Mayor Pete Buttigieg gained seven points of support among Democrats while Sen. Bernie Sanders has dropped 5 points in the latest Monmouth University Poll.
According to the Monmouth University Poll:
Among a field of 24 announced and potential contenders, Biden currently has the support of 27% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters, which is similar to his 28% support in March and 29% in January. Support for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is currently at 20%, which is down slightly from 25% in March, but still higher than his 16% support in January.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg currently has 8% support. He registered less than 1% in prior Monmouth polls. California Sen. Kamala Harris has 8% support, off just slightly from 10% in March and 11% in January. Rounding out the field of top contenders are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 6% (from 8% in both March and January) and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke at 4% (6% in March and 7% in January).
Others who score at least 1% include New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (2%, from 5% in March and 4% in January), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (2%, from 1% in prior polls), Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (1%, from 3% in March and 2% in January), and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (1%, from 1% in March).
Buttigieg is the big mover in the Democratic field, and he has reached the upper tier of candidates. Buttigieg’s appeal is showing no sign of slowing down, but he hasn’t cracked double digits yet. Going from 1% support to 8%, and in the process passing governors and senators is an impressive accomplishment.
Bernie Sanders Isn’t Catching Fire In 2020
The campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is performing way below his 2016 Democratic primary levels. At the end of the primary, Sanders was polling in the mid to upper 40s against Hillary Clinton. Sanders is performing more as he did in the summer of 2015, but even in comparison with those numbers, he is slightly down.
Sanders benefitted in 2016 from being the only Clinton alternative. In 2020, he is in a crowded field full of fresh faces and chasing someone who might end up being a stronger frontrunner in Clinton in Joe Biden. In 2016, the Sanders campaign didn’t need to worry about someone catching him from behind, they could focus on the chase at the top.
Having the support of 20% of voters in such crowded field is good, but it also seems to be around the ceiling of support for Sanders.
The dynamics are different in 2020, and so far, they aren’t favoring Bernie Sanders.
Joe Biden is waiting in the wings
Joe Biden is probably going to get a small bounce in support when he announces, but the field isn’t likely to change much before the first presidential debate in late June, and the real thinning of the herd will come in Iowa in January. For Vice President Biden will be the clear frontrunner, but so far, in the early stages of this contest, Pete Buttigieg is the breakout star.
For more discussion about this story join our Rachel Maddow and MSNBC group.
Follow Jason Easley on Facebook