Another major national poll shows Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) in first place among nonwhite voters out of all Democratic candidates.

A Monmouth University poll released on Tuesday found that while former Vice President Joe Biden had higher overall popularity than Sanders — who ranked #2 in overall popularity — the Vermont senator came in first place among nonwhite voters (defined by Monmouth as Hispanic, Black, Asian, and others) with 27% of nonwhite respondents preferring him, with Biden in second place at 25%. The third-place finisher in that category was Senator Kamala Harris (D-California), who had 11%. Beto O’Rourke came in 4th place with 5%, and Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) ranked 5th, with 3%.

Of course, because the election is so far away and current polls are still roughly nine months from the first primaries and caucuses, “don’t know” technically came in third place behind Sanders and Biden, with 21% of nonwhite respondents saying they didn’t yet know who they preferred.

Each prominent Democratic presidential candidate’s polling position among nonwhite voters as of April 23, 2019 (Image by Monmouth University)

Overall, Sanders ranked second in net favorability at +44 compared to Biden’s +56. Rounding out the top five are Sen. Harris at +40, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) at +32, and O’Rourke at +31. Both Biden and Sanders saw their net favorability drop in April compared to Monmouth’s March poll, who were both at +63 and +53, respectively, last month. This suggests that press coverage resulting from multiple women accusing Biden of inappropriate touching, and attacks on Sanders’ Democratic socialist platform from the Democratic establishment, both played a role.

While the long-standing narrative among the centrist, anti-Sanders wing of the Democratic Party is that Sanders is unpopular with nonwhite voters, this poll — as well as a previous CNN poll — suggest otherwise. In addition to ranking first among nonwhite voters in the Monmouth poll, the CNN poll conducted in December of 2018 found that Sanders was the top choice among nonwhite voters out of all prospective candidates, including Biden, with 58% approval compared to Biden’s 56% approval. However, that poll too had Biden in first place overall, suggesting Sanders has some work to do to overtake President Obama’s second-in-command in overall popularity.

To conduct the poll, Monmouth surveyed a little under half of the randomly selected sample of 801 respondents by landline, and a little more than half of respondents by cell phone.


Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.

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