- Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg are both advancing in the 2020 race for the Democratic President's nomination.
- We have created a survey model that tells us what would happen if everyone but them got out.
- The results show that Bernie would be the clear winner.
- At the same time, Buttigieg has room to win Bernie's followers.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
There are still many delegates left. But with New Hampshire and Iowa behind us, it's clear that the 2020 democratic race now has two leaders.
At the top is Senator Bernie Sanders with a win in New Hampshire and 21 delegates. Close behind is former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ran nearby in both states at age 23 and has even more delegates.
Both candidates represent two different wings of the Democratic Party, one of which will shape the party's message in the general election against President Donald Trump in November.
Buttigieg is a centrist alongside candidates such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Amy Klobuchar and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. And Bernie is at the head of the party's more progressive wing, closer to Senator Elizabeth Warren.
But all of these other candidates are crowding out the polls, making it more difficult to say whether Bernie or Buttigieg will ultimately get more support across the party.
What if we just got rid of them?
The insider query method performed with SurveyMonkey enables this. Unlike other polling methods that ask voters about their preferred candidate, we ask the intended voters whether they would be "satisfied" or "dissatisfied" with each candidate if they became president. Instead of knowing the state of people's first decisions at a certain point in time, we instead know the overlapping signs of support.
With this model, we performed an analysis that shows what it would be like if Bernie and Buttigieg competed against each other.
To be fair, this is a completely unfair exercise. Biden is second only to Bernie, despite his supporters panicking because of his campaign national survey averages, Warren and Bloomberg also remain nationally impressive, even if they vote on Buttigieg.
However, the analysis still tells an important story. While an analysis we did earlier in February shows that Biden and Bernie would split the party almost in the middle if they competed against each other, the story at Buttigieg is different.
As the numbers show, Bernie would tear him apart.
Bernie's followers are much more loyal
If every candidate except Bernie and Buttigieg left today – that is, Biden, Bloomberg, Warren, Klobuchar, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and plutocrat Tom Steyer – would shake off the support of the democratic electorate as follows:
- 1/3 of the voters would be happy to have Bernie as a candidate, but would not support Buttigieg.
- 1/6 would be happy about Buttigieg, but not about Bernie.
- 1/3 did not say that they are satisfied with both.
- 1/6 said they liked both Bernie and Buttigieg and still had to choose between them.
If you ask the opinions of Bernie fans about Buttigieg – and vice versa – it is clear that Bernie remains in a stronger position.
While 33% of Bernie fans would be satisfied with Buttigieg as nominees, 56% of Buttigieg fans would be satisfied with Bernie as nominees. He is simply more attractive to Buttigieg's fans than Buttigieg to his.
Our analysis is also in line with the recent YouGov / Yahoo News surveys, which found Buttigieg to do poorly in a direct matchup against Bernie.
– Political polls (@Politics_Polls) February 14, 2020
Buttigieg's silver lining, however, is that it has some space to gather support from Bernie's fans.
Only 16% of them said explicitly that they would be unsatisfied with Buttigieg as nominee compared to 27% of Buttigieg fans who would be dissatisfied with Bernie. And 50% of Bernie fans still have no opinion of Buttigieg, compared to the 80% of Buttigieg fans who chose Bernie, who ran against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 area code.
This also shows us that voters are not entirely ideological when choosing a candidate. In a similar analysis we did against Bernie and Biden against each other, the race was much tighter, although Buttigieg and Biden's guidelines are largely considered similar to those of Bernie
Noteworthy is the third of the Democrats, who would no longer have candidate preference if the race was only thanks to these two men.
With eight candidates in the race, 8% of those questioned were not satisfied with any of the candidates. Removing everything except Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, and Sanders will only increase by six percentage points, indicating that about 20% of Democrats are satisfied with Warren or Biden Not Buttigieg or Sanders.
In this exercise, these Democrats would have a significant impact on the future candidate.
Walt Hickey contributed to the reporting.
You can Download every survey down to the data of the individual respondents, (Read more about how the Insider Democratic Primary Tracker works here.)
SurveyMonkey Audience surveys from a national sample that is balanced using age and gender census data. Respondents are given an incentive to complete surveys through donations to charity. In general, digital surveys tend to target people with Internet access.