If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


White House Watch

White House Watch: Newcomer Buttigieg Runs A Close Race

Friday, April 26, 2019

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a political newcomer on the national stage, but he runs a close race with President Trump in a new White House Watch hypothetical 2020 matchup.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds Trump with 44% support to Buttigieg’s 40% among Likely U.S. Voters. The sizable 16% of undecideds in this survey are likely a reflection of Buttigieg’s lack of name recognition at this early stage. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty percent (40%) have a favorable opinion of the openly gay mayor, including 16% with a Very Favorable one. Thirty-two percent (32%) view him unfavorably, with 18% who hold a Very Unfavorable view. But 27% don’t know enough about Buttigieg to express even a soft opinion of him.

By comparison, in previous White House Watch surveys, only five percent (5%) had no opinion of former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, 2020 presidential hopefuls who have been on the national political scene for years. Biden edges Trump in this early matchup. Sanders loses to the incumbent.

Given the large number of candidates entering the race for next year’s Democratic nomination, Rasmussen Reports has opted to run a series of matchups over two-week cycles as the contest continues to develop. These longer cycles mean the matchup findings will be based on 5,000 respondents rather than the usual 1,000 for our regular surveys, and they lower the margin of error. See the results in surveys so far.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 5,000 Likely Voters was conducted on April 14-18 and April 21-25, 2019 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 1.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Most voters say they are willing to support a gay president, but they’re far less confident that others close to them feel the same way.

In the matchup with Buttigieg, Trump earns 78% Republican support and leads 42% to 37% among voters not affiliated with either major political party. The Indiana mayor gets just 66% of the Democratic vote. But Democrats and unaffiliateds are a lot more likely than GOP voters to be undecided.

Voters think Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report is unlikely to help congressional Democrats impeach Trump, but they expect reporters to try to hurt the president with it if they can.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.