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Democrats Say Open Convention Likely, But Biden Still The Winner

Most Democrats now think their party is likely to hold an open convention in which the delegates choose a candidate rather than rely on the primary results. But they overwhelmingly believe Joe Biden will still emerge as the presidential nominee.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 55% of Likely Democratic Voters see an open convention as likely, although that includes just 16% who say it’s Very Likely. Thirty-percent (36%) feel an open convention is unlikely, with 14% who say it’s Not At All Likely. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

But 55% of Democrats also would prefer to stick to the traditional method of choosing a nominee, relying on state primary results, even though at least 15 states have postponed their primaries to date because of the coronavirus outbreak. Only 26% prefer an open convention to determine whom the party will nominate, but 18% are undecided.

In the event their party opts for an open convention, 90% of Democrats still think they are likely to choose Biden, the clear leader in primary delegates, to be their presidential nominee. That includes 70% who say it’s Very Likely.

Interestingly, separate surveying finds that Democrats are evenly divided when asked whether Biden or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would make a better challenger against President Trump in November. Cuomo is not a candidate for the nomination but has earned positive reviews for his response to the coronavirus while questions have arisen about Biden’s mental health.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted April 8-9, 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.

A month ago, Biden had jumped to a 63% to 24% lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders among Democrats in the race for the party’s presidential nomination. But that was before the coronavirus really began savaging the country.

Even then, most Democrats weren’t ready for Sanders to quit the race. Sanders suspended his campaign this week.

Among all likely voters, 46% think Democrats are likely to hold an open convention, with 15% who say it’s Very Likely. By a 46% to 29% margin, however, they say Democrats should continue to rely on the primary results.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of all voters believe Biden is likely to emerge from an open convention as the nominee, including 57% who say it’s Very Likely.

Those under 40, Sanders’ most consistent supporters, expect an open convention more than their elders do. Younger voters are also the least likely to see Biden emerging as the victor - and the biggest supporters of Cuomo in the other poll.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) of voters who think an open convention is Very Likely, feel Biden is likely to be the nominee.

Only 51% of Democrats think the current primary process is a good way to select the party’s presidential nominee.

As the coronavirus opens the door for greater government control of our lives, voter support for a taxpayer-funded income for all and government-controlled health care are on the rise. Democrats are far bigger fans than others, though.

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

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted April 8-9, 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.

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