Democrats were buzzing on Monday with the release of a new Monmouth Poll that showed Joe Biden falling from his long-held leadership perch over the rest of the 2020 liberal field. But some, including Jeffrey Toobin of CNN, dismissed the results citing a small sample size. “That 298 sample, that’s a rinky-dink poll,” said Toobin. “Sorry, I mean, Monmouth has often done good work, but I think that poll itself is kind of a joke.”
Wolf Blitzer posted the graphic seen above. “Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, they’re all at the top,” he said. “It’s an interesting poll, but it’s got a pretty wide margin of error–5.7 percent. And it’s clearly in conflict with the CNN poll last week, which had Biden at 29 percent, Sanders, 15, Elizabeth Warren, at 14 percent.”
“Polls will change,” said Washington Post reporter Rachael Bade.
“And as we knew from 2016, sometimes they can be wrong. But if you take this at face value, it’s clear, a couple of things. Number one, Joe Biden is no longer your front-runner if this poll is correct. And he’s been the front-runner this whole time. Sort of pitching himself as the candidate who could beat Trump, most likely to beat Trump, this electability argument. Now over time, we have seen in polling that although a lot of Democrats want to prioritize somebody who can beat Trump and that they’re certain can beat Trump over, say, their positions on Medicare for all, that number of people sort of emphasizing that electability has gone down and perhaps you’re seeing that in this poll.”
“The other thing that stands out to me is Warren,” continued Bade. “She’s a hot commodity right now. Her trajectory has been straight up. She’s perhaps the only person in this race who has just continued to grow and grow and grow. And we’ve seen that not just in this poll, but all around, she’s really a standout.”
Blitzer cued up a video clip of a large crowd at an Elizabeth Warren event, saying: “Take a look at some of the rallies she’s — look at this — a pretty big crowd. There are thousands of people that have gathered for her, and that’s a marked contrast to so many of the other Democratic candidates, who very often get a few hundred.”
“As Rachael said, it’s early in the race, things will shift. Whether Senator Warren is up now, it might not be that she’s up later, pointed out David Swerdlick of the Washington Post. “But she’s clearly built steady momentum. And I think that explains the differences in those polls. The CNN poll and the Monmouth poll are very reputable polls. I think what accounts for the difference and why you should sometimes do averages is you see someone like Senator Warren slowly rising in all of these polls, even though this is the first one that shows her tied with Vice President Biden and Senator Sanders.
“I will note, Wolf, if you look at the cross tabs of this new poll, the thing that’s consistent from the other poll is that she’s still behind Sanders and Biden with non-white voters. She’s actually got a lead among white voters, but with non-white voters, she’s still trying to build some momentum.”
At this point, Toobin jumped in. “Can I disagree with David a little bit? Come on, that 298 sample, that’s a rinky-dink poll. Sorry, I mean, Monmouth has often done good work, but I think that poll itself is kind of a joke. However, I don’t think the Elizabeth Warren crowds are a joke at all. If you look at the last three presidents elected, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, very different people in every respect. But when they ran for president, especially the first time, they had tremendous enthusiasm and big crowds. Big crowds matter. And the fact that Warren is getting them and other candidates are not, I think that really does tell you something.”
Watch the panel discussion here …
Video by CNN
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