The survey conducted by research firm SSRS has found that half all Americans would be at least somewhat likely to support Joe Biden if he does enter the 2020 race.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on February 7, 2019

While Biden’s camp would be buoyed by the result, it showed Trump’s lack of support outside his existing base with 52% of respondents saying they were ‘not at all likely’ to support his bid for re-election.

Biden is yet to officially enter the race, which is already looking like a crowded field for the Democrats with 10 candidates already running and several others likely to declare. He recently said he will make a decision on whether to run “soon”.

Voters believe Biden is well placed to take on Trump

Almost half (49%) of the Democrat voters and Democrat-leaning Americans who were surveyed felt the ability to defeat Trump is an extremely important trait for the 2020 nominee needed to have. The ability to win the election was easily seen as the most important quality by the survey respondents. In second place, was having the right experience, with 39% saying this is extremely important to them.

28% of those surveyed felt that Biden should not run. Trump was the most divisive figure in the poll, with 52% saying they were ‘not at all likely’ to support him. Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (44%), former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz (44%) and Bernie Sanders (42%) were also ruled out by large numbers of voters.

Importantly for Biden, his support from voters has grown recently. Among Democrat voters, he had 62% support for a presidential run, a jump from 47% in October 2015.

Among Democrats who were polled, Biden had the most support at 44%, ahead of bookmakers’ favourite Kamala Harris (32%), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (30%), Elizabeth Warren (21%) and Cory Booker (19%), who recently announced he was joining the race. Beto O’Rourke only had support from 15% of Democrats, a curiously low number given his high profile.

A previous poll of likely Democrat caucusgoers in the crucial state of Iowa also had Biden as the top choice, ahead of Sanders and O’Rourke.

76% of viewers approved of Trump’s state of the union speech

Meanwhile, Trump’s state of the union address was warmly received by viewers. A CNN poll found that 76% of those watching approved the speech, with 59% of viewers having a ‘very positive reaction’ and a further 17%, who said they had a ‘somewhat positive reaction’. 23% had a negative reaction.

While the 76% approval figure is eye-catching, the audience for state of the union addresses skews heavily to existing supporters of the President. This year’s viewers were 17 points more likely than the general public to identify as Republicans. CNN said the address had the “largest partisan tilt” measured any of its instant polls following a presidential address dating back to 2001.

Large chunks of Trump’s address were criticised as inaccurate and misleading by fact-checkers. 72% of those surveyed approved of what Trump had to say about immigration in his address and 71% agreed with his assertion that a “crisis” is occurring at the southern US border.

Header image credit: Marc Nozell