As former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg mulls the possibility of entering the race for the Democratic nomination, and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick gets in, the latest Economist/YouGov Poll doesn’t give them much hope. The vast majority of Democratic primary voters across ideologies say they are satisfied with their choices, and those who are not satisfied mostly don’t yet believe Bloomberg or Patrick is the right option.
That doesn’t mean they couldn’t pick up support. Moderate and conservative Democratic voters are far less positive about the choices they currently have than liberal Democratic voters are. But liberals are the majority: nearly two-thirds of Democratic voters (62%) call themselves liberals.
The latest Economist/YouGov poll asked panelists to suggest a candidate. Among the few dissatisfied Democratic voters, many couldn’t come up with the name of a candidate they would rather see enter the race. And among those who did, Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 nominee, was as likely to be on people’s minds as Bloomberg (six named Clinton, five Bloomberg). Former First Lady Michelle Obama was named by a few. One person wanted Tom Hanks to run, another offered Oprah Winfrey. Patrick, who announced his candidacy on Thursday, was not named by anyone in the open-ended question.
Democratic primary voters, in general, are split on Bloomberg. One-third (34%) view him “very favorably” or “somewhat favorably,” while another third (33%) said their opinion is “somewhat unfavorable” or “very unfavorable.” Overall, the public opinion of him is negative, though that is the case as well for nearly all of those currently running for the nomination (opinions of a few, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, are nearly as favorable as unfavorable).
In the overall Democratic horse race, Warren is once again at the top of voters’ minds – she is the first or second choice of 43 percent of Democratic voters. A majority continue to say they are considering her. Biden, who is very close to Warren when voters are asked their first choice, is the second choice of only 7 percent of Democratic voters.