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Biden, Warren Top New Polls – California Here We Come – Big, Bold, Expensive?



Your Daily Polling Update for Wednesday, September 18


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on five polls, ranging from 43% (Politico) to 51% (Rasmussen). Without these extremes, it would be 45%. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 52% today (-1 from yesterday), which is 6 points higher than his approval rating.


Among Democratic voters nationwide

% = WSJ-NBC/The Economist = Average
Joe Biden: 31%/26% = 28.5
Elizabeth Warren: 25%/21% = 23
Bernie Sanders: 14%/14% = 14
Pete Buttigieg: 7%/9% = 8
Kamala Harris: 5%/6% = 5.5
Andrew Yang: 4%/3% = 3.5
Beto O’Rourke: 1%/3% = 2
Cory Booker: 2%/2% = 2
Tulsi Gabbard: 1%/2% =1.5
Amy Klobuchar: 2%/1% = 1.5
Candidates with 1% or less not listed

RON’S COMMENT: These two polls, both conducted after the most recent debate, show the nomination race becoming a fight between Biden and Warren. Based on this average, Sanders is third and Buttigieg is back in fourth place, a designation he had lost to Harris earlier in the summer…. In the WSJ/NBC poll, Warren leads second choice support with 21% (which indicates depth), followed by Sanders at 16%, Buttigieg at 12% and Biden at 11%. This poll also finds that 35% of Democrats are enthusiastic about Warren’s candidacy, 25% are enthusiastic about Sanders’ candidacy and 23% are enthusiastic about Biden’s candidacy. Enthusiasm for Warren jumped 15 points since March, while enthusiasm for Biden dropped 10 points…. Despite O’Rourke’s “hell yes” moment on gun control at the last debate, he’s slipped from 2% to 1% in the WSJ/NBC poll and lingers in sixth place in The Economist’s survey…. Debate performances by Booker and Klobuchar, though widely praised by pundits, have so far failed to give either much of a boost.


Among Democratic primary voters statewide

Joe Biden: 26%
Bernie Sanders: 26%
Elizabeth Warren: 20%
Andrew Yang: 7%
Kamala Harris: 6%
Beto O’Rourke: 5%
Pete Buttigieg: 4%
Tulsi Gabbard: 2%
Candidates with 1% or less not listed

RON’S COMMENT: This poll is a crushing blow to Harris’ candidacy in her home state––she’s running behind Yang and barely above O’Rourke. This gigantic state will offer the nation’s biggest prize of 416 delegates––and it comes March 3, right after Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in February. The winner could get a tremendous momentum and delegate boost. At this point, California appears to be a three-way race between Biden, Sanders and Warren.


Among Democratic primary voters nationwide

[ASKED OF DEMOCRATS ONLY] In thinking about how the eventual Democratic nominee for president in 2020 approaches issues like health care, climate change, college affordability, and economic opportunity, which of the following comes closer to describing the candidate you prefer?

  • Someone who proposes larger scale policies that cost more and might be harder to pass into law, but could bring major change on these issues: 56%
  • Someone who proposes smaller scale policies that cost less and might be easier to pass into law, but will bring less change on these issues: 40%

RON’S COMMENT: Democrats favor bigger, bolder, expensive programs over smaller scale ones. That helps Warren and Sanders.


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
NATIONAL: DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION: The Economist/YouGov, Sept. 14-17
CALIFORNIA: Emerson, Sept. 13-16

Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux. For interviews or speeches about polling and political trends, contact Dr. Faucheux at

The publisher of this report cannot attest to the reliability or methodology of surveys that it does not conduct.

Copyright 2019 Ronald A. Faucheux


Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.