Biden announced he’d run for President around April 23rd. AFter that, he climbed steadily in the polls, mostly taking air out of Sanders’ previous lead as well as the undecideds. He had already held a commanding, leading, position in the polls before he was running, but that is not quite the same thing. But a month later, Biden’s lead sagged significantly and he has been at a steady 35% since, dropping a couple of percent in the last few days. Sanders, having lost wind with Biden’s entry, regained some of those numbers apparently off of Biden’s deflation, and has been holding steady since about May 26th at 16%. That is just looking at the ongoing average of all the polls. Looking at more detail is more dangerous, but when we do that, we see the most recent poll, YouGov, with Biden falling off sharply and Sanders steady but dropping a little.
Simpler version of the above, for the last couple of months, Biden has led Sanders and the two held the top two positions, with variations in their poll trajectories resulting from Biden’s entry and a subsequent cool off.
But forget about those guys for a minute. Consider Buttigieg and Warren. Both have had numbers that varied a lot over several weeks, but both have trended upwards in the most recent polls. Buttigieg’s most recent poll numbers (from mid May to the present) were 6,5,5,7,8,10, respectively. Warren’s were 10,5,7,10,5,12, more variable, several times in the double digits. Harris has had a couple of good days, but for the most part, Warren and Buttigieg seem to be the only two with a good chance of establishing two digit status in the near future.
But the most interesting recent development is Iowa. Here, we have these numbers:
Everybody else: Never mind.
New Hampshire also has this as a more or less four person race between Biden, Sanders, Buggigieg, and Warren (with Harris not far behind), in that order. Polls in South Carolina have a very strong Biden followed by Sanders, Harris, Booker, and Warren. A tiny bit of polling has Nevada going for Biden then Sanders, but almost tied, followed by O’Rourke, Warren, Harris.
So there are two horse races going on. The boring one where Biden is firmly ahead of Sanders and they are just running along in the top two slots in this order, and the more interesting one, where Warren, Buttigieg, Harris, and maybe O’Rourke are trading places across time and space. Significantly, none of the other candidates seem to have emerged as factors yet.
I predict … a horse race that continues to be interesting.