October Straw Poll Results: Grassroots Opinion Leaders Still Want Warren or Harris

October 21, 2019

Democratic Base Voter Preferences Remain Largely Unchanged

By Al Giordano

While wider public opinion surveys show support has grown for Elizabeth Warren and, in Iowa, Pete Buttigieg, as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders continue to lose backers, the preferences of opinion leaders of the Democratic coalition that participate in the Organize & Win straw poll have remained largely unchanged. Warren continues to lead with 49% (up two from September’s straw poll), Kamala Harris remains the strongest challenger with 26% (down one point), Biden and “I have no preference” remain at seven and five percent respectively. Beto O’Rourke has shown the only significant movement but unfortunately for him it’s downward, from eight to three percent.

78 percent of our subscribers still favor a woman as the nominee (Amy Klobuchar inched up from one percent in September to three percent this month).

Voter turnout for our October straw poll was at 90 percent of September’s vote, which may indicate some fatigue with the infighting that Democrats are so famous for, but the overall preferences nonetheless remained largely unchanged from last month.

While some supporters of the candidates make increasingly strident attacks against Democratic rivals and even their supporters, members of the base – the grassroots volunteers, small donors, community organizers and opinion leaders that always end up deciding who wins the nomination – apparently are unmoved by any of it. 95 percent have a preference and most of those are sticking with their first choice from last month.

The Iowa Democrats’ Jefferson-Jackson Dinner – which recently changed its name to the “Liberty and Justice Celebration” – an historically important gauge of grassroots support in the first-in-the-nation caucus state – will happen on Friday, November 1. And the next Democratic debate (eight candidates have so far qualified as the requirements tighten) will happen on November 20. We’ll conduct a new straw poll after that to see if there is any movement in the base.

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