- Pete Buttigieg has dropped out of the race.
- Fully 66% of Buttigieg’s supporters would also be satisfied if Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the nominee, the highest percentage of any rival.
- Though he fatally underperformed among Latinos and African-Americans, Buttigieg still has amassed a sizable coalition.
- Joe Biden, a resurgent force in the primary, also is well-positioned to benefit.
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Mayor Pete Buttigieg has exited the 2020 primary, ending a historic bid for the presidency.
While his supporters mourn the end, there are less then 36 hours until polls open on Super Tuesday, and it’s a critical question who his people will now support.
For the past several months, Insider has been conducting a recurring SurveyMonkey Audience poll to track the state of the 2020 Democratic primary field. You can download every poll here, down to the individual respondent data. (Read more about how the Insider Democratic primary tracker works here). We’ve been asking respondents to select from the list of contenders who they would be satisfied with as nominee, allowing them to select as many as possible.
This lets us understand the overlapping coalitions of the Democratic Party, and one this is clear: Pete’s exit may be great news for frontrunner Joe Biden, but it’s also outstanding news for Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Here’s what the data says.
Buttigieg had a crucial problem: He drastically underperformed among both Latinos and African-American Democratic primary voters. These two groups simply compose too much of the Democratic Party for someone withou their support to succeed and mount a viable bid for the nomination.
Clearly, Buttigieg’s exit leaves a considerable fraction of the electorate who will now need to resort to a second choice. Who may that be? Coming off a win in South Carolina, Joe Biden absolutely seems poised to reap some rewards. But most of all, Buttigieg’s supporters really like Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Two-thirds of people who were satisfied with Pete Buttigieg as the Democrats’ presidential nominee were also satisfied with Warren as nominee, considerably above her national polling.
This could be huge for Warren. She’s performed well, but has remained stubbornly below the 15% delegate threshold in too many states and congressional districts. Not all of Buttigieg’s supporters need to bolt to Warren for her to suddenly convert voteshare into delegates, only a fraction. Pete’s decision to refrain from endorsing someone else immediately after dropping out is also a boost to her campaign.
Warren hit the 15% threshold in Iowa, but just missed it in the following two contests: Warren got 9% of the statewide vote in New Hampshire, 12% of the final alignment in Nevada. Pete received 24% in New Hampshire and 17% in Nevada. Warren would have needed to get just about a fifth of Pete’s support to have reached viability, and we know two-thirds of his backers like her, so his exit should give a lift to her bid.
SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weigh its sample based on race or income.