And he’s way ahead of the rest of the democratic field!
As a rural democratic activist, I live in fear that a progressive candidate will drag our whole democratic slate down to defeat, and I’ve seen it before. I live in MN7, a R+12 political graveyard for democratic candidates with the exception of Collin Peterson, who hangs on by voting moderate enough to tick off more than a few progressives. So before I throw my support to a top o’ the ticket candidate, I want to be sure that they won’t drag the rest of our democratic team down.
So I dug into the crosstabs, those half buried detailed spreadsheets that total up who a queer senior like myself with an unused college degree in rural podunk will support. I dug through the democrat’s standard data dump, 538, and picked out every poll begun since May 1st, just after Biden announced. Then I dove into the crosstabs of every presidential general election poll that broke out results by geographic area.
Most recent is this Emerson College poll of North Carolina where Biden ran the strongest against Trump in the reddest regions of the state, but with Bernie trailing only a couple points behind and way ahead of the rest, except for Mayor Pete in a couple red regions.
In Michigan this poll found Bernie beating Trump by 2%, Biden tied Trump, and Buttigieg, Harris, and Warren lost by 5-6% margins.
This Rasmussen national poll found Biden loosing in rural areas to Trump by 12% and Bernie by 15% with every other democrat losing by low 20s%, not surprising given Rasmussen’s republican lean.
Despite the network’s bias, Fox is an A rated pollster and this nationwide poll has Biden losing in rural areas to Trump by only 3%, Bernie by 8%, Warren by 9%, with the rest in double digits.
In Florida this Florida Atlantic University poll has Biden losing to Trump by 2% in north Florida and Bernie by 3%. In south central Florida Biden loses by 13% and Bernie by 8%, and Biden loses south Florida by 5% and Bernie loses by 11%.
And finally in this Emerson College national poll almost every democrat beat Trump in the northeast, Biden beat Trump by 5% and Bernie beat Trump by 2% in the south, but in the midwest Bernie outperformed beating Trump by 10% versus Biden’s 5% margin, bested also by O’Rourke at 9% and Warren at 8%. In the west Bernie again outperformed Biden, beating Trump by 15% with Biden at 9%.
So in some polls Biden does a bit better than Bernie against Trump, and in some polls vice versa. In almost every poll the difference between Bernie and Biden’s performance is within the margin of error. So the polling tells us that we need not fear having a “democratic socialist” at the top of the ticket, as Bernie’s authenticy plays well with independents and rural voters. And as Hillary’s campaign forgot, this is really 50 individual state races and Bernie’s strength in the rural midwestern, western, and even southern states may make Bernie our most electable candidate.
So while I haven’t thrown my support to Bernie yet, I have no fear that Bernie will drag our whole democratic slate down like Hillary did.