Barack Obama And Bernie Sanders Endorsements May Provide Major Boost For Joe Biden, Poll Suggests

Sen. Bernie Sanders walks with President Barack Obama through the Colonnade as he arrives at the White House.
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The past week has been historic for Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee. First, Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the primary race, formally endorsing Biden days later. Shortly afterwards, former President Barack Obama did the same.

According to a poll from The Economist and YouGov released on Thursday, the Sanders and Obama endorsements may prove critical for Biden as he takes on President Donald Trump in the general election.

The poll suggests that Biden has room for improvement among Sanders supporters, 50 percent of whom have an unfavorable view of him. Sixty-nine percent of Sanders supporters say they will vote for Biden, and 15 percent say they will vote for Trump come November. Eleven percent say they will vote for someone else, and only 2 percent say they don’t plan on voting.

Twenty-six percent of Sanders supporters say that the senator should try and extort concessions from Biden before taking an active role in the 2020 campaign. Eighteen percent believe Sanders should stay on the sidelines and not help Biden.

Notably, the poll was conducted mostly before Sanders officially endorsed Biden.

The Vermont senator is exceptionally popular among independents and young voters, so his support could help Biden expand his coalition. As YouGov noted, “it appears from this poll that Sanders will have to take a big role in the Biden campaign to bring his supporters along.”

In addition, the poll appears to demonstrate how important Obama’s endorsement will be going forward. The vast majority of Democratic primary voters, 90 percent of them, hold a favorable view of the former president. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is remarkably popular as well — even more popular than her husband — with 92 percent of Democratic primary voters holding a favorable opinion of her.

Former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the coronavirus outbreak, at the Hotel Du Pont in Wilmington, Delaware.
  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Although not as popular as among Democrats, the Obamas are viewed favorably by a majority of Sanders supporters. Twenty percent view the former president unfavorably, and only 12 percent view the former first lady unfavorably.

Overall, the survey suggests that the Obama and Sanders endorsements could be monumentally important for Biden — who is polling five points ahead of Trump nationwide — and help unite the Democratic Party ahead of the November election.

“There is much work for Democrats to do this fall if they want to win in the general election. Democratic primary voters are nearly as likely to say the party is more divided than usual as to think it is more united,” YouGov wrote, noting that “one thing may help in the end: 85 percent of Sanders supporters have an unfavorable opinion of President Trump.”