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U.S. Senator Cory Booker. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Monmouth Poll: Democrats want candidate who can beat Trump

Most Dems willing to compromise on issues to nominate best candidate

By David Wildstein, February 04 2019 12:00 pm

Cory Booker has favorables of 44%-11% among Democrats in a new national poll released today by Monmouth University.

Booker’s 33% net approval rating puts him 6th out of 19 candidates tested in the poll.

The Monmouth poll shows that just 38% of voters want President Donald Trump to get a second term, while 57% want a new president.  Those numbers are statistically even with a November 2018 Monmouth pol.

Democrats want a nominee who can defeat Trump, even if that means some compromise on a candidate they don’t completely agree with. Just about all Democrats (94%) want Trump to lose.

While Joe Biden (29%) and Bernie Sanders (16%) lead the pack – they both have the highest name identification and net favorables – the poll shows the race wide open.  Kamala Harris is at 11%, but none of the other candidates break double digits.

Booker is at 4% nationally, behind Elizabeth Warren (8%) and Beto O’Rourke (7%) and tied with Michael Blomberg.  The differences between Warren and candidates like Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper and Julian Castro – all at 1% — are statistically irrelevant.

Nearly half of the Republicans polled (49%) want Trump to run unopposed for the Republican nomination and 43% want to see the president challenged in the GOP primaries.  Even so, Republicans say they would support Trump: he leads former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (73%-14%) and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (66%-21%). About 8 put of 10 (79%) of Republicans back Trump as a general election candidate.

“It’s not clear that any Republican, whether a past challenger or new blood, would have a realistic shot at taking the nomination. The party’s base belongs to Trump,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

More than half (55%) of independent voters want a new president, while 39% back Trump.

More than half of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 56%, prefer the nomination go to someone who can take Trump out, even if they disagree on issues; just 33% prefer a candidate with whom they are aligned on issues, even if that person were to lose the general election.

Democratic women (61%) are more likely than men (45%) to s put their policy positions aside in order to nominate a winning candidate.

“In prior elections, voters from both parties consistently prioritized shared values over electability when selecting a nominee. It looks like Democrats may be willing to flip that equation in 2020 because of their desire to defeat Trump,” said Murray. “This is something to pay close attention to when primary voters really start tuning into the campaign.”

Biden’s strongest support comes from Democrats who consider themselves moderate or conservative (39%), those age 50 and older (38%), white voters without a college degree (36%), and men (35%).  Sanders’ strongest support comes from voters under the age of 50 (27%) and liberals (23%).  O’Rourke and Booker do better among voters of color than they do among white Democrats (12% to 3% for O’Rourke and 6% to 1% for Booker).  Harris does about the same among white voters (12%) as among Democrats of color (9%). Given the small sample sizes for these subgroups, the differences tend to be statistically insignificant.

“As with any presidential nominating contest at this point in time, voter preferences are driven largely by name recognition. It would be very unusual if these results don’t change substantially when we get closer to next year’s primary contests,” Murray said.  “These early polls are most useful for looking at each candidate’s profile among the party faithful to assess potential viability.”

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from January 25 to 27, 2019.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%.

Monmouth Poll Feb 4 2019
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