Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) recent rise in the polls, including her new status at the top of the most recent Quinnipiac University survey, is due to an increase in support for the lawmaker from several groups. But the biggest gain comes from white college-educated voters.
With 27 percent of the support of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning voters, Warren is more or less tied with former vice president Joe Biden in Wednesday’s Quinnipiac University national poll. He received 25 percent of the vote. The two percentage-point difference falls within the margin of error, but this is the first time Warren took the numerical lead in a Quinnipiac survey.
The next closest candidate is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with 16 percent of the vote.
Much has been made about Warren’s growing popularity with young voters — she stood in line for four hours earlier this month taking selfies with people who attended her speech near New York University. And while she is not polling as well with black voters as Biden or Sanders, she has growing support with the demographic, according to other polls.
But the lawmaker’s support grew from 25 percent in late August to 37 percent in late September with white college-educated voters, an influential group that largely voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said: “Dig a little deeper, and the reasons behind Warren’s rise become more clear. She generates a lot of excitement as a potential nominee. On top of that, half of Democrats want a presidential candidate that supports big changes — even if it means things are harder along the way.”
Seven out of 10 Democrats said they would be excited if Warren became the Democratic nominee for president in 2020. Fewer — 56 percent — said they would feel the same about Biden winning the nomination.
And the excitement is rooted in Warren’s left-of-center ideas — she has released dozens of plans on an array of topics, including universal child care and getting rid of the electoral college. Because of her left-leaning politics, some assumed that Sanders would be most at risk of losing his support to Warren. But this poll suggests that Warren may mostly be taking support from Biden — and that could continue.
Warren is less well known than Biden. Only 9 percent of those surveyed haven’t heard of Biden, who served in Congress for three decades before becoming the vice president to America’s first black president. Nearly 20 percent haven’t heard of Warren.