Bernie Sanders’ Support Might Be Underestimated, According To New Polls

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas.
Win McNamee / Getty Images

A string of polls released last week suggest that support for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might be underestimated, The Hill reports.

Although the polls show that Joe Biden remains the frontrunner and Elizabeth Warren continues to generate buzz, Sanders’ success in the polls and with strong grass-roots support reportedly puts him in a position to have a good chance of winning.

“He has the money, the campaign infrastructure and an intense base of supporters,” said one Democratic strategist. “Does he have a tough road to the nomination? Of course, all of the candidates do. But has he been overlooked so far? Absolutely. Out of all the candidates, he is the one you can definitely say is in this for the long haul.”

The data suggests that Sanders appeals more to voters with some college or a high school education or less, as compared to Warren who has more support from voters with four-year college degrees and post-graduate degrees. According to Sanders’ campaign adviser Jeff Weaver, the Vermont Senator’s base is higher in diversity and with working-class voters than Warren’s.

Although the myth of the “Bernie Bro” suggests that Sanders appeals to younger, white, middle-class males, a Pew Research Center poll released last August reveals that of the frontrunners, Sanders has the most support from women, people of color, and the least educated. Another poll revealed that Sanders has been drawing a significant portion of former Donald Trump voters along with fellow Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s voters.

Some of Sanders’ critics suggest that his campaign is too far left for moderate voters and so would guarantee Trump’s re-election. However, Sanders’ team believes they draw votes from Biden. However, some political experts suggest this will be difficult given Sanders’ high name recognition ⁠— something that can sometimes be an obstacle to growth.

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According to Andrew Feldman, a Democratic strategist, one of Sanders’ biggest challenges is expanding his support among older Democrats. While this group tends to be more moderate, they also turn out to vote in higher numbers.

“It’s great that he’s remained steady, while we’ve seen others like Harris or Buttigieg lose support. But to beat Biden and hold off Warren you have to expand, and the central question of his campaign is whether he can do that.”

Biden is currently leading the polls with 30.2 percent support while Warren has 19.8 percent support. Sanders trails in third with 16.6 percent support. Since the middle of September, Warren has seen a surge in polling while Sanders has only experienced a minimal increase.