June 28 Poll Report Yang steps forward

June 28, 2019
 

June 24 Poll Report

 

            Good morning everybody.  We have entered the third phase of the campaign.  The first phase, which lasted until May 27, was the "starting positions" phase.  Candidates were announcing their candidacy, some announcing they would NOT be candidates, and, as each one entered, he or she would have a little boomlet of attention, appear on some news shows and some talk shows, and, in almost every case, their numbers would go up a little bit after they formally announced that they were in the race, then back down the phase had passed. 

            The second phase, which began on May 28, was a "sorting out" phase, which was the gradual evaporation of support for many candidates and a consolidation of support for a few.  Elizabeth Warren dominated the consolidation phase among my voters, her support number rising from 1203 on May 27 to 2008 on June 27.   Toward the end of the sorting out phase most of the polls were very quiet, and the largest effects each day were from the removal of the more volatile polls from early in the 50-day window. 

            We have entered a new phase now, the post-debate phase, and yesterday’s vote was a shocker.   Andrew Yang, expected to get 6% based on previous polling, got 15% of the vote, while Joe Biden, expected to get 33%, got only 22%:

Scores

Warren

2008

Biden

1227

Yang

220

Hickenlooper

222

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Predicted

Warren

55

Biden

33

Yang

6

Hickenlooper

6

Actual

Warren

55

Biden

22

Yang

15

Hickenlooper

8

 

            Biden would have been expected to beat Yang 33-6 in the poll; in fact, he beat him only 22-15. 

            This is not a result of last night’s debate; that poll was mostly finished before the voting.  I check on the poll throughout the day; Biden was setting at 22%, Yang around 14-16%, all day.  

            We could interpret this, of course, as an increase in support for Yang, or a slide for Biden combined with a feeling of some voters that they don’t really like Warren and Biden isn’t going to beat her, so they had better find somebody else to vote for.   Yang, I gather, was the subject of a recent profile in Time Magazine; we subscribe to Time, but I haven’t actually seen that article.  Probably that profile is the most likely explanation for his stunning performance.

            I matched Yang against heavy hitters in this poll in part because he did well in two recent polls, but did not get much out of it because he was beating lightweights, so there weren’t that many points on the board.   It’s like a college basketball ranking system; you don’t get that much benefit from beating Prairie View A&M and Slippery Rock.   If you hang in the game against North Carolina, that’s a lot more impressive.  Yang deserved a chance to hang in the game against a heavy hitter, and he did. 

            Whatever caused it, it rocks the standings.  A total of 599 points have changed hands since yesterday, the highest number since April.  The standings were a little immature in April; people were still jumping into the race, and the standings were based on less than 30 polls, so people would move around more rapidly than they do now. 

            A somewhat counter-intuitive result of yesterday’s vote is that Warren, who met expectations, winning the poll with 55%, nonetheless drops by 90 points in today’s standings.   The way the poll works is to ask "How does Warren compare to Joe Biden in this poll?  How does Warren compare to Andrew Yang in this poll?  How does Warren compare to John Hickenlooper in this poll?"   The three "Warren positioning points" are then compared with about 18 other "Warren positioning points" from other polls, each of them weighted equally, and her current position compared to all of the other candidates is re-estimated.  Because Biden and Warren are two of the three leaders, they are pitted against one another very often, so when Biden’s number plunges downward, that causes a re-evaluation of where Warren actually stands.   Biden dropped by 10% as a result of yesterday’s very disappointing result, which causes a 4% drop in Warren’s total as well—but Warren’s score is so high that a 4% drop for her is 90 points, whereas a 10% drop for Biden is 126 points.  Since yesterday:

            Andrew Yang is up 77 points.

            Kirsten Gillibrand is up 24 points as a secondary effect.  

            Stacey Abrams is up 22 points, Bill Weld up 19 points, Donald Trump up 18, Jay Inslee up 16 and Howard Schultz up 10, all as a secondary effect from Andrew Yang moving up 77 points. 

            Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard are up 20 points each as a result of the removal from the data of the May 8th poll.

            John Hickenlooper is down 17 points as a result of his underperformance in yesterday’s poll. 

            Kamala Harris is down 23 points.   

            Pete Buttigieg is down 55 points.

            Elizabeth Warren is down 90 points, and

            Joe Biden is down 126 points.

 

            But as a percentage, Warren’s lead over Biden was 64% yesterday and is 74% today.

            In the chart below, I highlight in green any candidate who is up 25% in the last 30 days, and in gray any candidate who is down 25% in the last 30 days.  Also a result of yesterday’s shake-up in the polls, numerous candidates have gotten off the gray list, and Joe Biden has dropped off the green list:

Rank

First

Last

Current

1

Elizabeth

Warren

1918

2

Pete

Buttigieg

1129

3

Joe

Biden

1101

4

Kamala

Harris

773

5

Amy

Klobuchar

487

6

Bernie

Sanders

433

7

Cory

Booker

426

8

Beto

O'Rourke

372

9

Stacey

Abrams

364

10

Donald

Trump

342

11

Kirsten

Gillibrand

320

12

Andrew

Yang

297

13

John

Hickenlooper

239

14

Jay

Inslee

231

15

Julian

Castro

225

16

Bill

Weld

201

17

Tulsi

Gabbard

177

18

Michael

Bennet

132

19

Jeff

Flake

115

20

Howard

Schultz

107

21

Eric

Swalwell

92

22

Steve

Bullock

89

23

Tim

Ryan

88

24

Seth

Moulton

85

25

Mike

Gravel

70

26

Marianne

Williamson

63

27

John

Delaney

60

28

Bill

de Blasio

46

 

            I am confident that this represents the start of a new phase in the campaign, in which the numbers will shift significantly over the next month or so, for two additional reasons:

1)     That we expected anyway that the debates would be a turning point for some candidates, and

2)     The current vote, occurring now, is another shocker, which will rattle the standings probably even more than today’s did. 

 

 

Yesterday’s debate. . . a lot of people are saying that Kamala Harris had a great night, which I didn’t really see; maybe I missed something.  I always thought she was a strong candidate.   The group dynamic was hugely different than the previous night.  The group was much more contentious, disputatious, confrontational and unmannerly, and no one really looks good under those conditions.   I thought Michael Bennet was good.  I didn’t really see that Biden had a bad night; in my mind, the negative reviews of Biden are really merely a new recognition of a weakness that has been there all along.  I never believed that he was the front runner to begin with.  It is hard to like anyone when they are behaving like school children.  

Polling weakness will not drive anyone out of the race in the next two months.  What may drive some people out of the race in the next two months is spending too much money.   If you have a 120-person staff in Iowa, then you HAVE to bring in money to keep the machine running.   If your poll numbers are bad, you won’t be able to bring in the money, and you’ll have to drop out.  But just low poll numbers, on their own, won’t really become significant until early next year, because there is a long, long time to catch up.

To me, there is still NO sign that Bernie Sanders is a viable candidate or will have any significant impact on the race. 

Thanks for reading.

 
 

COMMENTS (11 Comments, most recent shown first)

MarisFan61
Agree about the moderators/questioners. They didn't do their job -- or maybe, they hadn't decided what their job was and/or they changed it on the fly. Maybe they went into it thinking they were going to be firm but then saw that they liked the tussling; they did go through motions to shut up the interrupters but it quickly became less than half-hearted. The result was that there were no clear ground rules, and the aggressive/rude candidates were able to get advantages. BTW it was observed after the first debate that only the males interrupted; the females never did. (That's what the talking heads said anyway; I wasn't sure that Warren really never jumped in.)

I thought also that it was better with the jumping-in -- but if that was happening, the extra time that they stole should have been taken into account in how much more direct opportunity they were given to talk. Was it??? I don't know. I didn't have any impression during each debate that it was, but maybe it was, because the total amount of time that each person had (from the lists that I saw) seemed all right, including that the Hickenloopers and Yangs had less time.
11:15 AM Jun 29th
 
Steven Goldleaf
The whole interrupting thing is just weird. Can't we just give the moderators control over their microphones? Bill suggested an exploding (non-lethal) mic, but just cutting the power seems a reasonable solution that preserves the dignity of the event. 60 or 30 seconds, with the understanding that they will be allowed 10 seconds to finish their sentences after they're told "time." This screaming for attention, simultaneous speechifying, repeating dumb shit like "I just want to add--I just want to add--I just want---I I just want to--' over six other people shouting the same dumb stuff looks and sounds horrible. It's not like we lack the technical ability to limit the number of speakers at one time, is it?
8:09 AM Jun 29th
 
Manushfan
Kamala was pretty danged good there. I saw the whole thing, didn't catch the first one, she did Exactly what you wanna see a candidate do in a cattle call style debate, which is what these are.

Biden will be okay but man he looked pretty, well, 76 there. And Bernie, isn't he 77? That's too bloody old for the Oval Office. It just IS. I like Biden, 10 years ago. Bernie--no. Just--no.

One of the syndromes of the early primaries and debates are the 'we hardly knew ya' guys that come in, last only a while, Bennett and Inslee and Salwell(?) and Hickenlooper--be nice to know More about them besides them frantically standing off to one side yelling 'Pass the Torch!' and 'You are too old!' in between bloviatings.

From what I Did see of first one-Warren good, Castro good, Ummmm you tell me? Oh the two boy Wonders-Buttiegigg and Beto--I thought Buttiegigg was fine, Beto it sounds like he's gonna not last so long.

Anyways. There's alot more of this ahead. So you can ignore the insta-hot takes til the mid Fall at least am thinkin'.
7:56 AM Jun 29th
 
MarisFan61
I'd add thus to what Chris said (and I'd guess he'd agree): It's not totally that simple about Party people voting the Party, especially because of "turnout" but also sometimes because of given issues.

They won't necessarily turn out if they're not sufficiently enthusiastic about the candidate.
And, given issues can turn off Party people to such an extent that they'd actually vote for the other candidate. I know a fair amount of people who say (I hope they don't mean it) that they might vote for Trump according to what the Democratic nominee says or seems to feel about some issue or another.
4:59 AM Jun 29th
 
MarisFan61
(sorry, those 'question marks' were supposed to be arrows pointing at Chris's post)
4:24 AM Jun 29th
 
MarisFan61
? Kudos on every word ?

(very well said; agree thoroughly)
4:24 AM Jun 29th
 
chrisbodig
I look at these debates from a performance art perspective. Most voters will stick with their party no matter what (never proven to be more true than now) but the swing voters decide most elections and many of those voters make a choice from the gut: "who do I want to see on TV for the next four years?"

As an amateur political analyst, I look at candidates on a personal level rather than a policy level. Are they charismatic? Are they likable? Do they have oratorical skills? Will people want to hear the sound of their voice for four years? Are they good-looking? Some of these things are superficial but they ultimately matter far more than the nuances of their health care policy.

More important than all of those, for the pragmatic wing of the Democratic party (and the "Never Trump Republicans" like me), there is only one issue: who is best positioned to beat Donald Trump in November 2020?

Why is Biden leading the "old fogey" polls?
1. Many people don't know the other candidates as well.
2. Others consider him to be the best candidate to beat the incumbent president because his blue collar persona is believed to be an asset in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
3. He has charisma, oratorical skills, is likable and, even at 76, is a handsome man who "looks presidential."

As for the debates, most pundits have declared Kamala Harris as the winner. I agree for a couple of reasons. She took down Biden last night in the manner of an experienced prosecutor. To those who want a "take down Trump" champion, that performance was an indicator that should could go head to head with the President.

I also am looking at those other factors. Harris has charisma, oratorical skills and a commanding voice. If you're looking for the ideal candidate to be the first female president, Harris benefits from being the most attractive of the candidates and also from being an alto instead of a soprano. When she interrupted people on stage, she shut people up. When Kirsten Gillibrand did it, she sounded annoying. (Equal time: Eric Swalwell was equally annoying when he interrupted).

Harris was the winner because, on a stage with 9 others (including three polling "heavyweights"), she took control in a way nobody else did. I think she will surge in the polls (she's doing it today in Bill's online poll). She'll take a little piece out of all of those in front of her.
10:50 PM Jun 28th
 
MarisFan61
BTW, the biggest gainer in the betting odds in these last 2 days is: "Other."
Kamala is close behind, but "Other" (i.e. none of the known suspects) gained more.
8:17 PM Jun 28th
 
MarisFan61
.....and the whiff was on both 'content' and 'manner.'

-- He said nothing of great interest or impact, and it wasn't well organized either.
-- His demeanor, energy, and body language were from the toilet.

It's hard to do worse.
5:38 PM Jun 28th
 
MWeddell
I agree, Maris. Yang's first question was a softball ("how will you finance your leading proposal estimated to cost $3.2 trillion?") but he whiffed on it. Then he said little else later on. I'd guess that the debate hurts Yang.
5:28 PM Jun 28th
 
MarisFan61
Look for Yang to step backward next time. Haven't seen or heard much to corroborate this, but I thought he was lackluster if not zero in the debate. I gather his supporters have been "niche" and perhaps there won't be a huge effect on them from the debate, but it's hard to see how it helped him at all, and I think it hurt. I look for his prospects to dwindle and vanish in the next few days, and I'd guess it will reflected in all segments, and therefore in these polls.
11:55 AM Jun 28th
 
 
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