As of Tuesday, Oct. 8, Elizabeth Warren was the Democrat front-runner (or co-front-runner) in the 2020 presidential election, according to polling averages tracked by RealClearPolitics.
She specifically boasted a 0.2 percentage point lead over former Vice President Joe Biden (26.6 vs 26.4). Though within the margin of error, the lead was nevertheless stunning given as Warren had started the race at a 19.3 percent point disadvantage (5.9 vs 25.2).
Look at a chart of RCP’s data below:
Note how almost everybody else’s polling average line is trending downwards, whereas Warren’s line (the dark brown one) has been trending upward since day one.
The big question now is whether these averages actually mean anything. Conventional wisdom says that yes, they mean a whole lot. RCP’s data isn’t based on just one poll. It’s based on dozens upon dozens of polls from dozens upon dozens of pollsters, including the following:
- FOX News
- NBC News/Wall St. Jrnl
- The Hill/HarrisX
- Politico/Morning Consult
Nevertheless, some “reporters” with The Washington Post and CNN — both decisively left-wing outlets whose contributors clearly want Democrats to recapture the White House in 2020 — have dismissed Warren’s rise to the top as meaningless and “(un)important.”
“And with that Quinnipiac poll, Biden falls out of the lead on the RCP average for the first time all year. Now a co ‘front-runner’ with Warren,” Dave Weigel of the Post tweeted Tuesday.
“Caveat: This doesn’t actually matter,” he added.
“Warren passes Biden for the first time in the critically (un)important Real Clear Politics polling average,” Nathan McDermott of CNN added in an equally snippy tweet.
Why is it “(un)important?”
And with that Quinnipiac poll, Biden falls out of the lead on the RCP average for the first time all year. Now a co “front-runner” with Warren.
Caveat: This doesn’t actually matter. pic.twitter.com/Vg1jsDv8uF
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) October 8, 2019
Warren passes Biden for the first time in the critically (un)important Real Clear Politics polling average. pic.twitter.com/5xlStC62wn
— Nathan McDerm-IT: Chapter Two ? (@natemcdermott) October 8, 2019
While neither of these tweets appear to be ratioed, they did attract some scathing criticism from well-known radical left-wing activists like Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks.
“No, it matters a lot!” he tweeted to Weigel. “This affects millions (maybe billions) of dollars in free media. Only advantage @JoeBiden had was that he was the ‘front runner.’ Media used that to bolster his campaign, now anyone in MSM who says that is empirically and purposely misleading their audience.”
What he wrote is based on the theory that the media strongly favor Biden because they believe him to be the most electable, i.e., the candidate most likely to curry favor with Middle America. It’s not a bad argument. The former VP is arguably one of the least radical Democrats running for office.
Some are also concerned that Warren lacks the favorability among African Americans she would need to defeat President Donald Trump at the ballot box next year.
“Warren being in the margin of error of the RCP average isn’t the same level of newsworthy as if she was leading in South Carolina or w Black voters,” Marcus H. Johnson, a self-described “political scientist” with a blue checkmark, opined on Twitter. “Without Black voters, she faces a major uphill battle in the primary.”
This too is a valid point, to some extent. As it stands, Biden currently leads Warren in South Carolina by 23.3 percentage points. That’s huge. However, regarding black voters, Warren has reportedly experienced a “dramatic shift” in support as of late.
“A Quinnipiac University national poll last week showed Warren winning 19 percent of the African American vote — a 9-point jump over the poll’s August results,” Politico reported at the start of the month. “In the latest Morning Consult poll, released Wednesday, she’s up by 5 percentage points with black voters since August.”
If the trend continues …
Warren being in the margin of error of the RCP average isn’t the same level of newsworthy as if she was leading in South Carolina or w Black voters. Without Black voters, she faces a major uphill battle in the primary. Major problem if she finds a way to win primary without them
— Marcus H. Johnson (@marcushjohnson) October 8, 2019
Either way, so long as either Biden or Warren wins the nomination, Trump’s 2020 campaign will reportedly be prepared.
“The field of Democrats has barely thinned out. But Trump’s inner circle says there are only two conceivable nominees,” The Daily Beast reported Wednesday, citing unnamed officials.
“Interviews with nearly a dozen senior Republicans, including top officials and strategists on Trump’s re-election campaign and GOP operatives directly familiar with internal deliberations, reveal the president’s party believes the top contenders for the Democratic nomination are unlikely to change. Barring some unforeseen event that would scramble the current field, the long-term strategic moves are centered around a Biden or Warren primary win.”
The campaign is, however, operating on the assumption that Biden will most likely topple — the process has in fact already begun, clearly — thus leaving Warren as the nominee.
“It’s about obliterating [Biden] right now, with the understanding that … Warren is most likely going to soon be the priority when Biden collapses,” a senior Trump campaign aide reportedly said.
Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
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