Over 20% of Sanders supporters say they’ll vote for Trump if Buttigieg or Warren win

Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth WarrenPhoto: AP/Facebook/Pete for America/Shutterstock

A new Emerson Poll found that some supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary would prefer Donald Trump in the general election to some of Sanders’s primary opponents.

The poll is one of the first national polls to show Sanders pulling ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden, who has spent several weeks responding to claims that he repeatedly disrespected women’s personal space.

29% of respondents said they want Sanders to win and 24% preferred Biden. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senators Kamala Harris (CA) and Elizabeth Warren (MA), and former Representative Beto O’Rourke (TX) represented the middle of the pack, getting seven to nine percent each.

The poll also found that 21% of Sanders supporters said they would vote for Trump in the general election if Buttigieg won the primary, 26% said they would vote for Trump if Warren won the primary, 18% said they would vote for Trump if O’Rourke won the primary, and 17% said they would vote for Trump if Harris won the primary.

Oddly, 5% of Sanders supporters said they would vote for Trump if Sanders won the primary.

Related: Kamala Harris has been working decades to win your vote for president

On the other hand, all of Buttigieg’s supporters said they would vote for Sanders if he won the primary, and almost all of Warren’s (94%), Harris’s (98%), and O’Rourke’s (91%) said the same.

The poll found several other interesting facts about the candidates’ supporters.

Of the supporters of the top-six candidates, Buttigieg’s gave Trump the lowest approval rating, at exactly 0%.

They were also the most likely to identify as independents, at 43%. 26% of Harris supporters, 19% of Sanders supporters, 22% of O’Rourke supporters, 15% of Biden supporters, and 5% of Warren supporters said they were independents. 6% of Warren supporters said they were Republicans, but almost no one who supports any of the other candidates said they were Republicans.

Buttigieg supporters are 53% women and 47% men (the poll did not have a non-binary option), and his supporters were the whitest of the top-six candidates at 73%.

Of the eight participants in the poll who said their race was “other or multiple,” three said they supported Buttigieg, the most of any candidate.

While Buttigieg’s supporters were fairly evenly distributed among age cohorts, they tended to be more educated with 45% saying they have a postgraduate degree. Harris’s and O’Rourke’s supporters, though, were even more educated; 52% and 47% said they had a postgraduate degree, respectively.

Warren, who polled best with 18-29-year-olds, did best with respondents who said they had “some college.” Sanders, who polled best with 30-49-year-olds, did best with people who had an undergraduate degree. People who didn’t go to college were most likely to support Joe Biden.

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