Political News

Most Democrats say anybody but Trump, while Republicans rally around the president

Posted February 4, 2019 1:24 p.m. EST

— Most Democrats would rather have a candidate for the 2020 race who can beat President Donald Trump -- even if they don't agree with that candidate on the issues -- over a candidate with whom they agree completely but who would have a hard time defeating the President, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday.

Republicans, meanwhile, strongly prefer Trump over other possible competitors. Around half said they'd want Trump to run unopposed for the Republican nomination. Even more Republicans prefer the current President in hypothetical matchups with potential contenders like former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (73% Trump, 14% Kasich) and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (66% Trump, 21% Cruz). Even among those Republicans who said they wanted to see Trump with primary competition, a plurality still support the President in hypothetical matchups, beating Cruz by 43% to 37% and Kasich by 47% to 33%.

The poll was conducted a week and a half ago, before CNN hosted California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris for a town hall in Iowa and before Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, had officially declared as a candidate.

Among the 19 possible Democratic candidates in the upcoming 2020 Democratic primary tested in the poll, former Vice President Joe Biden comes out on top with 29% support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters, followed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (16%), and Harris (11%). Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (8%) and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke (7%) are the only other candidates to top 5% support in the poll.

Biden, Sanders, and Warren all have the highest favorability as more Democrats know who they are than other candidates. Eight-in-10 Democrats and leaning voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, 68% of Sanders, and 57% of Warren. Fewer people know who Harris is than the top three candidates, but 46% have a favorable opinion of her. Booker (44% favorable) and former O'Rourke (41% favorable) have similar ratings.

When asked who would they would be least likely to support, Sanders received the highest number of Democrats. While only 10% said he's the candidate they would be least likely to support, that's still the only candidate in the double digits, followed by 5% who reported they were least likely to vote for Biden, Warren and Harris, respectively.

Only 38% of registered voters overall said Trump should be re-elected and 57% wanted someone else to be in office. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans want Trump to serve a second term while 94% of Democrats want someone new, and a majority of independents (55%) agree.

The Monmouth University poll was conducted by telephone from January 25 to 27, 2019 with 735 registered voters in the United States, which has a +/- 3.6 percentage point sampling margin of error. The results in this release based on 335 registered Republicans and leaning Republican voters have a margin of error of +/- 5.4 percentage points. The results in this release based on 313 registered Democrats and leaning Democratic voters have a margin of error of +/- 5.5 percentage points.