A new poll finds that a trio of 2020 presidential candidates stand out — and not in a good way.
The survey, conducted by Data for Progress, offers a glimpse at the Democrats who are truly polarizing the party, by measuring which candidates voters are “Not Considering.” Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard top the list of candidates Democratic voters have ruled out as they weigh their decision in the party’s primaries and caucuses.
Sanders, the independent Democratic Socialist, is the candidate with the highest NOPE factor. A full 28% of Democrats surveyed say they won’t vote for Bernie. Sanders at least scores well in the poll’s other dimension: 36% of party voters say they’re considering casting a ballot or caucusing for him. The same cannot be said of the other NOPE leaders.
Hizzoner de Blasio has not officially declared his candidacy, but the mayor, unpopular in his home city, is also a nonstarter for a full quarter of the Democratic electorate. Only 3% of those surveyed are considering voting for him. Gabbard’s NOPE numbers are nearly as bad. The Hawaiian representative’s curious mix of “pot friendly progressive pacifist” and “Assad-chummy RT favorite” sits uneasily with party voters, 24% of whom have ruled her out. Only 5% say they’re possibly going to back her.
to try and deal with how early it is and how crowded the field is, @DataProgress asked people to indicate who they're considering supporting and who they've ruled out. asked this way, things look better for Warren and somehow even worse for de Blasio https://t.co/0rUXZYVs2I pic.twitter.com/AxMdgVY3It
— Jon Green (@_Jon_Green) May 9, 2019
The poll also offers a sense of which candidates have the most running room. Former Vice President Joe Biden scores the highest favorable marks, with nearly half the party considering voting for him and just 20% saying the opposite. The candidate who should be most encouraged by this poll is Elizabeth Warren. Forty percent of Democrats say they could get behind the Massachusetts senator, with only 13% saying NOPE.
Among the field of two dozen candidates, the Data for Progress survey reveals that there are only seven candidates with a pool of potential backers larger than the percentage of voters who have ruled them out. Joining Biden, Warren and Sanders above water on this front are South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (30% considering/13% not), California Senator Kamala Harris (30/14), former teen hacktivist Beto O’Rourke (27/18) and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (20/15).
In a memo accompanying the poll, Data for Progress leaders write that the results are “curious” in that “popularity is a bigger problem than just name recognition.” Among the bottom tier of candidates they find that “many candidates with lower vote shares also have higher shares of voters reporting they are not considering that candidate at all.”
Mike Gravel, the nonagenarian former senator from Alaska who is partnering with teen activists in a viral campaign built around shitposting the party’s other candidates on Twitter, is especially unpopular. “In addition to being considered by just 1% of Democratic primary voters,” the pollsters write, “Mike Gravel is actively not being considered by 20% of Democratic primary voters.”
(For those comfortable crunching numbers, Data for Progress has released the survey’s full dataset here.)