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New KFF/Cook poll shows Warren favored by Minnesota DFL likely primary voters

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
According to a new poll of likely Democratic voters in several Midwest states considered swing states for the 2020 presidential election, Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads the Minnesota race for the Democratic (we say DFL) nomination for president among likely DFL voters by 10 points over Sen. Amy Klobuchar and the rest of the pack.

The poll was jointly conducted in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and the Cook Political Report. Those four states were formerly considered part of the so-called “Blue Wall,” until 2016 when Donald Trump narrowly carried the latter three and came very close to winning Minnesota. The four states are obviously considered vital to the outcome of the 2020 race.

As always, I caution against too much importance attached to polls taken this far in advance of an election. But, for what it’s worth:

Here are the top line Minnesota numbers. Among Minnesota Democrats, first choice for the Democratic nomination:

Warren 25%

Klobuchar: 15%

Joe Biden: 14%

Bernie Sanders: 13%

Pete Buttigieg: 7%

Warren’s lead among Minnesota DFLers actually grew, and Biden dropped to third place when KFF combined first and second choices, as follows:

Warren: 43%

Klobuchar: 25%


Sanders: 24%

Biden: 21%

Buttigieg: 16%

Kamala Harris: 8%

Looking ahead to the general election, 32 percent of Minnesotans polled said they would “definitely vote for the Democratic nominee” and about 24% say they would “definitely vote for President Trump,” leaving 41% who “remain uncertain” although many of those (10 percent on either side) said they would “probably” vote for the Democratic nominee or for Trump.

Impressively, only 3 percent of those who said they would definitely or probably vote for Trump said there was a chance they would flip to the Democratic nominee and only 1 percent of those who plan to vote for the Democratic nominee said there was a chance they would vote for Trump.

Just 21 percent said they were pure “undecideds,” unwilling to express any lean toward Trump or toward the Democratic nominee.


Among those who are pure undecideds, or only leaning one way or the other, the poll asked them their views on a few issues, and they came across as a fairly liberal group on some issues but not others. Specifically, of those undecideds and leaners:

76% favor a path to citizenship for those who entered the U.S. illegally.

68% favor a ban on future purchase of assault weapons.

64% said they favored the “Green New Deal.”

54% favored a ban on owning assault weapons at all, including mandatory buybacks.

But by 50-42 the undecideds opposed a ban on fracking.

And by 63-31 they opposed a “Medicare for All” plan that would eliminate private insurance.

And by 66-27 they opposed “no longer detaining people for crossing the U.S. border illegally.”

All the above Minnesota numbers can be viewed here.

I won’t go into detail on the other three swing states covered by the detail (you can get the full report here) but, in general, based on approval ratings, Trump is in trouble across all four states. His disapprovers outnumbered his approvers by these margins:

Minnesota: 58-42

Michigan: 59-41

Pennsylvania: 61-39

Wisconsin: 57-42

Obviously this is just one poll. And Trump may benefit when the Democrats have to settle on a single alternative to him. But if these numbers are right (and I don’t claim to know that, and poll findings can be fleeting), Trump is in a heap of trouble in the current and former Blue Wall states.

This link will get you an overview of the full four-state report with other links galore to get into the state-by-state details.

Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 11/07/2019 - 12:40 pm.

    Choosing Warren is a perfect way to ensure that Trump is re-elected.

  2. Submitted by Peter Stark on 11/07/2019 - 01:13 pm.

    The only thing Klobuchar’s campaign has done for me is convince me to vote for a primary opponent, Legal Cannibis Now, or CPUSA in her next Senate re-election race.

    Here, being innocent and ignorant, I mistook her popularity in the state and her winning margins as signs of a good politician with a winning message. Her race for the Presidency reveals her to be a small-thinking pessimist who thinks that we shouldn’t do much of anything to address obvious societal problems. We just need to be nicer to each other gosh-darnit.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/07/2019 - 04:37 pm.

      Well, welcome to the club. I knew that already.

      I doubt Klobs will lose her next senate election, but I do wonder if she will enjoy such large margins again. I doubt GOP-leaning voters will be so kind toward her, and progressives may feel emboldened to give her grief.

      Unless she gets the VP nomination, which i still think is her real goal.

  3. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 11/07/2019 - 06:45 pm.

    Minnesota is not a “swing state” no matter how much we pretend to matter. Could Warren benefit from Republicans crossing over (they only have one candidate on their ballot) and helping her get the nomination?

  4. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/08/2019 - 08:28 am.

    I take some solace in the Trump disapproval numbers, but have no idea who the Democratic nominee is likely to be. Ms. Klobuchar has a good sense of humor – wit is worth its weight in gold in a politician, I think – but is otherwise nondescript enough in terms of policy proposals that I’m not especially enthused. Like many, many others, my personal desire is to get Trump-Pence out of positions of power and influence in government – any government, whether federal, state or local – and I will happily vote for whoever their Democratic opponent might be if it will help achieve that end.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/08/2019 - 07:11 pm.

      Amy is a native daughter who polls a dozen points higher in Minnesota than she does nationally.
      The question is where those points will end up when things get real.

  5. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/08/2019 - 10:19 am.

    It’s important to note that the “centrist/moderate” panic a poll like this will provoke is a symptom of threatened privilege and entitlement.

    The political landscape in the US has been severely distorted for decades. The alleged “moderate center” was never really the moderate the center the two Parties or the media claimed it to be. If you dug into almost any issue you would find then and now, that a majority of Americans were/are more liberal than either major political Party.

    This is why Wellstone was so successful, and it’s why “moderates” from Klobuchar to Biden and Clinton “move” the left in every campaign, even going so far as to describe themselves as “progressives”.

    The “moderate” center as represented by candidates like Klobuchar and Biden has never really been moderate and “centrist”… they’re actually conservatives, moderate Republicans. This is why they’re so much more comfortable reaching “across” the isle than they are reaching out to the progressives on their own side of the Isle.

    So don’t be “alarmed” by the “radical” shift to the “left” that “centrists” claim Warren and Sanders represent, because that “shift” is really just a recognition of the true “center” that neoliberals have been marginalizing for decades. We’re not seeing any radical left emerge, what we’re seeing is a liberal majority that is finally taking it’s place where belongs despite elite and privileged resistance.

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 11/08/2019 - 11:54 am.

    I don’t see where Eric get’s his 64% opposition to a national health care plan that eliminates private insurance? That question doesn’t appear. What we DO have is 36% of Democrats, 5% of Republicans, and 14% of Independents who support implementing MFA.

    It looks like Eric is assuming that those who don’t support MFA are doing so because they want to keep their private insurance, but there’s no data to support THAT assumption in this survey. There are a lot of reasons people currently appose MFA, many think it will be MORE expensive for instance, or limit their options, or create a tax, etc. etc. You can’t assume that 60% are simply so happy with their current private insurance that they don’t want to give it up. This survey doesn’t ask WHY people don’t support MFA.

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