Democrats in Battleground States Prefer Moderate Nominee, Poll Shows

A New York Times/Siena College survey in six key states also showed voters want a candidate who can work with Republicans.

Comments: 208

  1. Why aren’t you adding Sanders’ and Warren’s percentages together to gauge desire for a progressive candidate? The split becomes much more even between who supports Warren/Sanders and who supports Biden/Buttigieg/Klobuchar.

  2. The reason Warren and Sanders aren’t together is because there are two people running. If the pollsters asked about politics, divorced from individuals we might get an idea of what they want. Do voters even know what they want other than an end to the Trump administration?

  3. @Andrew Higginbotham I think we all know why, a divisive and contested primary is good for the bottom line. If any of the others had integrity they'd drop out and let Warren and Sanders debate it out as they are the future of the party.

  4. @Andrew Higginbotham But Sanders will stay in and help Trump win again. Warren, sadly, has stubbornly blown it by insisting of MFA which voters have said they don't want. It will happen but after a Democrat wins.

  5. New York isn’t a “battleground state” but THIS New Yorker also prefers a moderate. Names like Buttigieg, Biden and now Bloomberg would do me extremely nicely, thank you. THE THREE B’s!

  6. @ManhattanWilliam i visit nyc 3 times a year. enjoy it immensely. agree with you. charlie cook, respected election guru, said yesterday swing voters in pennsylvania/michigan/wisconsin prefer a candidate NOT advocating medicare for all/abolishing private health insurance. a moderate will beat trump. warren and probably even sanders will guarantee a trump victory.

  7. Who are you going to vote for if none of them get nominated?

  8. I don’t believe it. Every one I know is dissatisfied with their expensive for profit health care, more so if they have ever been sick. Most young people are straddled with high interest student debt that will take a lifetime to discharge. These two issues—the cost of health care and college education—are hurting American families.

  9. So once again it's the Dems that need to work with Republicans ... not the other way around. Get "Triggered" in 2020 and vote Blue.

  10. True-Because the Republicans will reward us for electing a moderate and work with him/her? That pipe dream will cost us our future.

  11. @WendyLou14 Have any of these people looking to "work with Republicans", now really Trumpinistas, watched any footage of the trump rallies. You really expect to work with these people? Have they watched Lindsey Graham defending trump during the impeachment? This is a fools errand as stated by another commenter here.

  12. As comment above, this analysis is totally flawed because Warren and Sanders split the progressive vote. In total progressive and moderate candidates pretty much split the vote evenly which neatly sums up the Dems dilemma.

  13. @Joe Sasfy Thank you! I felt I was in a parallel universe reading this article - the poll shows very clearly that those supporting a progressive candidate (Warren, Bernie) equal or outweigh (significantly in Michigan) those preferring a moderate one (Biden, Bttg)

  14. @Joe Sasfy that's one way to look at it, but if you total up the Bernie + Warren preferences in most of the states, they are a bit higher than Biden's. They are out to demonstrate the power of the progressive vote. Let's also remember, that Trump brought out disaffected voters in the key States. Democrats disaffected voters stayed home in 2016. Any candidate who wants Progressive voters needs to stop blowing them off. And while we're at it, no one should ever vote for Eric Holder for anything ever. He failed to prosecute Wall Street bankers who caused unimaginable suffering and harm to millions of people, surpassing even the prosecution failure on Jeffrey Epstein.

  15. @Joe Sasfy Why cherry pick data when it suits you as the poll clearly says the following "A majority of those surveyed said they wanted a Democratic nominee who is more moderate than most Democrats, and they overwhelmingly preferred one who would bridge the partisan divide in Washington"

  16. Even if the hypothesis of “Dems prefer a moderate” were supported, what would be the value behind it? Most of those people are self identifying Democrats likely to vote for the candidate put forward by the primary process. In my experience these people often vote on partisan lines, rather than political ones. They’d “vote blue no matter who” because they view politics more as a team sport where their team must win. Using their own logic, it’d be preferential to put forward a candidate about which a group of people are deeply passionate, a candidate like Sanders who draws huge crowds of enthusiastic supporters. The non-political self identifying blue no matter who crowd will follow along because that’s what they do. The reverse is not necessarily true of the Sanders supporters.

  17. As usual, Sander's partisans forget the Democrats CANNOT WIN WITH ONLY DEMOCRATS VOTING. Clinton almost did it without the Sander's drones, so why pander to them and lose Independents WHO ARE NEEDED? Why not nominate and run a team of reasonable, electable people who will do what Clinton did AND attract Independents who see Sanders as the 'Yesterday's Socialist Candidate' he is? Occupy did nothing, and drum circles just don't cut it in an adult world.

  18. @Leo I am blue no matter who. But not at all because I'm "on the team." I'm on the team because the members of the other team who are in Congress, not to mention POTUS, have proved that they care more about keeping their jobs and the power that flows therefrom than they care about honoring the values that have made the US the envy of the world. Until now!

  19. @Baxter ok boomer

  20. Being from the heart of Michigan (albeit a liberal city), I think this poll needs to be interpreted quite differently. My son is a senior in high school. Most of his friends (first time voters in 2020) support Warren or Bernie. They also know that Bernie will most likely drop out, in which case they would fully support Warren. The way to interpret this is to ask why Klobuchar is polling so low in these states. She’s a dream moderate and has mid-western values and sensibilities. My sense is that majority of the democrats in Michigan want a liberal candidate. I think that’s what the poll is showing. I also suspect that there is sampling error and young people and people of color are underrepresented in the sample.

  21. I also live in Michigan, and I fully agree with this interpretation. There was no way Clinton, a moderate nominee, was going to win Michigan in 2016. And she didn’t. She lost her primary to Bernie Sanders, and she lost the general election to Donald Trump. This article is not about “voters.” It is about the Democrats, self identified Democrats. The overwhelming majority of voters are independents, and in populist Michigan, they simply aren’t going to vote for a moderate. 

  22. @jen Maybe the majority of Dems want a liberal Dem as the candidate, but what really matters is what do the swing voters want b/c they are who really matter. My guess is, it is not Warren.

  23. @jen "ask why Klobuchar is polling so low in these states" That also puzzles me - why not Klobuchar, in a swing or red state? What do people in those state think about Klobuchar?

  24. Why are these Democrats voicing a preference based on the process of governing rather than the goals of the candidates. One can only seek common ground with another when the other party desires to also. The Republicans stated goal in 2009 was to insure that Barack Obama was a one term president, not to work for the welfare of the nation. What is normal politics in todays age? What does that even mean? If it means to interact with the other side of the aisle with respect and honesty, and have a commitment to the nation above party and ego, I'm all for it. However, it appears to me that normal politics in the past few decades has become a public arena where self-serving, ego driven people seek publicity and reward for their believed self-importance. No longer does public service mean serving the public, but rather your constituency (defined as your donors). I don't want to hear politicians make promises. I'd rather hear what their goals are, and how they plan to accomplish them in detail. Politicians can only be successful for the long term by engaging and recruiting their opponents in common cause to serve the nation at large. That will take courage, which seems in short supply in Congress in general.

  25. Those voters who want politics to "go back to normal," where moderate Democrats find common ground with Republicans, are looking for a time machine to at least 30-40 years ago. What they really want is to go back to a time when they can ignore politics altogether. Democrats have been losing a protracted 25-year land war that they didn't realize the GOP was waging until 2016 and the Garland nomination. Now is not the time to play nice. Now is the time for bold action.

  26. @Matthew Ratzloff Read the numbers...voters in key states want a moderate, not a progressive. Nominating a progressive may seem bold but it will simply put Trump in office for another 4 years.

  27. @Sharon And how did that work out for Hilary? I think moderation is the default mode for voters that have not been paying attention to Trump's shenanigans.

  28. Interesting take, considering that the progressive candidates poll just as high or higher in battleground states. Those crucial and traditionally Democratic states sure didn’t care for moderate Clinton in ‘16. When will people learn?

  29. Promise to find common ground with Republicans? I'm not sure what this means anymore. 10, 15 years ago I understood what the Republican party stood for; i disagreed with most of it, but at least I knew where they were coming from. Today, the Republican party is basically the whims of President Trump. How do you find common ground with that? Are they for free trade or not? For a hands off approach to the economy or not? For shrinking the deficit or not? For a strong military presence abroad or not?

  30. @Andre -- I agree there is no Republican to compromise with or negotiate with. It has been my way or the highway with Republicans for more than ten years. Worse there is no "their way" other than to undo all good things the government is there for. Cut taxes for the wealthy and business. Beyond that there s no Republican program.

  31. @Andre Republicans seem mostly for themselves and their benefactors. Any policy related concerns seem to be mostly focused on saying what need to be said to retain power.

  32. For the last three decades Republicans have long since stopped looking at Democrats as “reasonable people we disagree with” and taken the position that they cannot and must not compromise with them. How do you find common ground with that? How do you make a deal with someone who’s position is strictly “my way or the highway”? This is not to say Democrats shouldn’t run a moderate— I think we’d be wise to do so— but the problem isn’t that Democrats don’t want to work with Republicans. The problem is that Democrats don’t have anyone willing to work with them, and we are trying to decide whether we should just give up the project of bipartisanship, given that the other side already has.

  33. Fair points. But “progressive “ democrats don’t want moderate or conservative democrats in the part either. Think Missouri and West Virginia.

  34. Difficult to draw conclusions from this poll if the majority of people polled wanted moderation , then why did the combined support of the two liberals Warren and Sanders exceed in many cases the combined support for Biden and Buttigieg ? I think the questions asked of those polled maybe misleading. Asking people if they want to work with the other side may be like asking people can they play well with others. These are nice platitudes, but the reality is that playing with Republicans requires being a Republican. It may not be a stretch to conclude that these poll results reflect strong support for candidates with liberal agendas.

  35. @kevin cummins Please stop cherry picking data and simply read this sentence in the article "A majority of those surveyed said they wanted a Democratic nominee who is more moderate than most Democrats, and they overwhelmingly preferred one who would bridge the partisan divide in Washington"

  36. @M3guy Please don't accuse me of "cherry picking the data", when I am simply saying that neither the title of the article, nor the sentence you quote, (which is a conclusion of the writer, not conclusions drawn from the data) are supported by the poll results. If there was "overwhelming" support for a moderate among those polled why aren't the numbers for Biden, Bennett, Gabbard, etc. higher, than those of a more liberal slant?

  37. I live in the Midwest and grew up around many people I would expect support Trump. I feel a true fondness for many of them, and understand their concerns. Meanwhile, I see many people in urban areas living in silos, being judgmental and unforgiving of people with different concerns than theirs. These so-called college educated “elites” often seem to jump to hasty and irrational conclusions, and show an over-willingness to interpret something as racism, sexism, etc. only because the various participants’ gender or race. I find it demeans serious racism and sexism and find myself becoming dismissive of the terms. Many in the media seem to support this analysis, citing instance upon instance of such events, meanwhile skipping over similar events that don’t “feed the narrative.” As a scientist, I find the selection process quite skewed and disturbing. I absolutely will not vote for someone who encourages this kind of division. My primary interest is to find someone who will bring our country together. Who will not be so hasty to see the worst in their fellow humans. Although I absolutely despise the whole Trump family, I cannot see voting for someone who is a member of the further left. (Nor do I want someone who will create even more upheaval in our country by making major economic changes - try them out at the state level first).

  38. @Karen I live in Los Angeles, a city with lots of working class people who work hard, who have values and concerns, who want a better life for themselves and their fellow citizens, who are community minded, who help each other out, who tend to their yards or the little balconies of their apartments, who walk their dogs and bring in their neighbor's trash cans, a just like you all do in the Midwest. When you frame us as out of touch elites, it makes me think you really know nothing about us except what you're told, the political rhetoric about who we are. It allows you to create a silo of superiority around the Midwest and its culture and its people while you accuse me and my family and friends and neighbors of being out of touch elitists. Seems to me you're out of touch, seems to me you're an elitist.

  39. @Lululibrarian I am not creating the stereotypes, only objecting to them. I am especially objecting to the people who think of themselves as elites and woke, but seem to lack a reasonableness and willingness to see the world from another’s POV (unless it fits their predetermined structure about who it is OK to care about). [Of course there are many people on the coast with warm hearts, kindness, thoughtfulness and knowledge of statistics :). In fact, most of my relatives live in NYC or California and, even though they are often graduates of “elite” universities, they are mostly quite kind and thoughtful.]

  40. @Lululibrarian This comment is dripping with irony. She wasn't labeling every single person from the coasts as elitists. She was saying that the elitists liberals IN those cities are the problem. Her comment was based in nuance and yours was another knee-jerk reaction to labeling, which again is the basis of what she is saying is one of the left's many problems.

  41. Old, comfortable people who don’t pay attention to politics like Biden. Middle-aged, successful professionals like Warren. Young and working-class people like Bernie. It’s pretty simple really.

  42. @KW It's not that "simple" and essentially wrong -- but then again, you're on the other side of 'the pond'.

  43. Quick! Democrats! Run for the hills! Abandon any and all policy proposals no matter how carefully designed! Commence negotiating with yourselves and allow mainstream media which is accountable only to shareholders to set the terms of the debate! Let the media decide what's moderate! Seriously: let's define 'moderate'. Everyone is a moderate. Moderation is good, right? "All in moderation'' - we grow up with it. We all know it to be wise. Meanwhile, we are the only developed country that does *not* have free or universally affordable health care and a robust social safety net with guaranteed paid parental leave and free pre-K education. How is that for moderation?

  44. Just remember how wrong all the polls were at the last election. Voters want a change. We NEED a change. Joe Biden is same old same old. Elizabeth Warren has good ideas. Why even debate the details of "tax the rich" or "Medicare for all", when it all has to pass through Congress, which will slice and dice anyway? Work with the current Trump party? Who is anybody kidding? Give people a choice between working on the real problems and inequities of our society, or voting for the party that wants to deep six all social programs, including Medicare and Social Security.

  45. @carolz The polls were not wrong last year, at least about Hillary's win. The polls measured how people said they'd vote, more people said they'd vote for Hillary, and more people voted for Hillary. The polls were definitely accurate, within the small margin of error that any poll has.

  46. What common ground do these moderates expect the Dems to find with the party of Trump? On climate change? Reproductive rights? Voting rights? Civil rights? Access to public education? Cleaner air? Auto emissions ann NB s mpg? Access to healthcare? Income inequality? Fair levels of taxation? Consumer financial protection? Joe Biden seems to think the GOP is waiting to work with him if he becomes president. How closely did they work with VP Biden and President Obama?

  47. I think saying the numbers prove voters want a moderate is misleading, because if you add up the Warren and Sanders votes, they equal twice as many Biden voters. Twice as many people prefer someone to the left of Biden in all those states.

  48. Here’s the deal: The people in the Democratic Party who prefer Sanders and Warren represent 40%~ of the party. Because they’re strong progressives, almost no one outside the Democratic Party will vote for them. The people in the Democratic Party who support Biden and the moderates represent 60%~ of the party. Because their political positions are more palatable across the political spectrum, they also stand to lure in a considerable swath of Independents, even moderate Republicans who don’t want to hold their nose and vote Trump. That’s the only math that matters to me. Do we embrace “True Believers” and lose in a landslide? Or do we build a coalition across the political spectrum and make Trump a one term president? My personal views best align with Bernie and Elizabeth, but I’m willing to play the long game here... Biden-Booker in 2020 so we can avoid Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court in 2021...

  49. You forget that most American families struggle to pay for for profit health care and high interest student debt. American families need Medicare for All and free community college or vocational education.

  50. @Zejee You speak on behalf of American families, but they’ll speak for themselves next year... I agree with you. I just don’t think most Americans do!

  51. @Myles "The only math that matters to me" translated: "Let's offer no differentiation so the poorly informed have as much leeway as possible to vote for Trump. Or stay home. Voters have to show the maturity to make tough decisions. Coke vs. Pepsi is not such a one. And those who want that to be the choice are cynically disrespectful of the democratic process. And in that I may I agree they have great validation in so being.

  52. This election is about one thing only, and that is removing Trump from office to save our democracy. From that vantage point, when nothing else matters, we need to win the swing states at all cost. This is not the time for a Progressive, because the country as a whole is not quite ready. If the swing states want a moderate Dem, then let’s just decide on one, and make that happen. Pete, Joe, Michael, I don’t really care, as long as they can beat Trump. After that, we can get back to all of the other noble ideals. This is a war that we cannot afford to lose.

  53. Until the actual field winnows down a bit, these polls only reflect vague notions of what voters actually want. Look how many people haven’t even decided. It’s obvious that as long as both Warren and Sanders are in the race that the progressive vote is split. I see no indication that either plan to drop out, so we have a long way to go before there is a true front runner.

  54. Another way to interpret this data is that Warren and Bernie have 31% and I don't think the progressives that support both are going to switch to Biden, who has 24%. Biden doesn't have the money or the passionate base. The remaining 10% among the other contenders may be up for grabs as is the 31% who haven't made up their minds. Moderation always sounds good to people but moderation won't take on Wall Street and oil that oppose the Green New Deal. The progressives have their work cut out for them-- to convince the moderates, seduced by the corporate media, that Warren or Bernie is the FDR we need.

  55. @Newell McCarty But moderation will win in the absolutely crucial swing states. If we get a win with a moderate, we can build from there.

  56. @Iris Flag ---Wish I could agree as moderation, incrementalism is safer, more prudent than boldness. But climate change won't wait. We now need bold, we now need progressive.

  57. Let me translate: Democrats in key states are responding to surveys with nostalgia for a time long past when both parties believed in Constitutional norms and shared governance. It's a wishful happy thought. That's it. It doesn't matter how many times one asks them, that's how they will respond. And it doesn't matter how they respond, because that's not the choice they will be presented on election day, unless Democrats pander to a hazy dream of days gone by rather than commit to accomplish meaningful change, across the board, for voters who put them in office. A "moderate" Democrat in the White House, seeking to "work across the isle," will be a President who accomplishes next to nothing, unless it be to further plunge the country into debt by failing to raise taxes to pay for even modest, "moderate" programs. President Obama nearly lost and significantly impaired the ACA though a string of compromises intended, in vain, to woo Republicans. A do-nothing Democrat in the White House in 2021 will only further popular despair of politics and Washington, setting the stage for another Trump-like demagogue in 2024, fueling rage and resentment with little more than an angry promise to break it all. Trump's promise, at bottom, was a promise to break democracy itself, for himself, as these things invariably turn out, not for the voters who elected him. American democracy cannot sustain another round of political stagnation. Democrats must do more than win power: they must deliver.

  58. Dems, we can do better. Many of the moderates align more closely with GOP values than democratic ones. And when it comes down to it, the republicans aren’t gonna switch sides. Don’t sell our chance for progress in a misguided play for electability.

  59. Polls of self-identified Democrats are of little use at this point with respect to the general election. Most of those polled will vote for the Democratic nominee. Independents are those who have to be polled - they are much more numerous than either Democrats or Republicans, although probably less likely to vote. The positions of the candidates are still not well known and possible swing voters probably have not paid much attention yet. What might be useful is questions which get at not just what Independents prefer, but whether they are actually likely to vote. For major change to occur, it may be necessary to get a very large turnout. If someone did not vote in previous elections, does this mean they are perfectly satisfied with the status quo, or just don't think that candidates offering the status quo are worth voting for? The very low ratings of both parties indicates the latter. In fact most people seem to want a better party than either of the existing ones.

  60. Why is Yang so far down on the list when he is polling better than the candidates above him?Please don’t end up don’t like what CNN and other big media outlets have done and ignore his movement.

  61. A candidate who can “work with the Republicans” is only a useful measuring tool if the Republicans are willing to work with a Democratic president — which we know they are not. Remember Merrick Garland!

  62. This article is based off of one survey. There are other surveys which came out even the same day as the one the article cites, and those surveys show totally different results. (They are all at Fivethirtyeight's poll site, see them!) . Why is this one survey somehow taken as God's own Truth? Talk about picking and choosing your data! Those Dems want a leader who "seeks a middle ground" and "works with Republicans"? Which country have they been living in? Obama tried all that, and the Republicans refused to cooperate on anything. Finally, the "people want a moderate" theory was tested in 2016.

  63. Perhaps a more accurate title for this article, based on the poll data, might be "Democrats in Battleground States Prefer A Progressive Nominee" since the combined data for Warren and Sanders is greater than that for Biden in all but one state. Gosh, I wonder why some progressives think the NY Times and other such corporate media are biased in favor of status quo, corporate candidates like Joe Biden. In normal times, a corporate bias might be a acceptable for a corporation like the NY Times. But at times like this, when our future is threatened by climate change and massive economic inequality a little more objectivity might be in order.

  64. These poll results are insane. The problem isn’t that Democrats won’t work with Republicans. The problem is that the Republicans refuse to work with Democrats. That’s been the case for a long time, and no amount of wishing will change it. Of course, these results are from very small samples, exclude many potential voters, and was done a year before the general election, and months before the primary in any of these states. Grain of salt is advised.

  65. Look at the numbers; Moderates get about 30%, Progressives get about 30% and Don't knows get about 30%. Stop with the garbage Warren or Sanders cannot win. Sorry, but if Biden wins the primary many progressives will stay at home - just like 2016. If Warren or Sanders win, moderates will still vote for them thinking they can't get some of their policies through, unless they are ready to deal with Trump for another 4 years.

  66. Yes, and we elected a Congresswoman in 2016 who promised she would work with Republicans. She is one of the most partisan persons in the Congress and her only achievement is voting for the impeachment inquiry. She is so aloof from our people here that she is even uninterested in stopping robocalls. She is uninterested in cooperative comprehensive immigration legislation, in cooperating with Republicans on any climate legislation, in getting citizenship for DACA people, in working to pass the USMCA, in ANYTHING that calls for working with Republicans that she is a total fraud. BUT, she got elected by claiming she would be "working with Republicans."

  67. As pollsters know the answer you get depends on how you phrase the question – this one biased and result expected. Voters will do as they will and explanations will abound.

  68. As pollsters know the answer you get depends on how you phrase the question – this one biased and result expected. Voters will do as they will and explanations will abound. Put it up a little truth won't hurt.

  69. Enough with the polls and quotes from 70year olds. Focus on helpful policies. From both parties. I don’t think the Republicans have many.

  70. The poll is useless in its implications and borders on fraud. The most relevant question to have asked the participants was whether that participant would be voting for any Democrat candidate over Trump, notwithstanding their preference for "a moderate" candidate or one in the image of "moderate Joe Biden." This sound to me like a Biden sponsored poll.

  71. These swing state polls are nothing more than name recognition contests at this time. Trump and Biden have the most name recognition - not more complicated than that. The Democratic contenders are not spending time and resources in those swing states yet. All the Democratic candidates are focusing their resources on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina - the first caucus/primary states. If Warren wins Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary - she leads in most polls in both states (however, it’s close in both states), she will have strong momentum to win the nomination. But the Democratic caucuses/primaries look like they will be a long, drawn out contest. If Bloomberg enters, he would definitely change the dynamics (takes out Biden, helps Warren, or Bloomberg could even win nomination). Once Democrats have their nominee, the swing state polls will matter - a lot (more than national polls, which will predict popular vote, which any Democrat is likely to win given that the majority of the country detest or are simply tired of Trump). What those swing state polls are telling us even now is that Trump - even after obstructing justice, being a Putin Puppet, being an overt racist, being credibly accused of sexual assault by about 20 women and of rape, withholding military aid from an ally fighting for its survival in a war against Russia as leverage to get dirt, made up dirt, on Biden, after being impeached but not removed) - has a very real and strong chance of being re-elected.

  72. Where is Michael Bennet on this list? He is the candidate independent voters are looking for. He just registered in New Hampshire. He needs to get more exposure.

  73. Of course "key states" say they prefer a "moderate." Almost by definition, the majority of voters in swing states have no ideology or principles to guide their choices. Consequently, these "moderates" float wherever the winds and currents take them. It seems highly doubtful that swing state voters even understand what "moderate" means if they would voter for Trump rather than a progressive candidate. Since fear is the strongest force in politics, swing state voters are especially vulnerable to well-funded propaganda campaigns by corporatists and Big Lies by demagogues. If these morally unanchored swing voters have not already been repulsed by Trump, then Republicans can hate-monger and race-bait them into voting against American democracy again.

  74. Not long ago, my main concern was that Warren and Sanders would split the progressive vote at a time when the country badly needs a reformer in the White House. Now, I'm terrified that Warren will win -- not because I don't agree with most of her proposals, but because I fear she may lose to Donald Trump. This survey shows why. Sure, these voters are naive -- no Democrat can find common ground with today's Republicans, because the Republicans have no intention of doing so. But we need these voters to defeat Donald Trump. There is nothing remotely as important. What good will running a progressive candidate do if we lose our democracy? In the last election, I voted for Bernie Sanders. But right now, we are fools if we don't support the candidate most likely to drive this president out of office. I would vote for Dracula if it meant defeating Donald Trump.

  75. Michael Bloomberg changed everything. The candidates listed here should drop out of the race now. Mr. Bloomberg is better than all of them.

  76. How does anyone work with the current iteration of Repubs? Mitch McConnell's preference is for political and judicial power rather than functioning government. I don't see him changing his cynical playbook for any Dem Pres. I too would like government to go back to being realistic compromise and conversation rather than the scorched earth war it has become. (Thank you Newt G) But I can't see how it happens.

  77. 62% prefer a candidate that promises "to find common ground with Republicans". Find common ground with a party that suspended the Constitution so they could rig the Supreme Court when the last President was a Democrat ? Find common ground with a party that passed a billionaire tax cut welfare program with zero public hearings ? Find common ground with a party that came within a vote of ripping healthcare from 15 million Americans and replacing it with early funerals ? Find common ground with a party that refuses to consider any legislation that passes the current House of Representatives ? Find common ground with a party that blindly supports Presidential law-breaking as far as the human eye can see ? What exactly is the purpose of finding common ground with a party that has repeatedly demonstrated corrupt, oligarchic values and no respect for the United States Constitution ? Maybe the Republican Party should start finding some common ground with the United States Constitution and the nonrich before expecting a single vote from an American citizen.

  78. Why are you trying to attack the innate preferences of these voters? It won't change their minds. It may be entertaining to watch the theatrics on Capital Hill, but in the end that has little value for most of us who want government run in a professional manner with reasoned decisions absent the influence of money interests or political posturing.

  79. Of course the Dems in these states do. They also want to win and aren't willing to go down fighting believing they didn't compromise. The left-wing of the Democratic Party is going to re-elect Trump, and in their haughty, self-righteous, despair, grieving another four years of Trump they will complain, but refuse to take responsibility because they won't compromise or do what is necessary and support the only candidate who can beat Trump.

  80. People in battleground states and split communities are largely not as intelligent or connected with reality as people in deep blue enclaves are. Their lower incomes, their lack of culture, and their lack of political imagination are testament to this fact. They may say they want Biden, and this is likely true. But it’s similar to how they say they want fried chicken, football, McDonald’s, soda, and cigarettes. It may feel good and comforting to them, but it only leads to obesity, diabetes, cancer, brain damage, and demise. Therefore it is up to us - the white and woke progressive vanguard, and those well educated minorities who are similarly woke - to show them the Right Path. Just like we have with school reform, bans on full contact sports, and cigarette and soda taxes in our own more progressive communities. This piece tells me one thing, and one thing only; we need to work harder to teach others the Right Path. And we need to work harder to make sure someone like Warren is the nominee. There are still far too many ignoramuses within the Democratic Party. We simply need to out donate them, out organize them, and outvote them. Based on our own record of intelligence and hard work, I’m confident we can do this though.

  81. Was this a landline poll only? If it was, that is a substantial flaw. Baby boomers and gen-X people who still answer their home phones don't represent the entire Democratic Party.

  82. In 2016 those same Democrats wanted the moderate Hillary, which gave us Trump, who is anything but moderate.

  83. It seems increasingly likely that Trump will not be on the ballot in 2020. I would bet that he has a temper tantrum and declares that, due to the presidential abuse he has suffered, he has decided not to run. The country doesn’t deserve him. Then what?

  84. @WDP Yeah, I like your optimism, but even doddering Donald knows that the Oval Office is the reason he's getting so much attention right now (and staying out of jail, maybe even)... not only does he NOT want to leave, he's made mention of needing to stay past his term limit! He literally feeds off the energy of the nation and he is well aware that he can't leave the White House without having to put his ego on a diet.

  85. The podcast discussing the results of the poll was so interesting , I listed to it twice! I’m afraid there will be backlash by many progressives over what may be perceived as pushing a Biden agenda. Nevertheless, it is obvious. The country is polarized and the few remaining sane moderates prefer anybody who isn’t an extreme! At the moment the only viable candidate is Biden. For moderates who don’t want to see Trump re-elected , but don’t want to fundamentally change America, Biden is the best , emergency fix. If Democrats make any other extreme progressive the candidate , then most moderates will either re-elect Trump or worse- they will NOT vote. This will happen not just in battle ground states as mentioned , but also in the South in areas with a potential to turn blue (ie. GA and TX) Choose wisely for accept another 4 years of T!

  86. @Conny Really? Moderates won't vote? They're all in favor of bipartisanship when it comes to working with right-wing extremists, but not when it comes to working with relatively centrist progressives? It's not like Warren and Sanders are proposing to turn the USA into the USSR... they are proposing to turn it into a fairly normal functioning "western" democracy of the type that has flourished in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan for decades. Universal health care, strong social safety net, worker protections, reasonable gun control... none of these ideas are extreme in the least bit when you consider how well they've been done outside the USA for a long time now.

  87. With Mitch McConnell in power, "working with Republicans" means giving in to Republicans. People who say this must be old enough to remember a time when the parties actually did work together occasionally.

  88. Just looking at the chart. If you combine Warren and Sander’s polling numbers, they beat Biden in every single state. So in fact they don’t prefer a moderate. They’re just split between which progressive they like better.

  89. Perhaps they just don't prefer Biden and have not yet examined the promises from the others.

  90. Exactly who are the Republicans with whom a “moderate” Democrat would work? Susan Collins, maybe, and . . . ? Out of the gate in President Obama’s first term Mitch McConnell vowed to make him a one-term president. The amount of cooperation that followed was, predictably, virtually zero. From Clinton on, Democrats have been counseled to follow the middle path. Meanwhile - since Reagan, really - Republicans gave us supply side economics, growing income and wealth inequality, endless war, environmental degradation, and Donald Trump. We need a president who will lead us out of this mess, not deeper into it.

  91. Let's do this: the new Democratic president gives the Republicans one chance to work together. If s/he is obstructed then that's it. Even one chance is being generous. Obama didn't learn that lesson soon enough.

  92. @CarolSon Why bother? How about if, instead, the Republicans start showing any inclination AT ALL towards being able to compromise on even small issues BEFORE Democrats-- moderate, moonbat, or otherwise-- talk about bipartisanship as a goal? Instead of wondering if it's the height of wisdom to elect someone like Joe Biden because he might be able to pull off this alleged "reach across the aisle", we should instead be wondering if it wasn't Uncle Joe whispering in Barack's ear about being moderate that kept President Obama from being more progressive the whole time! How many opportunities have been squandered already because of this consensus mirage?

  93. A moderate democrat in a swing state to win a national election. I find this concept or mindset generally wrong. For a democrat in a red or red-leaning state, as long as you hold views for: abortion right, gun control, gay marriage, illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship, etc, you are no longer a moderate any more, you are a total liberal with all those "sins". There is no way they'll vote for you. On the other hand, a "true" moderate democrat in those red-leaning states most likely holds the opposite views on the above issues so this personal has a much better chance to win in those states. But this "true" red state moderate democrat is totally unacceptable in any other blue state. There is absolutely no chance for this moderate to win the primary. There is a symmetrical scenario on the republican side: moderate republicans Charlie Baker (MA governor) and Larry Hogan (MD governor) can win and remain very popular in those blue states, but they all have to hold liberal views (except for tax policies, which are the only ones acceptable by blue state voters).

  94. Sanders votes plus Warren votes equals preference for a...moderate. I’m no mathematical wiz but I understand basic addition.

  95. Having just read the headline, I have to ask, it's great that moderate Democrats want a candidate who'll work with the Republicans, but why would they expect the Republicans will work with us? Didn't work so well with Obama, did it? During the US revolutionary war, the British wore red coats, marched in straight lines, and expected their opponents to follow British perceived notions of warfare. What did that get them? Until the Republican party can learn to play nice with others, we need to do what is necessary to implement our policies.

  96. One interesting observation I recall reading, after the October NYT/Sienna poll first printed, was that the voter-ID splits in Michigan seemed heavily weighted with an atypical proportion of Independent voters. The strong implication was that the Sienna poll was an outlier, perhaps due to modeled composition. I wonder if this article merits a follow-up in which the positioning of the candidates is measured using more than one poll, from more than one pollster?

  97. This poll seems to indicate there is still time for a candidate other than those you polled for to take the lead, a moderate obviously, someone who can actually get things done with the help of Republicans, and someone with a proven track record of beating Trump. For the life of me I just don't understand why Steve Bullock's name doesn't come up as the guy to fit this bill. Please enlighten me.

  98. Progressive democratic primary voters (and I'm one) can easily forget that it is the general election that counts. And we cannot afford to lose this time around. With favorable headwinds, I would urge progressives to put themselves in moderate Republican shoes (just for a minute!), and see who them could possibly vote for. We cannot make a mistake this time around. And this story is a wake up call.

  99. Sanders is the only Democrat my Trump neighbors would support. I do put myself in their shoes. People can’t afford health care. People can’t afford college education.

  100. I would prefer Republicans who will work with Democrats. On the last decade or more, their reluctance has gone beyond obstinacy to outright endurance. Why ask Democrats to bend when Republicans will not, will not, will not be even minimally interested in joint effort?

  101. We want normalcy. We need experience and civility. We want Joe.

  102. @Dorothy Joe China? Joe Ukraine? No, what you mean is a Democrat moderate. Not a corrupt politician who enriches his family. Joe Biden is unelectable because he even used Air Force Two to get a one billion dollar contract for his son and SecState Kerry's son in Beijing. And, the Ukraine deal. We need a CLEAN moderate. There aren't any running. That is the tragedy of both the Party and the country.

  103. The bare numbers make me a little suspicious of the conclusion drawn in this article. Adding up the Warren and Sanders percentages gets you about the same totals as the percentages of Biden and Buttigieg. And more fundamentally, sure everyone wants to work with Republicans but they don’t want to work with Dems so this is a false proposition in which to build a theory of the voters’ mind.

  104. How has this poll been conducted? If the poll was taken by landline phone, consider who still has one of those.

  105. First if you combine Warren and Sanders the combination exceeds Biden in every state except NC. Also, what use is there to asking about ‘working with the Republicans’. It’s a ‘what if this could come true’ question. Sure, IF a moderate could somehow have Republicans work with them then yes there could be a path out of our obvious misery. Obama was a moderate who reproposed Republican ideas and was told ‘nothing from you’. There is not going to be anything from Republicans but obstruction so the question should not even be asked. Here is a better idea, make Warren be moderate. How? For one just start saying it. Progressive proposals today are not radical. They are solutions for big old festering problems. Warrens proposals are moderate. She is a moderate. She has nice moderate proposals to tax the rich and every regular worker in America loves that!

  106. @Brian -- Funny math. You merging two candidates to try to hide the simple fact - neither of the choices beats Biden in this specific poll. Only one candidate gets the nomination. Democrats polled in this set of states are not preferring a progressive candidate. Regarding your mention of Obama and the GOP - we still got Obamacare, which was big, and the GOP has failed to kill it. Damage it? Yes. But note also that three very Red states just voted last year to expand Medicare in their states. So some realism, please. Look back at when Presidents were able to get huge, sweeping progressive programs and laws enacted and you see what we won't have after the election - large Democrat majorities in House AND Senate. Incremental fixes are possible. Many Republicans and Independents are unhappy enough with Trump to vote the other way - if they feel safe doing so. You may want scold them for wanting to feel safe, but again, that's part of the problem. So no funny math saying a Warren/Sanders merge beats Biden. Neither progressive beats Biden in these polls. Ignoring that is a good way to re-elect Trump.

  107. I fear that all this polling is to some degree self reinforcing. People will support the ones they think can really win, those who were atop the last few polls they saw. The upshot is that the same 3 stay on top. They are preferred because they are winning and winning because they are on top on the polls. Maybe leave it alone for a month or 2 see what happens

  108. No surprise here. But if anything, it just goes to show what the more progressive candidates have so far failed to pick up on. And it will cost them, and Democrats dearly in the end.

  109. Since the Republican candidate is so extreme, it is certainly sensible for the Democratic candidate to try to reach a wider audience, by assuming a moderate position.

  110. That’s not much of an argument. Trump is so abhorrent that any sentient being running against him should be preferred by all rational people.

  111. I prefer a moderate who could work over - not with - Republicans. It is time to claw back the gains that were made by Democrats (and moderate Republicans) in the past and eviscerated by so-called Republican reactionaries these past two decades. Working with the current Republican party members makes as much sense letting an infant play with vipers.

  112. @Greg I would be OK voting for a moderate in the general, but I think a lot of people on here seem blind to just how tired the progressive base is with moderates and inoffensive middle ground policies being the only option. Economically things were not good for the majority of working Americans before Trump, and another candidate promising just a return to business as usual, "Nothing would fundamentally change," as Biden put it is not going to excite anyone. I think there is this cynical bet on the part of the moderates that economic progressives will grit their teeth once again and vote for a moderate because of Trump, whereas moderates would not do that, but in my opinion a push to the center will drive down voting as much as a push to the left. Not only that, but it will write off the huge number of Americans who have not been turning out even before, because they see nothing for them in politics. If any of these apathetic voters can be brought back it will be with something new, not the same old same old.

  113. @Rocky Hey Rocky. Good points. I am hopefully thinking that perhaps some of the people who say the voted for Trump because they despised Hillary Clinton would vote democratic again. Maybe that is wishful thinking. I do not disagree with many of the policies of economic progressives. However, I worry that some of the proposed policies are not economically viable and that some candidates may be pitching ideas on which they won't be able to deliver.

  114. @Greg Hear, hear!

  115. Ballot access laws are the new poll tax. The establishment parties benefit from byzantine ballot access laws that make it difficult for alternative candidates to “qualify” for our vote.  Nine states don’t even allow voters to write-in names of their preferred candidates. Disenfranchising candidates is part of the power elites’ election game as well.  Forty-five states have “sore loser” laws denying defeated candidates the right to run again on a third-party line.  If a candidate believes political kingmakers thwarted his/her prospects of winning the Democrat or Republican nomination, his/her political job application cannot be re-submitted to the voters – it’s against the duopoly’s rules. In 1775, John Adams warned us about this: “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other.  This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”  It’s time to do more than just dread the Hobson’s choice of Biden-Trump or Warren-Trump.

  116. Would they support a Republican nominee who showed zero interest in working with the other party? That’s their choice. Support someone who reflects their values and wants what’s best for the country — literally any democratic nominee. Or suport a vile human being who supports none of their values and has no interest in reaching across the aisle.

  117. Would someone who wants a candidate who will work with Republicans please explain in what fantasy world they see this as a possibility. Republicans constantly move the goalposts, tolerate behavior in their party that they always denounce in Democrats, explode deficits which they abhor when a Democrat is in office and this only scratches the surface. The hypocrisy in the R. Party is stunning and malicious.

  118. I don't know what universe these voters are living in. Republicans will not work with any Democrat - a so called moderate one or a liberal one. And they really want things in Washington to return to "business as usual" or "back to normal?" What is normal? When Mitch McConnell refused to hold a hearing for Obama's Supreme Court pick, or when McConnell's main goal in 2008 was to undermine Obama before he even entered the Oval Office? Who is the NYT reaching in this poll? I'm very doubtful of these data.

  119. What's with these 62% of people who want someone who can find common ground with Republicans? Wake up my friends! The Republicans are NOT interested!

  120. Do people think Trump is a moderate? So the choice is I will prefer a corrupt extremist over a liberal/progressive? Furthermore, it is not clear what people mean by “moderate”.

  121. Sanders and Warren together trounce the field of "moderates" combined. The only way to get to numbers of the "common ground" types is the "Don't Knows". In other words, the Times is effectively arguing that low information voters, who will never be among the enthusiasts for progressive change, to set the party agenda. How'd that work out the last time? Is it landlines which has rendered American polling worthless for the last few elections?

  122. @jrd, You note,"Sanders and Warren together trounce the field of "moderates" combined." But first, they would not be running together in the Presidential race; only one would. And second, that nominee would not be running against against the "moderates" in their party. He/She would be running against Trump or Pence. Such a "woke" candidate would be called a democratic socialist, which would soon morph into socialist, and then morph into communist.

  123. working with republicans is the same as standing, hat in hand, begging for a handout. republicans, as they currently are, will not work with democrats.

  124. If the democrats had listened to the people in 2016 and nominated a moderate progressive instead of the identity/social engineering obsessed, neo con, elect me president because I am a woman and my time has come Hillary, America would not be in the mess it is now with the ego maniac demagogue Trump. Democrats learn from history or forever be condemned to repeat its' worst mistakes.

  125. Well, don’t forget Cambridge Analytica.

  126. @Paul OK, Boomer.

  127. Anyone but Trump. Democrats must vote for the Democratic candidate. No one can be worse than Trump, every Democrat is better and many of their plans won't pass Congress but it's a good start. Here's wise words from Seth MacFarlane, Democrats should head them: Dear Liberals & Independents (and Democrats) In 2020, there will be a candidate competing against Donald Trump for President. It is very likely this candidate: 1. Isn't your first choice 2. Isn't 100% ideologically pure 3. Has made mistakes in their life 4. Might not really excite you all that much 5. Has ideas you are uncomfortable with Please start the process of getting over that now, instead of waiting until 2020.

  128. In 2016 the Democrats asked us to hold our noses and vote for Hillary. That’s a one time thing, and they are quite mistaken if they think we will all do that again.

  129. I have this as a meme and post it on Twitter and FB on a regular basis.

  130. @getGar: "In 2020, there will be a candidate competing against Donald Trump for President. It is very likely this candidate: 1. Isn't your first choice 2. Isn't 100% ideologically pure 3. Has made mistakes in their life 4. Might not really excite you all that much 5. Has ideas you are uncomfortable with Actually, my first choice would be to vote for a candidate that has ideas I am comfortable with, hasn’t made mistakes, and excites me. But my second choice would certainly be to vote for a candidate that makes mistakes, and has ideas that I am uncomfortable with.

  131. But the big question is can the Replubicans work with anyone?!

  132. Sherrod Brown, please, please reconsider! " I don't buy the left or the right. " Let's make the United States united again.

  133. The only way to work with the current republican congress would be further cut taxes for the rich, ban abortion, repeal the entire ACA.

  134. Common ground is only common when it favors what you believe in and want to happen.

  135. So, the vast majority of those polled "want a candidate who will find common ground with Republicans." Mine isn't a scientific, statistical response to the falling-down idiocy of this Hail Mary to the existentially-challenged Corporate Democrats down at the DNC, but here goes... Where in God's name did you find the participants in this poll? In a freshly unsealed 1950s bomb shelter? They want a candidate who says Brett Kavanaugh, now that I think about it, is really a swell guy? Someone who really enjoys the company of billionaires and would be comfortable getting a big check after a weekend on Jamie Dimon's yacht? Please get something more serious to distract us with now that Bernie Sanders is moving up in the polls and drawing the largest and most enthusiastic audiences. Perhaps an opinion piece on how we can really sew up this election by telling everyone under forty not to bother voting.

  136. @Brian Just look at where (i.e. for whom) the people turn out. For Sanders and Warren, and on the other side for Trump. No one turns out for bland oatmeal. The same will happen at the polls, yet because these voters have been slapped into cowering by the repeated losses of Democratic centrists to hardline Republicans since the 90s, they fear putting up anyone with a spine who will actually fight for something rather than acquiesce to the elite.

  137. @Brian Yes on the bomb shelter, but...look carefully at how the questions were framed. I absolutely refuse to participate in surveys because the questions are always framed to achieve the outcome the surveying entity is bent on promoting and/or sensationalizing.

  138. And how, pray tell, do you work with people who's definition of compromise is total capitulation?

  139. Republicans won’t work with any democrat. Do we remember Obama?’ These voters are naive or worse.

  140. Voters feel entitled to want anything, including for pigs to fly, that they were twenty years younger, that gravity did not apply to delicate items accidentally dropped. The constraints of reality mean that for democracy to work, voters had better grow up, swallow their childish wants, and consider what is possible. If you want Democrats who work with Republican, you're going to have to manage getting Republicans who will work with Democrats. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

  141. @Bounds The "ault" talk always comes from people who are solely interested in protecting what's theirs, and are actually opposed to what real democracy (like that of Canada and much of Europe) can actually be. Talk about toddler stamping their feet.

  142. I read this and got even more excited about Michael Bloomberg’s chances

  143. It's amazing how many people are zombies. Quick test: how many of you "moderate preferrers" chose not to vote for Clinton? OH, so NOW you prefer a moderate? "I wish I hadn't left the iron on" is not much of a personal philosophy.

  144. I was not able to get beyond Clinton's past behavior to even think of her as "moderate" or not. I suspect I wasn't the only one.

  145. @Margo Yes, I know there are many. "She broke email rules!" Heaven forfend.

  146. Please throw these labels away. If the choice comes down to Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump, and Elizabeth Warren is who people are afraid of? If people think Elizabeth Warren is the radical one who can’t work across the aisle? Then centrists are the problem, and the NYT will once again be complicit.

  147. @Noah G Absolutely right.

  148. @Noah G Thank you! I was wondering how long it would take for the Times and other “perceived” left media outlets to start brainwashing efforts against candidates who want to tax the obscenely rich appropriately. I’m over 60 and have watched the media benefit the 1% with the “trickle down” argument veiled as “Americans prefer centrists” for years. Because of this, the only changes I’ve seen in 40 years of adulthood have been a crumbling infrastructure, bankrupting due to exorbitant healthcare costs, rampant homelessness and the young turning against older generations because they know they will have to work twice as hard for half as much. Just look at the framing of the survey questions! The reason I don’t participate in surveys, but I digress. Anyone with half a brain knows Warren won’t be able to magically achieve Medicaid or free college for all in one, or even two terms, they are certainly worthy goals! The current national deficit wasn’t created by policies that benefited average Americans, but rather by welfare for the rich. Defense industry companies, Wall St./banking, for profit medical system, etc., etc., etc., these are the privileged who ALWAYS benefit by the same old “sky is gonna fall if we make sweeping changes” arguments pushed by the media. So, I expect Trump or Biden will win in 2020 and the country will continue it’s downward spiral.

  149. @Noah G It is interesting that almost everyone who is upset about this poll are from states where any democrat will easily win. Remember that this poll is about the crucial states that Trump won. Look at the poll carefully and see if you may be looking at these results with a losing New York state of mind. How surprised were you the day after the 2016 election when Ms. Clinton lost all of these states?

  150. As every sentient being knows working with the Republicans means giving them what they want without exception

  151. with his ties to Ukraine, there is no way Biden wins the White House, not happening, Warren will win the nomination and lose the general to Trump.

  152. Weird headline, given the polling data. Warren + Sanders beat Biden + Buttigieg + Klobuchar soundly in Michigan and Wisconsin and are pretty close to even with them (statistical error) in the other states. I understand the anxiety about the left-leaning candidates and it seems the NYT is really afraid of them. But I'm convinced either Warren or Sanders will beat Trump, and I'm convinced that Biden is still the worst bet because his shelf life is over. It's relatively fresh faces (Reagan, Clinton, W, Obama, Trump) who win elections usually.

  153. @Geoff Garver Indeed! And undecided beats everyone at this early point

  154. They want “a candidate who can work with Republicans”??!! What does that even mean, in the context of at least the past 40 years when most republicans have refused, time and time again, to “work with Democrats”??!! Or does that not matter? It seems to me that these voters are NOT so-called “moderates” at all but rather Republicans “lite” - or wolves in sheep’s clothing. To all Democrats, I’d say: beware of these kinds of people and ignore, move on, use all your energy and power to ensure that everyone else goes out and votes ... BLUE!

  155. @M. Haines Exactly! And, don’t participate in surveys that frame questions to achieve conclusions and arguments they (insert organization and sensationalist agenda) want Americans to believe.

  156. Barack Obama made every effort to work with the GOP (Good Old Putin) and we have lots of proof including a stolen Supreme Court pick to see how that “worked”. Republicans are not interested in governing or compromise. The only solution is to vote Democratic.

  157. @George Tafelski Republicans know how to wield power for their constituents, the very wealthy. Sadly the current cadre of establishment Democrats aren't interested in the doing the same, or they would nominate someone who went beyond the bland platitudes of holding hands with Republicans who stealing the wealth of, and denying healthcare to, the vast majority of the people. The establishment moderates like Biden have no desire to challenge this at all.

  158. @P.Law Absolutely accurate and well said.

  159. In the first table, note this: Warren + Sanders > Biden + Buttigieg. That doesn't look like preferring the moderates to me...

  160. @Nathan Hansard In the NYT survey of voters in key battleground states, there was a sizable percentage of people who would vote for Sanders but not Warren. So just because they like Sanders doesn't mean they'd support Warren.

  161. @Nathan Hansard Exactly my reading of the table, too. And why is the NYT even reporting these polls? While these polls are likely very interesting to the candidates' campaigns, by publishing them so early in the conest, the NYT appears to be pushing a narrative -- one supporting moderate candidates. While the Times can argue that it is simply informing the public, I regard this type of information as being no different than Comey informing us about the FBI's Hillary Clinton investigation, which arguably changed the trajectory of the 2016 election. For this survey to validate the headline, the question should have been: "Do you prefer a moderate, a progressive, or a conservative Democratic candidate?" But either way you slice it, the survey results show that there are either equal numbers of progressive voters as there are moderate voters, or progressives outnumber moderates in states like AZ, FL, and MI. Furthermore, this article appeared on my screen under an advertisement from Merrill Lynch. The NYT needs to do a better job of avoiding the appearance of partiality. And I disagree with @Diana in this thread: I believe that whether Warren or Sanders wins the nomination, their supporters will vote for whoever the progressive candidate is. If Warren is the candidate, Sanders supporters will not sit it out or write in Biden, and vice versa. Now, if Biden is the candidate, the Dems will have a lot of explaining -- and convincing -- to do.

  162. If a million black men were not still disenfranchised in Florida the poll might be very different. Unfortunately Republican governor Ron DeSantis has blocked a constitutional amendment that would have restored thier right to vote. DeSantis got elected in part with a massive payment from jailed Giuliani associate Lev Parnas. Parnas tipped the election in Florida, and Florida may tip the nation. Is Parnas working for Putin or for himself?

  163. Well that’s hilarious. Every time the Dems reach across the isle on substantial issues like ACA they get their hand bitten. I remember Obama compromising again and again and the result was still no. I think it’s in the Dems DNA to continue to do reach across as their coalition is broad, but the GOP mantra seems to be “My way or the Highway”.

  164. This is not the time for those opposed to Trump Fascism to turn Left. Real conservatives can join with real centrists and realistic progressives to beat the devil. Fascism has always won out when it could claim a threat from the Left.

  165. @n1789 Please explain why Hummingbird is wrong.

  166. The Republicans will claim a threat from the left, and call everything that’s not a giveaway to the rich “socialism”, no matter who the candidate is.

  167. @n1789 How did we get trump to begin with, then? How did the Democrats come to lose their 60 year majority in Congress in the early 90s, and gradually slide near to the point of national extinction a few years ago the more "moderate" and "centrist" (read: conservative) they became?

  168. Democrats who want a moderate who can work across party and ideological lines need look no further than Amy Klobuchar.

  169. American politics and political inclinations have become reactionary rather than being reasoned and proactive. Byt that, I do not mean, nor do I imply progressive or moderate. I mean the voters think about the upcoming elections in terms of reacting to what they see. They react to Trump, they react to Biden, they react to Sanders, ... and that forms the basis of who they support. That is how Hillary Clinton lost the election and how the next candidate from either party will lose the election. It is more about not losing rather than winning that seems to matter. The electorate should be more capable that that.

  170. There is a year before this election, and no one has really campaigned in those states. I think the most critical part of this survey is the fact that 30% of people don't know who they would vote for. That's a lot of people up for grabs, and let's face it, I'm sure the same was said about Republicans in 2016. But it was Trump who won the nomination and still received support in the general. On a separate note, nearly 50% of voters in those swing states STRONGLY disapprove of Trump, and if Democrats can't turn those into votes there is a problem with the party.

  171. If one looks at the combined percentages of Warren and Sanders, it indicates an unambiguous voter preference for a progressive platform. Any promise to find common ground with the GOP is the proverbial "fools mission"

  172. @Roger Sure, let’s add up the percentages in the 6 states presented. The support for the two progressive candidates ranges from 28% to 45%. Warren and Sanders enjoy branding all other candidates as moderates. That means the moderates get 55% to 72% of the vote. Therefore, there is an unambiguous preference for a moderate candidate.

  173. But the polls the media are pushing as valid as trying so hard to tell us the Bernie and his progressive agenda has no chance. The national story line they are pushing is only a moderate can win. I guess they think they still have us brainwashed into thinking trickle-down works, so we better be nice to the billionaires... Ha! Okay, Bill!

  174. Exactly.... Warren and Sanders together meet or beat the percentages of Biden and Pete. The article headline is misleading but not surprising.

  175. Can anyone explain, in policy terms, what it means to be on the "extreme left"? On issue after issue, from income redistribution to gun control to freedom of choice to election reform to immigration to healthcare etc. etc. etc. the center of gravity is on the left. This labeling has become nothing more than a way for conservative Republicans to divide the left because when they talk about issues they lose. And it works.

  176. I’m not in a battleground state and I want a moderate.....support Amy!

  177. Tried that three years ago with “moderate” Hillary Clinton. Didn’t work then. Likely won’t work this time either!

  178. Why is it democrats who need a moderate? Why don’t they tell republicans to get a “moderate,” too?! That right there tells you the fallacy of this “poll.” Wall Street people are so scared democrats will nominate a candidate who actually reigns in their greed!

  179. The Republicans hated/hate Obama. How are they going to like Biden any better? He’s too old. He’ll be one term.

  180. I am a lifelong Democrat. At the first debate, Trump will make Biden look like Grandpa Simpson. Warren ‘20

  181. "...who can work with Republicans." Now THAT's funny.

  182. Of course! Democrats are not known for trying to be better than anyone else - we just basically want what’s better for everybody! And that includes people who are Republican, too. We don’t want people, anybody, to go without healthcare. We want everyone to have a great education, and make public education great for everyone. We want everyone to enjoy our great natural resources. Sounds like we should be the ones wearing the MAGA hats! There is no way I would wish bad on my Republican neighbors. What we really want is to try to persuade them, I guess, the country would be better off if everyone had opportunity, if everyone is healthy, if everyone could go to parks that are mindfully supported by our government. But that does not mean Democrats approve of waste, either. I don’t think the Republican Party stands for greed and selfishness - on the whole. There has been great divisiveness. We all do need to pull back. We do need to compromise. We will not get anything meaningful accomplished by being arrogant, stubborn, ungiving, and unforgiving. We all have lessons to learn here. In the next debate perhaps we should take heed regarding who actually could reach across the aisle, not just for a handshake, but for some sound work for everyone in this country. Stop the blame. Donald Trump isn’t even worth those words!

  183. As I recall, black voters in 2008 initially preferred Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama, mainly because they thought Clinton had the better chance of winning in the general election. Joe Biden, who was also a candidate in 2008, was far back among the also-ran's. What changed? Once Obama won a few primaries, blacks saw -- perhaps to both their surprise and as an answer to their prayers -- that he was indeed electable and their support quickly pivoted in his direction. Biden looks more electable right now but once his record and his link to son Hunter Biden's plum job in Ukraine gets a more thorough airing out -- and by Democrats, not Trump, his lead as front runner will diminish. The desire for a more moderate choice in the key battleground states should give Buttigieg and Klobuchar hope ... but Sanders and Warren pause for concern. Biden will most likely have the super-delegates on his side, so if there is no clear winner by the convention, he will probably be the nominee ... if he lies low and avoids sounding like an even more syntactically and logically challenged candidate than either of the two Bush's. Buttigieg is very well-spoken, quick on his feet ,and with enough of a resume and lifestyle to offer a little bit of something to conservatives and progressives. Yeah, he's young and many of his character-shaping life experiences lie ahead of him. But Mayor Pete would be an audacious choice ... on par for audacity with DJT, so it'd be quite a match-up.

  184. And why is it perennially "Moderate Democrats" bearing the responsibility of working with Republicans? I don't ever recall seeing a poll showing Republican voters preferring GOP candidates who want to work with Democrats. This article and the poll on which it is based are just another transparent attempts by neoliberal centrists to put the Democratic Party back into it's losing "Oliver Twist" mode. Sorry, President Obama was the last moderate Democrat who bent himself and the Democratic Party into a pretzel "reaching across the aisle" to Republicans who interpreted such gestures as naive and weak. And after eight years of "moderate accommodation" by Democrats the country chose.......... Donald J. Trump.

  185. The country didn't choose Trump. Hillary ran a bad campaign. Plain and simple. She had it and lost it by not addressing issues that some people cared about and ignoring WI, MI, PA. She let him paint her as the Wall Street/billionaire's buddy and didn't defend herself. All we did was argue over what happened to Bernie rather than stay focused. FYI, I'm not defending Trump, I'm just reminding people what happened.

  186. Are they delusional? Or just not up to snuff on the last several decades when the GOP decided to adopt obstructionism as it modus operandi? Sorry, kids, I’ve bad news for you: Whoever is elected will have to contend with a corrupt, hyper partisan, fascistic GOP. To pretend or assume that the congressional polarization and dysfunction is Democrat’s’ fault is akin to blaming the victim, with the aggravation that those victims include the rest of the nation.

  187. State-by-state polls like this one are what politicians and voters need to see. A small number of voters in a handful of states will decide America’s fate. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Trump run a voter taxi service in those states.

  188. @shillingfarmer - and yet, so far, very few of these candidates have travelled to Arizona. I know our primary is late in the game, but we are going to be a key swing state in 2020.

  189. Combine the Warren and Sanders percentages, and they exceed Biden and the next "moderate". Eventually, either voluntarily or by circumstances, the Warren/Sanders support will unify behind one or the other. Bloomberg? Do you really think people would want to elect a 77 year old with over $50 billion, who wants to take away your guns, your cigarettes, and your Big Gulp sodas? I don't. Uh, oh, Hillary is warming up under the stands, and is about to enter the bullpen.

  190. @RM I agree the times is running article after article trying to scare us into supporting a moderate. In the end only 1 candidate is running for president. Bernie will bring out far more voters who would stay home if Biden runs than moderates will stay home if Bernie runs. In the end, moderates are more practical. When faced with a Trump re election they are not going to stay home.

  191. You may be correct that the Warren camp and Sanders camp will combine and would be a force. But there are many many voters who are more cautious on social and taxation issues. Don’t too quickly discount that these voters would vote for Trump or stay home.

  192. @Steve If Warren/Sanders win then moderates will stay home or vote Republican. For a moderate who cares about taxation issues and the economy, the re-election of Trump (painful as it may be) is more feasible than electing extreme progressives who we do not know the outcome of their novel FAR left ideas.

  193. Obama tried to work with republicans but they did not want to, rather stalling Congress trying to make him a one-term president. The only way Republicans will work with a democratic president is if they get beaten badly in the 2020 election. Otherwise, they will continue to obstruct compromise with fake news and conspiracy theories. I hope this impeachment process will show their supporters how little integrity they have left.

  194. Any of the Democrats could work with the GOP, but the feelings aren't mutual, if the Obama presidency is any indication.

  195. Yet another article in the Times cautioning Democrats that their fascination with the ultra-left will come back to hurt them. Fair warning to Democrats. While Joe Biden is the favorite of moderates, he may be surpassed by Michael Bloomberg in the center lane. Too many Democrats remain convinced that ideology is more important than winning, if they can't have the candidate whose ideology they prefer, they won't vote at all. Or the corollary of that seems to be, if it's a centrist, they'll stay home. Give us what we want or else risk losing the election is what I hear from them.

  196. @blgreenie Are you not hearing the exact same from the center? Any right-thinking person will vote the dem nominee come next year. Dems ran to the center in '16 and lost in these exact states.

  197. It’s a three person race – Biden, Warren, and Sanders. The rest are just noise. Warren and Sanders are splitting the progressive vote, while Biden has the center to himself. If either Warren or Sanders dropped out of the race (and eventually one of them will), her/his supporters would mostly gravitate to the other one, not to Biden. It is therefore more correct to consider the total of Warren/Sander vs. Biden. In this case, Biden loses. Bottom line – Democratic voters lean very progressive, not centrist, even in these core swing states. (Caveat: This assumes that undecided voters split in the same proportion as decided voters.)

  198. Every poll that says otherwise is as wrong as the polls that anointed Hillary right up until the end.

  199. For those who genuinely support the policy positions of any of the candidates, I admire that. Please vote your conscience in the primary, and then for the eventual nominee on Nov 3, 2020. However, some people base their support primarily on the notion of electability. They try to predict who other people will vote for, rather than on their own preferences. They even try to predict who moderate Republicans might vote for. That is a fool's errand. Do you think Republican voters consider supporting a primary candidate based on attracting moderate Democrats? If they did, they would have nominated John Kasich in 2016.

  200. You can't just ignore polling and statistics that show a moderate Democrat is more likely to win. Republican voters and Democrat voters are not the same and it is not safe to assume that using a Republican strategy will work for Democrats.

  201. @Nick M "Republican voters and Democrat voters are not the same" You are correct. Republican voters are more likely to reliably show up at the polls, and vote loyally for their party's nominee. As Chris Matthews said about each party's candidates, "Democrats fall in love. Republicans fall in line." The only way that Democracy works properly is if every voter chooses the candidate he or she most prefers, not the candidate he or she thinks someone else prefers. Only then will the election winner best represent the will of the people. === But speaking of polls, as you brought up ... Most polls I'll seen showing hypothetical match-ups between Mr. Trump and Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg show Mr. Trump receives almost identical shares of votes against any of those four. The Democrat's share against Mr. Trump varies a little between the candidate (vs. undecided), but that is more likely due to name recognition at this point. (These polls include ones in the swing states, not just national polls.) I don't see major statistical differences between any of the Democratic candidates in regard to the potential general election outcome at this stage.

  202. @MidtownATL Well said! The choice may be difficult in the primaries, it shouldn't be in the general - regardless of the outcome of the former.

  203. I understand that to get elected in red states one must appear willing to compromise with Republicans on issues their constituents feel strongly about. However, I hope they keep in mind that however much they may be willing to compromise their counterparts will not cooperate. They want the whole pie, not half a pie, so in the end you must have the power to get what is necessary or you will get nothing at all. That means a Democratic majority in the House, the Senate and a Democratic President. Even that will face serious hurdles with a heavily biased Supreme Court likely to declare unconstitutional laws that challenge the present system.

  204. So here's how I'd reorganize the parties: One party hellbent on the intentional destruction of democracy. One party of "can't we all just get along?" incrementalism, timidity, and well-intentioned but out-of-it Boomers. And one party for our children and their children to have their best lives, no matter how many eggs get broken.

  205. Based on the analysis of these responses, the only appropriate, and logical strategy to the election is to impeach trump. Or am I reading the trend of the electorate erroneously?

  206. The results don't support the headline conclusion. Dems who want more "radical" (wow, radical as Canada!) policies are split between the two most left/progressive candidates, but they sum equal to or higher than Biden (even if one includes Platitude Pete). Yet the policies of the left/progressives are the ones the most popular at large (and much higher support among Democrats), even finding that puff "common ground," perhaps because there's something in it for everyone of the bottom 90%. Policies need to be part of this survey in order to give it context, as questions about "most Democrats" and such inherently lack it.

  207. Trump will be re-elected if the Dems don’t nominate a candidate who can get back the voters in the swing states who voted for Obama twice and then for Trump. Neither Warren nor Sanders can do that with their extreme proposals. Even Biden is polling within the margin of error against Trump in these states currently. This is not the time to debate taking away private health insurance (Warren) or increasing taxes on the middle class (Sanders). Trump will win if Dems don’t have a viable electoral college strategy to defeat him. That is reality, like it or not.

  208. The question that should have been asked - which one of these candidates can defeat Donald Trump?