An average of recent national polling indicates Biden, Sanders and Warren lead Trump by anywhere from 5 points for Warren to 8 points for Biden.
What’s the point: The New York Times polling is, of course, just one data point. We don’t know for sure that Trump is so much stronger in the swing states than he is nationally. Further, it’s clear that any of the Democrats could beat Trump nationally.
One consistency in the data, however, is that Warren runs slightly weaker than Sanders and clearly weaker than Biden.
This gap in popularity lines up with the gap we’re seeing in how they do against Trump.
The numbers look even worse for Warren among those who aren’t Democrats or Democratic leaning independents, following Biden’s argument that he appeals better to non traditionally Democratic voters. In our October national poll, Biden’s net favorability among this group was 11 points higher than Warren’s.
Beyond the polling, past electoral results give us a good look at Warren’s electability argument.
Indeed, Klobuchar may actually have a stronger electability case than Biden, based upon her popularity in a key Midwest state.
There’s also an argument to be made that a more moderate candidate like Biden or Klobuchar is more electable than a more liberal one. Warren would arguably be the most liberal Democratic presidential nominee of the modern era. (Note this is also true of Sanders, who runs worse than Biden, though not by as much as Warren.)
Although we don’t have a large sample size of recent presidential elections, past ones suggest ideology does matter.
Again, none of this data means Warren can’t beat Trump. It just means that she continues to have a weaker case to make about electability than Biden at this point.