Mar 30, 2019 - Politics & Policy

2020 election polls: Pete Buttigieg’s surge is the biggest polling story of the week

Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten Glezman. Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

The biggest polling story of this week centers around Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, as the 37-year old Afghanistan war veteran picked up his best national result yet with a 4% tally in the Quinnipiac Poll.

Why it matters: "A jump of 3 points may not seem like a lot, but, because the margin of error shrinks significantly the closer you get to 0, the move from 1% to 4% is likely statistically significant," CNN's Harry Enten notes.

By the numbers: This week's new polls showed a pretty stable race.

  • Quinnipiac: Biden (29), Sanders (19), O'Rouke (12), Harris (8), Buttigieg and Warren (4), Booker and Klobuchar (2), Castro and Hickenlooper (1)
  • Morning Consult: Biden (35), Sanders (25), Harris and O'Rouke (8), Warren (7), Booker (4), Klobuchar and Buttigieg (2), Gillibrand (1)

Flashback: At this stage of the 2015 GOP presidential primary, Donald Trump wasn't even in the polling average:

  • Tied at 1) Jeb Bush and Scott Walker; 3) Ben Carson; 4) Mike Huckabee; 5) Rand Paul.

Between the lines: "[C]andidates who receive more attention from the media are likely to receive more interest in [Google] searches. That's not the case for Buttigieg," CNN writes.

  • "Buttigieg is receiving a lot of search interest on Google ... More people have searched his name in the past two weeks than the prior 93 weeks combined."
  • "When you take into account Buttigieg's lack of name recognition with his current upturn, it suggests that he has a lot of room to grow."

The bottom line: "You Google a person because you want to learn more about them, not necessarily because you’re already sold on voting for them," FiveThirtyEight election analyst Nathaniel Rakich wrote.

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