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Last Night’s Debate – Health Care – Trump Rated by Issue – Wisconsin

Your Daily Polling Update for Thursday, November 21


Down 1 from yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls. The range is 41% (Politico, Reuters) to 46% (Rasmussen). The fourth poll had it at 44%…. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 55% today (+2 from yesterday), which is 12 points higher than his approval.

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By Ron Faucheux

One more Democratic debate and this one had no big winners or losers.

Joe Biden, as always, had good and bad moments. He stepped on a few good lines, but handled most of the debate well. He made solid points about experience, foreign policy and his ability to help down ballot Democrats win next year. However, his gaffe near the end––and it was a classic, textbook gaffe––when he referred to Carol Moseley Braun as the only black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate (with Kamala Harris standing on the same stage) was an embarrassment that he had to quickly correct. What a way to spend your 77th birthday.

Pete Buttigieg was excellent. His ability to take fire was impressive and his intellectual depth once again showed through. He’s also skillfully positioned himself for both the nomination and the general election. He continues to be the one to watch.

Elizabeth Warren had a small footprint last night. Her presence was less noticeable and what she said seemed more of the same. Her newly unveiled Medicare-for-All revision may have saved her from taking another pounding on the plan’s math. Her closing statement, focusing on an anti-corruption message, was strong.

Bernie Sanders gave a typical Bernie performance––strong, clear and consistent.

Amy Klobuchar continues to deliver smart, skillful performances. But her presidential candidate appeal is limited.

Cory Booker, as always, was appealing. But, as always, his debate performance is not likely to give his campaign the boost it needs. His offbeat comment that Biden may have been “high” when he spoke of pot as a “gateway” drug was inapt and a bit flaky.

Tulsi Gabbard, usually an effective presenter, got herself into too many personal fights and lost ground. However, her discussion of national security policies did help elevate the importance of these often ignored issues.

Tom Steyer made a strong plea to put climate change at the top of the nation’s agenda. But, Biden immediately undermined Steyer’s credibility when he went after the billionaire’s coal company investments. Steyer also tried to make term-limits a topic, and no other candidate bit.

Kamala Harris hung in and had some good lines, but she failed to rescue her flagging campaign.

A word of advice for candidates with jobs in Congress: Quit talking about the nation’s problems in terms of legislation, bills and amendments. If you introduced a bill and it went nowhere, most voters won’t think that’s such an accomplishment. If you passed a bill to solve a problem and the problem still exists, voters won’t think that’s much of an accomplishment, either.


Among Democratic caucusgoers statewide

Pete Buttigieg: 26%
Elizabeth Warren: 19%
Bernie Sanders: 18%
Joe Biden: 12%
Amy Klobuchar: 5%
Andrew Yang: 4%
Cory Booker: 3%
Kamala Harris: 2%
Tom Steyer: 2%
Tulsi Gabbard: 2%
Candidates with 1% or less not listed

RON’S COMMENT: Another poll showing Buttigieg leading in Iowa. This one has Biden’s support dwindling to 12%, in fourth place. In the four most recent polls, Buttigieg averages 25%, Warren averages 18%, Sanders and Biden each average 17%…. Note: This poll was conducted before last night’s debate.


Among voters statewide

Among all general election voters
Cory Booker (D) over Donald Trump (R): +1 (45-44)
Donald Trump (R) over Joe Biden (D): +3 (47-44)
Donald Trump (R) over Bernie Sanders (I/D): +3 (48-45)
Donald Trump (R) over Elizabeth Warren (D): +5 (48-43)
Donald Trump (R) over Pete Buttigieg (D): +8 (47-39)
Donald Trump (R) over Amy Klobuchar (D): +14 (50-36)

RON’S COMMENT: Good news for Trump––this poll shows him winning Wisconsin, a state he won by a slim margin in 2016. Booker does best among Democrats.

Wisconsin Democratic Primary
Joe Biden: 30%
Bernie Sanders: 17%
Elizabeth Warren: 15%
Pete Buttigieg: 13%
Cory Booker: 3%
Amy Klobuchar: 3%
Kamala Harris: 2%
Andrew Yang: 2%
Candidates with 1% or less not listed

RON’S COMMENT: Another poll taken a month ago had Warren on top with 25% and Biden second with 23%. This one has Biden topping the Wisconsin primary field with Warren third. Note: This poll was conducted before last night’s debate.


Among voters nationwide

System: Do you think the health care system in this country… 

Works pretty well and requires only minor changes :25%
Needs fundamental changes: 42%
Needs to be completely rebuilt: 27%

RON’S COMMENT: 18% of Democrats, 15% of independents and 36% of Republicans say the health care system works pretty well and requires only minor changes. 46% of Democrats, 35% of independents and 34% of Republicans say the health care system needs fundamental changes. 29% of Democrats, 34% of independents and 22% of Republicans say the system needs to be completely rebuilt

Obamacare: Do you approve or disapprove of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare”? 

Approve: 50%
Disapprove: 43%

RON’S COMMENT: 81% of Democrats, 30% of independents and 18% of Republicans approve of Obamacare.

Fix Obamacare: Do you think the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare should be expanded, kept the same, or repealed? 

Expanded: 40%
Kept the same; 7%
Repealed: 38%
Not sure: 14%

Public option: Do you support or oppose, the “public option”, a national health plan in which Americans could buy health insurance directly from the federal government? 

Support: 44%
Oppose: 32%

RON’S COMMENT: 60% of Democrats, 32% of independents and 22% of Republicans support a public option.

Medicare for all: Do you support or oppose “Medicare for all”? 

Support: 43%
Oppose: 44%

RON’S COMMENT: 65% of Democrats, 37% of independents and 22% of Republicans support Medicare-for-all…. But, when asked: “Do you support or oppose a national health plan in which all Americans get their health insurance from the federal government and private health insurance companies are eliminated?”––only 31% of all voters support it and 51% oppose it.


Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
WISCONSIN: Marquette, Nov. 11-17
IOWA: Iowa State Univ., Nov. 15-19

Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux, Chief Analyst at Certus Insights. 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

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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.