Democratic Primary Voters Who Have No Intention Of Voting For The Democrat In The General

Even if their favorite Democrat wins. Or maybe it’s just crap data.

There’s a poll that was released with very small sample sizes, but which also had some interesting tidbits, so it was pushed far and wide because it made certain supporters–and haters–very happy. The reality is, when you’re reading a poll with small sample sizes that has been adjusted, you get some really weird things happening, with a handful of people representing an entire demographic subgroup, so the poll that is being shared hither and yon needs to be taken with a boulder of salt (the .xlsx sheet is available here).

Anyway, the thing that has people freaking out is that 27/103 Sanders supporters in the primary say they would support Trump over Warren, were she to be the nominee (columns AU & AV, rows 90-92). On the other side of the ideological spectrum, 13/85 Biden supporters say they would choose Trump over Warren. If you’re wondering why sample size and weighting matter, fifty percent of Klobuchar supporters say they would choose Trump over Warren (ZOMG!): the result is actually 2/4.

What I find interesting–if these numbers are to be believed at all–is that there are Democratic primary voters who have no intention of voting for their top choice. Here it is by candidate (the question wasn’t asked of all candidates):

Sanders: 5/103
Biden: 9/85
O’Rourke: 3/29
Buttigieg: 0/32
Harris: 1/27
Warren: 3/24

We could make up more stories about this poll, or we could just be sensible, and stop reading into a massively underpowered poll from one time point. Sometimes, with small numbers, you get unlucky, and sometimes people push the wrong button. Either way, let’s stop obsessing about this poll.

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3 Responses to Democratic Primary Voters Who Have No Intention Of Voting For The Democrat In The General

  1. Ketil Tveiten says:

    I understand this poll was conducted by calls on *landlines*. That skews respondents strongly towards the Olds, which in not entirely un-relevant.

  2. Chris G says:

    Roughly 1 of 8 Sanders supporters went to Trump. Less than half of those that did were Democrats or Dem-leaning. Good Bayesian that I am, that’s my prior going into 2020.

    https://www.npr.org/2017/08/24/545812242/1-in-10-sanders-primary-voters-ended-up-supporting-trump-survey-finds

  3. Art says:

    Bearnie bros voting for Trump over Warren smacks of bitter disappointment and vengeance, and I can see that happen. Some significant number of them are just that selfish, immature and shortsighted. I know one and he is just that way. For him it’s Bernie or fuck the world. I hope he is joking or that the numbers that go that way are vanishingly small.

    Then again there are a whole lot of so called independent Democrats. They style themselves liberals on social issues, for social reasons.

    Then again there are a few strategic thinkers. To this day I’m registered as a Republican because I saw Reagan early on as a major risk and saw that he would be wildly popular to the general public. Americans are suckers for that sort of affable good-ole-boy shtick. If he was going to be stopped the best hope IMHO was in the primary. So I registered Republican and voted for Anderson in the primary. Technically he was an independent so I wasn’t voting for a Republican.

    I vote Democratic but I’m still registered as a Republican and get a lot of their mailings. Some of that shit is off the wall.

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