Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead the race for the Democratic nomination, the December IBD/TIPP Poll shows. Biden garnered 26% support, down slightly from 29% in November but the same reading as in October. And in head-to-head polls, only Biden among major Democratic candidates still leads President Trump, who moved ahead of Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as the Dow Jones industrial average moved to record highs.
Biden's main challengers, Warren and Sanders, swapped places among Democrats. Warren's support for the Democratic nomination plunged from 27% in October, when she briefly took the lead from Biden, to 23% in November and just 14% in the latest poll. Sanders, meanwhile, surged from just 10% in October to 13% in November and 18% in December.
Also garnering support in December were South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, at 9%, up from 7% in November, and billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg, with 5%. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, at 3%, came next, followed by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and entrepreneur Andy Yang, all at 2%. All the other candidates have 1% or less.
What Happened To Elizabeth Warren?
Warren's fall is notable, given her highly visible positions supporting open borders and a "Medicare for All" health care system that even garnered criticism even from the left for its large price tag. Bernie Sanders, who advocates many of the same policies as Warren, may benefit from the fact that he ran in 2016 against Hillary Clinton, losing the primary popular vote by 55% to 43%, and is thus more of a known quantity.
There's also evidence that Pete Buttigieg is cutting into Warren's support among upscale white liberals.
President Trump Now Leads Warren, Sanders
Biden is the only major Democrat still leading President Trump head to head, but his edge is narrowing. In December's IBD/TIPP Poll, Biden led President Trump, 50%-45%, just five points, as scrutiny of the overseas business dealings in China and Ukraine of former Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, increased.
Meanwhile, President Trump now leads Warren and Sanders, after trailing them for the past several months. Trump leads Warren 49%-45%, up four points after losing by eight points in November. He just edges past Sanders, 48%-47%, but after losing by seven points in October.
Trump leads Buttigieg by 46%-44%. He beats Michael Bloomberg, who recently jumped into the race with massive ad spending, by 47%-46%.
Trump Gains Black, Hispanic Support
What accounts for the gap? President Trump takes 9% of the Black vote and 37% of Hispanic support against Biden in the IBD/TIPP Poll, but he gets 12% of the Black vote and 43% of the Hispanic vote against Sanders. And he gets 11% of Blacks and 43% of Hispanics against Warren.
By way of comparison, Trump got 8% of the African American vote and 29% of the Hispanic vote in 2016. So the incumbent, perhaps in part due to both Hispanic and Black employment and incomes rising to all-time highs during his time in office, appears to have eked out gains in these key Democratic constituencies.
Investors Shift To Trump As Dow Jones Hit Highs
As for self-described investors, who now make up over half the adult working American population, President Trump and Biden are neck-and-neck. Biden gets 49%, while Trump gets 48%. In November, Biden held a huge 19-point lead among self-described investors, 58% to 39%.
Against Bernie Sanders, investors favor Trump 49% to 47%, while Trump beats Warren among investors by 51% to 44%. Trump also edges Buttigieg, a former consultant for McKinsey & Co., by 48% to 45%. He leads Wall Street investment banker, former New York Mayor and media entrepreneur Bloomberg by 48% to 46%.
Also, amid speculation that former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton might run, IBD/TIPP Poll data show Trump beating Clinton 49% to 43% among registered voters. Among investors, the gap's even bigger: 50% Trump, 42% Clinton.
Trump's growing strength among investors recently should come as no surprise: The Dow Jones and other major stock market indexes are at record highs, with strong gains since early October. With unemployment at its lowest since 1969, investors have much to feel good about.
Some 53% of investors approve of Trump's handling of the economy vs. just 30% who disapprove. That's slightly better the 50%-32% split among all Americans.
Warren, Sanders Back Wealth Tax, Massive Spending
Investors in the IBD/TIPP Poll have become perhaps a bit alarmed by plans by Warren and Sanders to impose a wealth tax, and to boost spending on a variety of new programs with tens of trillions of dollars in new taxes require to support them.
They include free college, college debt forgiveness, banning fracking, stringent "new green deal" regulations and limits, Medicare for All along with sweeping drug-price controls, and increases in capital gains taxes, among other issues of concern among investors.
The data seems to suggest that the Democrats, while intrigued with the far-left candidacies of self-described socialist Sanders and his Democratic Party opponent Warren, want someone who can beat Trump.
Liberal Voters: Second Thoughts?
A look at how self-described liberals see the candidates is revealing. If this key voting demographic is key to the Democrats, as many analysts believe, Biden may be in a bind.
Before the 2020 Democratic primaries begin, Biden gets just 17% of liberal support, vs. 21% for Sanders and 23% for Warren. The elusive, but much-coveted moderate voter, favors Biden by 31%, Sanders by 21% and Warren by 23%.
If those IBD/TIPP Poll numbers hold, it would seem to give Biden a small, but not insignificant, advantage.
The IBD/TIPP Poll reflects responses from 905 adults contacted via mobile phones and landlines from Dec. 5-14 and carries a 3.3-point margin of error. Polling for the Democratic presidential nomination includes a subset of 312 Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents.
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