Starting Line Poll: Joe Biden Still Incredibly Popular Among Iowa Democrats

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
Posted 11/15/17

4 Comments on "Starting Line Poll: Joe Biden Still Incredibly Popular Among Iowa Democrats"

  • As an Iowa (I) voter, my question concerns his role in the failed drug war. What is his current position on legalization of cannabis. I personally am willing to vote for the most vile candidate if they are willing to end prohibition and the destruction of so many lives by this for profit endeavor.

  • I am a life-long Democrat. I would never support Bernie Sanders who, in my estimation, is destroying the Democratic Party. I could not support Biden. I favor another run for Hillary who has been lied about by the alt-right, Fox News, etc. as we are finding out more about Russia’s involvement ant WikiLeaks. She has done more for racial justice, civil rights, and rights of minorities. She was among the first to argue for health care at a reasonable price, and spoke out for the health of all people. A superior Secretary of State, she commands the respect of the world and is the only qualified person to win back the allies of the USA that Trump has taunted.

  • I don’t believe the polling pool was big enough. I don’t know of any progressive Democrats that are even thinking about Biden. We are searching for fresh ideas. Has Biden ever won any election much other than his little state.
    Were there any other names besides Biden in there. For instance Kennedy, Harris, Booker, …….

  • I admire and respect Biden, think he’s a great guy, but he is not the Democratic party we need now. Our democracy is being shredded. The Clintons belong to the past. We need to elect people who are awake to all the -isms: racism, classism, sexism, and who will fight for equity in all those areas, help restore ample and meaningful work, and take into account all the complex aspects that need care and repair so that our communities can become whole. This is urgent. What got elected in Nov 2016 is a sham and a crime. We need to start over.

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