Get more FiveThirtyEight
Another Democratic debate, another poll! We’re once again partnering with Ipsos to track how Wednesday’s debate, hosted by The Washington Post and MSNBC, affects likely primary voters’ feelings about the candidates. The FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll, conducted using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel, will interview the same group of voters twice, on either side of the debate, to capture both the “before” and “after” picture.
The before picture
Who voters are considering
Share of respondents who are considering voting for each candidate
Respondents could pick multiple candidates or ‘someone else.’
The field may be consolidating a bit, but this hasn’t stopped many voters in our poll from saying they’re considering multiple candidates. More than half said they were considering Joe Biden, and Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders were clustered close together at around 40 percent. Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris round out the top tier, but things taper off quickly after that. We’ll be tracking how this list of voters’ maybes changes after the debate. Are they considering fewer candidates? More? And which candidates gained or lost the most potential supporters?
The popularity contest
Candidates' favorable and unfavorable ratings among likely primary voters
Respondents are also being asked whether they have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the candidates so we can track which candidates are well liked and which ones aren’t. When paired with horse-race polls, favorability ratings can help tell us which candidates have room to expand their coalition and which may already be maxed out.
Our latest coverage
Which matters most: policy positions … or winning?
Share of likely primary voters by whether, if they had to choose, they’d prefer a candidate who has a good chance of beating Trump or a candidate who agrees with them on the issues
Excludes respondents who chose ‘I don't know enough to say.’
We’re also asking voters what matters more to them — a candidate who agrees with them on the issues or someone who would be a strong candidate against President Trump. As you can see, about two-thirds of respondents prefer a candidate who can win the general election.
Who voters think can beat Trump
Respondents’ estimates of the likelihood, from 0 percent (impossible) to 100 percent (certain), that each candidate would beat Trump if they were the Democratic nominee
Finally, we’re asking respondents to estimate each Democrat’s chances of defeating Trump — from 0 percent to 100 percent. Going into the debate, as in other general-election polls, Biden is still the candidate voters think is most likely to beat Trump, on average, though Warren and Sanders weren’t too far behind, and with Buttigieg and Harris are closing in as well.