After a bit of a polling drought following the Thanksgiving weekend, the opinion-gatherers are back at work, with five national polls (from Fox News, IBD/TIPP, NPR/PBS/Marist, Quinnipiac, and the weekly findings from the Morning Consult tracking poll) released Sunday and Monday alone. Joe Biden led the Democratic presidential field in all five by margins ranging from two points (NPR/PBS/Marist) to 13 points (Quinnipiac). Bernie Sanders was second in four of the five (all but Quinnipiac), continuing his recent surge at Elizabeth Warren’s expense.
Pete Buttigieg’s national numbers continue to lag behind his performance in Iowa and New Hampshire; he’s been in the high-single-digits in most recent national surveys. And he may be hearing footsteps, as Michael Bloomberg’s massive ad blitz in Super Tuesday states is rapidly boosting his national poll standing. In the last two polls to be released from Quinnipiac and Morning Consult, he’s at seven percent, despite only being in the race for about three weeks. Morning Consult breaks out its results from the four early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina) as a whole, and it shows the other big spender, Tom Steyer, at 10 percent there, which puts him in fourth place, ahead of Buttigieg and just five points behind Warren. That makes some sense because Steyer has concentrated his ad spending in the early states. But when you put together Steyer’s showing in the states that vote in February and Bloomberg’s in the states that vote in early March, it’s clear, if it wasn’t already, that money talks.
According to Morning Consult’s national numbers, 54 percent of Democrats haven’t hear enough about Steyer to form an opinion of him; the same is true for the 36 percent with no opinion of Mayor Pete, and the 31 percent who are ignorant or indifferent to Bloomberg. All these candidates have some room to grow.
None of this could matter unless Joe Biden’s long-expected collapse in support finally happens. It will be interesting to learn if his recent expenditure of effort in Iowa has reenergized his once-struggling campaign there.