Memo: Voters See a Wide Open Field

By Sean McElwee, Co-founder of Data for Progress and John Ray, Senior Political Analyst at YouGov Blue

Topline Findings

  • We do not find evidence for the perception that Biden is a runaway frontrunner. Democratic primary voters are considering many candidates, and a nontrivial share have ruled out Biden.

  • Democratic primary voters who have heard “a lot about” a candidate are much more likely to believe that candidate can beat Trump. Among all Democratic primary voters Vice President Joe Biden is currently viewed as most likely to beat Trump, but among voters who have heard “a lot about” the leading candidates, clear majorities believe those candidates can beat Trump.

  • Voters do not believe that supporting policies like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal make candidates “unelectable.”

  • We find that voters are more likely to support climate intervention when it is presented as government investment and regulation than when it is presented as a tax on carbon pollution, suggesting the Green New Deal framework has advantages over an exclusively carbon-tax framework.