A good chunk of Michael Bloomberg’s Wisconsin backers are likely to move toward Joe Biden, according to recent Marquette University Law School polling.
And Bernie Sanders has an edge on Biden for those who were supporting Elizabeth Warren.
But it’s a more mixed picture for those who had supported Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar in the last four months before the field collapsed to two candidates.
With four candidates dropping out of the race in the span of a week, the race is on for Biden and Sanders to swoop up supporters of their former rivals ahead of the April 7 presidential primary. One conventional wisdom has been that Biden occupies the “moderate” lane that included Bloomberg, Buttigieg and Klobuchar, while Sanders had been sharing the “progressive” one with Warren.
But the Marquette polling numbers compiled at the request of WisPolitics.com paint a more nuanced picture of the supporters for those candidates who have dropped out.
“The lanes are maybe real lanes, because Sanders and Warren people do sort of go together more,” said poll Director Charles Franklin. “But those are soft lanes, not hard, rigid divisions within the party.”
Each of the last five surveys going back to October have asked those planning to vote in the Dem primary to provide their first and second choices.
In compiling those responses, the numbers show:
*Of Buttigieg’s backers, 23 percent picked Warren as their second choice, while 21 percent tapped Biden. Klobuchar was next at 16 percent, while Sanders was at 15 and Bloomberg 6.
*Buttigieg and Warren were each the second choice for a quarter of Klobuchar’s supporters. Biden was next at 20 percent, while Bloomberg was at 10 and Sanders at 7.
*34 percent of Warren’s backers said Sanders was their second choice with Biden at 25 percent. Buttigieg was next at 11, Klobuchar at 8 and Bloomberg at 3.
Bloomberg wasn’t included in the Marquette polls as a presidential candidate until January. That reduced his possible share of the vote as a second choice across all five surveys. Still, looking at numbers from the two polls that featured him, a third of his backers listed Biden as their second choice. Fifteen percent went for Buttigieg, while it was 14 percent apiece for Klobuchar and Warren and 9 for Sanders.
Franklin also said the second choice for backers of Biden and Sanders somewhat undercuts the theory of hard “lanes” among Wisconsin Dem primary voters.
Twenty-one percent of Sanders backers had Biden as their second choice, behind 40 percent for Warren. Meanwhile, 23 percent of Biden’s backers had Sanders as their second choice, behind 25 percent for Warren.
When combining the responses over the five polls, Franklin said the margin of error for the second choices of some Dem candidates could reach as high as plus or minus 10 percentage points. Therefore, they should be viewed more as an indicator of the possible trend for where those voters may gravitate with the narrowed field rather than hard numbers.