Americans think that all of the top Democrats running for president will “probably lose” to President Donald Trump in 2020, according to a national Economist/YouGov poll released on Wednesday.
Though Trump is underwater in numerous state and national polls that have also found him losing to generic Democrats, the poll indicates that the 2020 race will become much tighter once Democrats pick their nominee who will have to defend unpopular policies like decriminalizing illegal immigration and granting healthcare benefits to illegal immigrants.
The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adult citizens, 1127 of whom are registered voters, and respondents were asked: “If the election for president were held today with Donald Trump as the Republican running against a Democratic Party candidate, who would you vote for?”
A plurality (42%) said they would vote for “the Democratic Party candidate” while 35% said they would vote for Trump. Another 10% said “it depends” and a significant 13% answered, “I would not vote.”
But when asked about specific Democrats, respondents believed that the Democrats will “probably lose” to Trump.
Former Vice President Joe Biden has led the field mainly because Democrats think that—despite all of his faults and self-inflicted gaffes due to Biden’s inability to stop himself from embellishing, exaggerating, and telling tall tales—he is the best chance Democrats have of beating Trump. But the poll found that 35% of voters believe Biden “will probably beat Donald Trump” while 39% think “Sleepy Joe” Biden will still “probably lose to Donald Trump.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is framing herself as the candidate with all the plans to reverse Trump’s corporatist policies that have benefited Wall Street, but voters do not think the candidate Trump has dubbed “Pocahontas” can beat the incumbent president in a general election battle. Just 29% think Warren “will probably beat” Trump while 44% think she will “probably lose.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his campaign have been arguing that Sanders beats Trump in nearly every hypothetical match-up and may have been better suited than Hillary Clinton to defeat Trump in 2016. But just 29% think Sanders “will probably beat” Trump while 46% think Sanders will “probably lose” in a one-on-one matchup with Trump.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) has been arguing that she will “prosecute the case” against “predator” Trump in a general election. But just 24% think Harris “will probably beat” Trump while 47% think the former prosecutor will “probably lose” to Trump in the general election.
Never Trump Republicans have praised South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg as a candidate who can give Republicans a Democrat they can feel comfortable voting for in a general election against Trump. But just 18% of those surveyed think Buttigieg “will probably” beat Trump while 48% think the mayor will “probably lose” to Trump.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has presented herself as someone who can defeat Trump in red states, but just 13% think Klobuchar will “probably beat” Trump while 52% think she will “probably lose.”
Former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) has been arguing that he can carry Texas in the general election against Trump and win the White house. But just 17% of voters in think O’Rourke will “probably” beat Trump while 51% think he will “probably lose” as well.
The YouGov/Economist poll, conducted August 10-13, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points.