News and Commentary

Poll That Predicted Trump Win In 2016: Warren Catching Up To Biden, But That Could Be Bad News For Democrats
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts and 2020 presidential candidate, speaks during the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Summer Meeting in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019.
Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A new poll by Investor’s Business Daily found that Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has pulled to within striking distance of front-runner Joe Biden, movement that follows the former vice president’s repeated gaffs and comes amid glowing coverage of Warren by major media outlets. While Warren’s momentum is good news for the progressive Massachusetts senator, the new survey from IBD/TIPP — which has been one of the most accurate pollsters in the last four elections, and the only major poll to give Trump the win in 2016 — might not be good news for Democrats.

When the final polls came in for the 2016 election, only one of the eleven major national polls that played into RealClearPolitics‘ average gave Trump the advantage: IBD/TIPP showed Trump winning by 2%. While Trump, in fact, lost the popular vote, a Washington Post analysis found IBD to be the second-most accurate of the pollsters in 2016 (McClatchy/Marist got its prediction the closest). IBD/TIPP was also the most accurate in the previous three elections. That is to say, Investor’s Business Daily’s poll results are worth taking a close look at.

IBD’s newest survey of the Democratic primary candidates and their potential head-to-head matchups against Trump provides some notable results. First, Warren is increasingly poised to dethrone Biden.

The poll found that Warren has surged by 7% since August, now winning the support of 24% of registered Democrats and independents who lean Democratic (up from 17%).

At the same time, Biden’s support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents has declined by 2%, dropping from 30% to 28%. That puts Warren at just 4% behind the front-runner — a dramatic 9% reduction of the gap she faced in August.

The other Democratic candidates find themselves far behind both Biden and Warren. The next closest presidential would-be is democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who pulled in just 12% (where he’s been since August), followed by Sen. Kamala Harris, who plummeted from 11% in August to just 6% in the new survey. In fifth is South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 5%, while Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has just 4% support. The rest of the candidates, including Beto O’Rourke, failed to manage more than 1%.

Warren’s surge is obviously welcome news for her supporters, but is it a positive development for Democrats, who are so desperate to see Trump taken down in 2020? The reality is that in head-to-head matchups against Trump, Biden is by far the better choice for Democrats. The pollster found Biden leading Trump by 12% in a prospective matchup (54-42), while Warren held a far more precarious lead of just 3% (49-46). IBD provides the breakdown:

In a head-to-head 2020 election contest of Biden vs. Trump, the IBD/TIPP Poll found a 54%-42% advantage for Biden. A month earlier, Biden led Trump by 13 points. Sanders had a narrow 49%-45% edge over Trump, while Warren and Harris had slimmer 49%-46% leads. Independents preferred Biden vs. Trump, 55%-37%. Warren edges Trump with independents, 47%-45%, while Sanders has a 51%-42% advantage.

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