How Biden loses the 2020 Primary

Zach Toillion
4 min readJul 5, 2019

Only 4 candidates will matter in this primary: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Bernis Ssnders in terms of who might win. These are the four that will be focused on in this piece.

Without further ado, here are the poll of polls. Nationally, and in the early important states.

These polls average the three most recent, and are adjusted for how a candidate over and underperforms in states.Only pollsters with grades of B or Higher on 538 have been used.

Based on their electoral history relative to the polling before the election I’ve found: Biden has underperformed his polling by 4.5 points.Warren has outperformed her polling by 1.9 percent.Harris outperformed her polling by 1.5 Percent. Sanders, for whom the most data is available over performs by 3.3 percent

Since December 2017, 3 announced candidates have lead in the polls. Sanders led in 12. Warren has led in 2, and O’Rourke has led in 1. Former First Lady Michelle Obama Led in 2, while Joe Biden Led in 112 of 128 public polls.

Since the whole field announced we’ve had a lot of polling take place that shows us the trajectories of various candidates. First, a look at their highest and lowest instances of publicly available polling and a brief summary of what it means:

-Biden’s highest share of the vote was 46%, which he hit in May. Biden’s lowest share of the vote was 18%, hit July 1. This shows Biden bled support after his bounce subsided, and did so pretty rapidly. He lost 10–15 points from a series of gaffes and aggressive attacks from activists and progressive media. Before the debate, Biden still polled at about 30 percent/ The debate knocked him down 5 to ten more points.

-Sanders’s highest share of the vote was 19%, which was hit in early June. Sander’s lowest share of the vote was 13% which was hit July 1st. Sanders had the most outliers of any candidate, his numbers tell a pretty simple story. Sanders is consistently at 13–22%. He’s keeping his most hardcore supporters but not branching out at all. Like the other candidates, his announcement boost was also short lived. His mediocre debate performance did him no favors. Leaving him stuck at about the same place he’d been at-16% or so,



Zach Toillion

Libertarian Socialist who writes about politics, economics, philosophy religion & history. Former Newspaper Columnist.