Results from a straw poll by progressive group MoveOn of its members released Tuesday show Sen. Elizabeth Warren trouncing the rest of the Democratic field in the presidential primary, 21 points ahead of her closest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Warren, of Massachusetts, claims 37.8 percent of the poll’s voters, while Sanders, of Vermont, came in second with 16.5 percent. Former vice president Joe Biden, who is seen as a more conservative candidate, came in third at 14.9 percent with MoveOn’s progressive supporters; Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg rounded out the top four with 11.9 percent. The rest of the field were in the single digits. Warren, California’s Sen. Kamala Harris, Buttigieg, and Sanders were the top four candidates for the poll’s “second choice” option.
The MoveOn poll targets the left-leaning progressives that make up its supporters. Nonetheless, the group’s federal endorsement manager Allison Pulliam said in a statement, the poll’s findings indicate the Democratic Party faithful are beginning to coalesce around a small number of top-tier candidates.
“MoveOn members make up a huge part of the Democratic Party’s base,” said Pulliam, “and this poll is clearly good news for Sen. Warren, showing that she’s gained substantial support from MoveOn members over the past six months and is also well positioned to continue building support given that she’s also the top second choice candidate of our membership.”
In comments Monday to The Hill about Warren’s chances in the primary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said that he believes Warren is uniquely positioned to pick up more supporters from Biden backers and undecideds. Green’s group endorsed Warren minutes after she announced her run for president in February.
“Bernie supporters are pretty hardcore and are not the cornerstone of any Warren strategy,” Green told The Hill. “Biden voters and undecided voters are the biggest honey pots for Elizabeth Warren because they are disproportionately pundit voters who prioritize electability.”
The MoveOn poll indicates that Warren is already picking up some of that support.
Tuesday also marked the release of a national poll from Emerson Polling that found Biden still leading the pack of Democrats with 34 percent. Sanders was close behind at 27 percent while Warren, in contrast to her strong showing among MoveOn voters, was a distant third at 14 percent.
The large Democratic field will debate for the first time on Wednesday and Thursday. Warren will be the lone frontrunner on the first day with nine others polling at under five percent. Biden and Sanders face off against Buttigieg, Harris, and six other candidates on Thursday.