorts that each made up a fairly small share of the electorate.” Who would socialist Sanders supporters turn to if he doesn’t get the nomination? AP VoteCast reports “majorities said they would find Warren or Buttigieg acceptable.”