News: Quick Takes

Elon Poll shows Democratic candidates have an edge over President Trump

A Democratic candidate would be in good shape to win the 2020 presidential election, if it were held today. A March 14 Elon University poll shows North Carolina voters are more inclined to vote for a Democratic candidate than re-elect President Donald Trump.

The poll surveyed 914 North Carolina registered voters either on the phone, by email, or through an online opt-in survey sample marketplace. Voters were polled from Feb. 20 to March 7. The survey has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

If the 2020 presidential campaign were today, 48 percent of respondents would vote for the Democratic candidate, and 36.4 percent would vote for Trump. Six percent would vote for someone else.

Courtesy Elon University Poll

Registered Republicans continue to be Trump’s core source of support in the state, with 77 percent of Republican voters saying they would vote for the president if the 2020 presidential election were held today. Registered Democratic Party members and unaffiliated voters largely prefer a Democratic candidate over Trump.

Elon University asked voters about their impressions of the 12 people who have announced or are expected to announce their candidacy as Democratic candidates or Independents. Leading the pack of the increasingly growing candidate field is former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

About 55 percent of voters favor Biden, compared to 30 percent who negatively view the former vice president. Sanders enjoys a 44 percent favorability; 40.5 percent dislike the candidate.

The favorability of the other candidates were:

  • Elizabeth Warren: 29.6 percent favorable
  • Kamala Harris: 26.6 percent favorable
  • Cory Booker: 24 percent favorable
  • Michael Bloomberg: 22.8 percent favorable
  • Beto O’Rourke: 19.2 percent favorable
  • Kirsten Gillibrand: 14.3 percent favorable
  • Amy Klobuchar: 13.6 percent favorable
  • Julian Castro: 13.3 percent favorable
  • Howard Schultz: 9.4 percent favorable
  • Tulsi Gabbard: 5.6 percent favorable

“North Carolina’s Democratic Primary is still almost one year away, but, as of today, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have major advantages in both recognition and favorability over the rest of the increasingly crowded field,” Jason Husser, the director of the Elon Poll said in a news release. “Biden’s numbers are better, by far, than any other candidate in our poll.”

The poll numbers aren’t set in stone. Husser said he expects the gaps will narrow as voters get more familiar with the various candidates.