Elizabeth Warren recently destroyed her reputation and, along with it, her chances of becoming president in 2020. At least, that is what the current narrative says. The Massachusetts Democrat’s embarrassingly fact-free claim of Native American heritage made her the laughingstock of the internet and, many assume, ended her 2020 presidential campaign before it began.
But what does the data say?
Rasmussen just released a poll showing a head-to-head matchup against President Trump. Surprisingly, Warren has the support of 46 percent of the likely voters polled while the president garnered support from only 44 percent. The margin of error is three percent making the race a statistical tie.
Before polling critics jump on the poll as fake news, I’ll point out that Rasmussen is a pollster that is friendly to Mr. Trump. Rasmussen presidential approval polling has consistently shown Trump at higher levels than other pollsters. In past weeks, Trump has reached 50 percent approval in Rasmussen’s polling while the polling average never topped 42 percent. Most recently, Rasmussen showed Trump approval at 47 percent. By way of comparison, Rasmussen pegged Warren’s approval at 41 percent.
Men and women among the 1,000 likely voters had similar views of Warren, but she benefitted from a gender gap. Women favored Warren while men favored Trump. Warren also was the overwhelming choice of black voters. Voters were more likely to choose Trump as their age increased. Both candidates won large majorities of voters from their own party, but Warren leads with unaffiliated voters by 53 to 36 percent.
The poll is not written in stone and many things can change between now and 2020, but the results underscore the difficulty that Donald Trump will face in his reelection campaign. If a candidate who has had as much bad press as Elizabeth Warren can poll ahead of the president, albeit in a statistical tie, it indicates that the president will have a tough fight with a more capable and popular candidate.
Warren is not even the top choice of Trump opponents. Only 14 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of all voters think Warren is the best nominee to face Trump. Three-quarters of Democrats think the party needs to nominate a new face in 2020.
Earlier this week, CNN polling showed that former vice president Joe Biden leads Democrat preferences for 2020 at 33 percent. He is followed by Vermont Senator and 2016 candidate Bernie Sanders in a distant second and California Senator Kamala Harris. Elizabeth Warren placed fourth with single-digit support.
The danger for Trump and Republicans is that the president’s popularity within the GOP will induce an echo chamber effect that will lead to overconfidence. Donald Trump is overwhelmingly popular among Republicans, but his approval outside the party is not good. He beat long odds in 2016 to become president but a more effective candidate than Hillary Clinton will lead to another tough race.
[Photo credit: Edward Kimmel/Flickr]