Bernie Sanders ranks just below Joe Biden in recent poll

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In a recent Fox News poll Jan. 19-22, Sanders polled 23 percent, just three percentage points behind Biden’s 26 percent. Elizabeth Warren fell behind Sanders at 14 percent. 

These same data is reflected in the polling average chart by RealClearPolitics. According to this chart, Sanders surpassed Warren in the polls Nov. 21. Since then, he has been steadily increasing in his polling numbers — just one day after the fifth Democratic debate held in Atlanta.

I think this could be because of Warren’s inability in the fifth debate to explain to viewers what exactly her around 30 trillion dollar plan would cover. Even now, she has really only broken it down into categories (“Medicare for All”, social security, a Green New Deal plan and more), but she has failed to effectively explain the specifics of how all of these goals will be achieved. 

According to RealClearPolitics most recent poll by ABC News and The Washington Post, Biden currently polls at 34 percent, Sanders at 22 percent and Warren at 14 percent. These data do not bode well for Warren’s campaign, and they are interesting considering the events from the seventh Democratic debate mentioned in my last political column (linked here). 

In the January Democratic debate, CNN reporter Abby Phillip questioned Sanders about his statement made to Warren in a private meeting that a woman could never become president. While Sanders vehemently denied this accusation, it left me uncertain about whether or not he was being completely truthful, or if he was just hiding behind the lack of firsthand eyewitnesses other than Warren, his political opponent. While Warren acknowledged the accusation as true, she did not seek any further conflict with Sanders, calling him a “friend.” 

Perhaps Warren’s refusal to publicly challenge Sanders is why Sanders’ polling numbers did not take a hit — quite the contrary, his support grew immensely. One day after the seventh debate, Sanders had gone up by two percentage points. Either voters did not view CNN’s accusation as valid, or they just did not care. 

Either way, The New York Times has reported that Sanders is a current first-choice pick among likely caucusgoers in Iowa. The poll is interesting, as it ranks Sanders first, followed closely by Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has not been doing well in the national polls. Buttigieg’s relative success in Iowa could be attributed to the 55 days that he has spent there over the course of his presidential campaign, according to a Fox News infographic. Still, it cannot be ignored that Sanders is predicted to do well in the Iowa caucuses and also on a national level during the primaries. 

I think the reason that Sanders has been so successful is the same reason why Biden has continued to lead, despite the many controversies that have emerged from his past: age. While age has certainly not always been viewed as a positive thing — as seen when Julian Castro brutally age-shamed Biden during the third Democratic debate — an older candidate seems to be more easily trusted by the public. This statement contradicts my “Too old for the presidency?” column I wrote in early October that painted a hopeful picture for younger candidates like Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang. Now, I see that this reality is unlikely. Because Sanders and Biden are such household names, it is likely that the public will trust them more in accomplishing the Democrat’s goal of defeating President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. The only question is why isn’t Warren doing as well anymore?

I don’t have any answers to that question, but it is now clear that the frontrunners are untouchable when it comes to minor controversies. If Warren were to make a comeback, it may help her to finally give voters the specifics of her expensive plans. 

Thanks for reading, and make sure to check back next week for another political column.