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Most Democrats Not Ready for Bernie To Quit The Race

Friday, March 13, 2020

Democrats think their party should be more like Joe Biden than Bernie Sanders but aren’t calling for Sanders to quit the presidential race just yet. They fully expect Sanders to endorse Biden if the former vice president wins their party’s nomination, though.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that just 40% of Likely Democratic Voters think Sanders should quit the race even though Biden is pulling away from him in the delegate count toward the nomination. Slightly more (43%) say Sanders should stay in the race, while 17% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Democrats, however, believe their party should be more like Biden than like Sanders. Thirty-six percent (36%) disagree and feel it should be more like the Vermont senator who is an avowed socialist. Fifteen percent (15%) are not sure.

Should Biden win the nomination which seems increasingly likely, 73% of voters in their party say Sanders is likely to endorse him, with 39% who consider that Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) say a Sanders endorsement of Biden is unlikely, but that includes just eight percent (8%) who think it’s Not At All Likely.

By comparison, 67% thought Sanders would endorse Hillary Clinton in the spring of 2016 as she pulled away in the race for that year’s Democratic presidential nomination, with 37% who thought it Very Likely. Sanders ultimately did endorse Clinton.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted March 11-12, 2020 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Democrats nationally now feel that Biden best represents their party and would make the best candidate against President Trump. Just 24% opt for Sanders instead.

Among all likely voters, 42% say Sanders should quit the race, but 39% disagree. Nineteen percent (19%) are undecided. By a two-to-one margin, voters think the Democratic Party should be more like Biden than Sanders, but a sizable 29% are not sure.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of all voters say Sanders is likely to endorse Biden. Twenty-eight percent (28%) view that as unlikely.

Men and those under 40 are less supportive of Sanders quitting than women and older voters are. Younger voters are the least likely to think the Democratic Party should be more like Biden than Sanders.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of both whites and blacks believe the party should be more like Biden, but just 28% of other minority voters agree. Whites are more likely than the others to say Sanders should quit the race.

Voters expect Biden to easily beat Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination and would opt for Biden over Trump if the general election were held today.

Despite Sanders’ strong early showing in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, voters aren’t showing more enthusiasm for socialism.

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

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