The next presidential election is more than two years away, or 27 months to be exact. While it may be too early to poll, but in politics is it ever too early to poll? Regardless, Vox reports that the Morning Consult has done just that, polling voters about who they want to see running and winning the upcoming Presidential election.
The poll matched potential Democratic candidates up with President Trump and invited respondents to select who they would rather elect from each match-up. The poll showed that potential candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and former Vice President Joe Biden were all more desirable candidates than Trump, as a higher percentage of respondents said they would vote for them. Other potential candidates like Senator Cory Booker, Senator Kamala Harris, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand fared almost as well, coming within 1-2 percentage points of his level of support.
President Trump’s support throughout the poll stayed steady, hovering between 28 and 32% of respondents. However, the number of respondents who responded ‘don’t know’ to various match-ups fell within that same range, suggesting it’s not quite that clear-cut.
Trump's share of the vote hardly changes, while Dem change appears to shift partly based on name ID.
— Eli Yokley (@eyokley) August 22, 2018
There are also distinct differences in scoring that could easily be attributed to name recognition that might not carry through to an actual election. For example, current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is more well-known than Congressman John Delaney of Maryland, so it makes sense that the former had a higher percentage of votes. However, with the election still a long way off, the poll is not a real indicator of how the listed individuals might perform in an actual campaign.
The campaign trail is long, arduous and if we’ve learned anything from 2016, unpredictable. Lots of things can change, as was clearly evidenced by the rise of Donald Trump and to a lesser degree Bernie Sanders during their respective primaries. Trump went from being a candidate who was not taken seriously to the front-runner and eventual President. Few people polled at the outset would have predicted that eventual outcome.
Vox pointed out that while Trump’s potential voter support is small, hovering at around 30%, it’s solid. However, compare that to his election results. At that time, Trump received 46% of the vote, but now, not even a third of voters would re-elect him at this point in time.
The poll respondents consisted of 1.974 registered voters and was conducted from August 16-18 by the Morning Consult. Though it’s incredibly early, it is food for thought and something to keep in mind for comparison with future polls.