Oct 24, 2019

The problem with 2020 presidential polls

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday has Elizabeth Warren leading by seven points in the 2020 Democratic race while a Wednesday CNN poll gave Joe Biden a 15-point advantage — both among their biggest polling leads so far.

Why it matters: Those back-to-back — and seemingly contradictory — results highlight why looking at a single poll in isolation cannot paint an accurate picture of what's happening in the race, especially months before the first votes are officially cast.

The big picture: FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver averaged out the eight major national polls that have been conducted since the October Democratic debate and compared them to an average of those same polls taken before the debate.

  • Under that analysis, only one candidate — Pete Buttigieg — moved by more than 1%.

The bottom line: Right now, the 2020 race is much more stable than the horse race of poll headlines might make it seem.

Go deeper: There's no election polling makeover for 2020

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Trio of national 2020 polls released one year from Election Day

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Three 2020 election polls by major news organizations were released Sunday, a year and one day (2020 is a leap year) before the 2020 presidential election and less than 100 days before the Iowa caucuses.

The big picture: The trio of polls — by Washington Post/ABC News, Fox News, and NBC News/Wall Street Journal — show a trio of Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders steadily pulling away from the pack. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, meanwhile, is consistently polling in a second tier by himself, while the rest of the field occupies the low single digits.

Go deeperArrowNov 3, 2019

Poll: Biden leads Trump by 12 points in head-to-head matchup

Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump. Photos: Olivier Douliery/Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

New polling conducted by Fox News suggests former Vice President Joe Biden would beat President Trump by 12 points in the 2020 general election.

Why it matters: Democratic primary voters are looking to nominate a candidate who can beat Trump in 2020, and Biden may be that person. But we're still a year out from the general election.

Go deeperArrowNov 14, 2019

Poll: Competitive top tier emerges in Democratic 2020 race

Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg at the Oct. 15 Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A clear top tier is emerging in the 2020 Democratic race — but the likely eventual nominee is far from certain, an ABC News/Washington Post poll published early Sunday shows.

Why it matters: Per the Washington Post, the race is "competitive and fluid less than 100 days before the Iowa caucuses, with a stable trio of leading candidates" — the frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden (27%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (21% ); Sen. Bernie Sanders (19%); and fourth-placed South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (9%) breaking away from other single-digit rivals.

Go deeperArrowNov 3, 2019