Joe Biden could be Bernie Sanders’ BFF

Nearly every political pundit and cable news talking head likes to talk about the multiple “lanes” in the Republican presidential primary campaign.  The outsider lane, the insider lane, the evangelical lane, the establishment lane, the Trump lane, the E-Zpass lane, so on and so on.

But, an intriguing story that has gone largely unreported by the national press corps is how a Joe Biden candidacy could really disrupt Hillary Clinton’s significant lead with many key constituencies in the Democratic primary for president.

The latest NBC News/WSJ Poll sheds some light on this topic.

Yes, Clinton currently leads a national trial heat that includes Bernie Sanders and Biden (42{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-35{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-17{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).

But, a closer look at each candidate’s current coalition of support reveals that if Biden were to enter the race, he and Clinton would be competing for the same voters, potentially leaving Sanders with an entirely different portion of the electorate all to himself.


The Clinton-Biden voter similarities are even further demonstrated when looking at other ballot tests in the NBC News/WSJ Poll.  In a ballot test WITHOUT the Vice-President included, Clinton leads Sanders by a much wider 53{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-38{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} margin, meaning that when Biden IS included, Clinton’s support drops 11 points while Sanders’ drops by just three.

Further, among the 17{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} who are supporting Biden on a three-way ballot test, nearly two-thirds (11{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) indicate Clinton would be their second choice and less than one-fifth (3{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}) say their second choice would be Sanders.

While the first votes in the Democratic primary contest won’t be cast for several months, and there’s no certainty that Biden will even enter the race, this new NBC News/WSJ poll data suggests that Clinton and Biden could be on a collision course in the race for the nomination.

And, that could make supporters of Bernie Sanders very happy.

Polling for NBC/Wall Street Journal is conducted by Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Hart Research Associates. This analysis is our own and does not necessarily reflect the views of NBC/Wall Street Journal or Hart Research Associates

Public Opinion Strategies