Were former Vice President Joe Biden to make one last run for the White House in 2020, he’d be greeted in Iowa by a Democratic base that views him in an overwhelmingly positive light, according to a poll Iowa Starting Line commissioned last week with Insight 20/20.
It’s obviously no surprise that Biden remains popular within the party, but the intensity of support we found was impressive. 70% of Democrats polled viewed Biden “Very Favorably,” while 21% were “Somewhat Favorable.” His appeal was largely consistent across all parts of the state and demographic groups.
Biden fared a little better with past Hillary Clinton caucus-goers (78% Very Favorable, 18% Somewhat Favorable), but still did exceptionally well with former Bernie Sanders caucus-goers too (68% Very Favorable, 21% Somewhat Favorable). That kind of broad appeal across the lingering divides from the past presidential primary would be particularly useful in building a coalition candidacy.
Women (72% Very Favorable, 20% Somewhat Favorable) were slightly more positive to Biden than men, and his support was higher among older Democrats. Those under 50 weren’t as intense with their feelings for Biden, with only 52% of them viewing him very favorably. This was the only group that even picked up a bit of negativity for Biden, with 15% of Democrats under 50 viewing him unfavorably.
Here’s the full crosstabs of Biden’s numbers (for composition of the poll, see our earlier post)
Biden has long had an intensely loyal following in Iowa, especially in the Catholic Democratic county of Dubuque. It wasn’t enough to overcome the campaigns of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in 2008, as he received just under 1% of the final delegates in the Iowa Caucus that year. In a wide-open 2020 Democratic field, Biden would almost certainly be the early national front-runner were he to run, and he’d start out with a real advantage in Iowa.
The main purpose of the poll was to judge where the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary stood (see the story and poll on that in our earlier post), and we tossed in Biden’s name for the favorability numbers just to see what we’d get. A poll looking solely at the 2020 caucus might have had a slightly different universe, but this still gives a pretty good sense of where the state’s more-involved Democratic base stands. We didn’t put in any other potential 2020er’s name, nor did we test any match-ups.
The poll surveyed 762 people, screening for those who said they were at least considering voting in next year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. It has a +/- 3.6% error margin.
by Pat Rynard
Photo via Greg Hauenstein