DemDaily: Presidential Pause and Polls

March 31, 2020

While the presidential election appears publicly to be on hold, national polls continue to monitor the mood of the electorate amidst the daily escalation of the coronavirus pandemic and the roller coaster of related politics.

An ABCNews/Washington Post survey released last week showed former Vice President and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by just two points, setting off alarms that Trump may be gaining ground while the country pauses politics as usual.

However, the poll, conducted March 22-25 among registered voters (margin of error: 3.5%), is a departure from other recent surveys that place the two rivals further apart in a hypothetical general election matchup.

RealClearPolitics average of six national polls, conducted March 11-26, 2020 of registered voters, shows Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by an average of 6.5%.

Among the six surveys is a Fox News poll, conducted March 21-24 (MOE: +/-3%) that showed Biden leading Trump by nine points, and the President's disapproval rating at 51%.

The release of the poll results by the conservative media outlet, consistently a vehicle for promoting the President, brought ire from the temperamental tweeter. "Whoever their Pollster is, they suck," Trump posted.

Significantly, in the ABCNews/Washington Post poll, while 86% of Trump supporters were "enthusiastic" about voting for him in November in comparison to 74% of those supporting Biden, 55% of Trump supporters said they were "very enthusiastic" about backing the president, compared to just 28% of Biden's supporters.

Democratic pollster Brad Bannon calls the enthusiasm gap "Troubling," adding, "Everything the President has done since his inauguration was designed to fire up the Republican base and the effort has paid off -- for now."

Bannon believes "Trump is riding an artificial sugar high because Americans rally behind the president in times of crisis. Support and enthusiasm for the President will wear thin if the Coronavirus crisis continues... and the casualties continue to mount."

While the pandemic has halted all in-person campaigning, Biden has struggled to remain relevant online while competing with Trump's daily press briefings alongside national health experts that are directing the response.

According to a RealClearPolitics average of six national polls conducted between March 18-March 30, 2020 of Democratic primary voters, former Vice President Joe Biden is leading Bernie Sanders 56.3% to 35.3%.

Pause on the Primary
Biden has not yet secured the Democratic presidential nomination, but commands an almost insurmountable lead in the delegate race with 1,217 to Bernie Sanders' 914 delegates.

(Reuters/Leah Millis/CNN)

Sanders was expected to suspend his campaign after Biden's sweep in the March 17th primaries, pausing donations and advertising. The simultaneous surge of the pandemic in the US, however, appears to have altered not only the course of the country but of Sanders' campaign.

The Vermont Senator has vowed to stay in the race, utilizing an extensive social media network to promote his message on COVID-19 and his Medicare For All plan.

Democratic primaries or caucuses have already been held in 30 states, putting Biden over halfway to the nomination, but now fourteen states have postponed or extended their primaries due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While national polls continue to track the numbers, surveys of battleground states have all but ceased, with no current polling in Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or other battleground states since the coronavirus pandemic has become a reality for most Americans in the last two weeks.

To keep you informed, DemList has posted the 2020 Presidential Primary Calendar on our site with 
daily primary updates. We urge state parties to contact us with new developments.

DemList will keep you informed.

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Kimberly Scott
Publisher

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