Monday, February 04, 2019


On Friday you may have seen this post from a firm called Change Research:
There’s been much speculation about the impact of Howard Schultz running for president as an independent....

Change Research tested hypothetical matchups with and without Schultz of Trump running against different Democrats: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, and Bernie Sanders, with the order shown randomized.

* Schultz takes an average of four points away from what the Democratic candidate receives in a two-way race, while taking just 1% away from Donald Trump. That means Schultz’s presence in the race makes Trump’s margins between 2 and 4 points better than they would be without him in the race.

* In every three-way matchup except against Biden (who leads both candidates), President Trump has plurality support.

* In every two-way matchup except against Biden (who once again has a significant lead), the Democrat narrowly leads President Trump. A Schultz candidacy could pull more from the Democratic nominee than the Republican nominee if held today.
Change Research's survey clearly shows that Schultz hurts Democrats nationwide. And now a second poll, published over the weekend -- this one with only one three-way match up, and in Iowa only -- finds a similar result:
A new Emerson College poll finds President Trump’s approval rating underwater at 46% approval with 48% disapproval. However, the President remains competitive against his potential 2020 Democratic rivals, leading against 7 of 8 candidates....

Biden is ... the only potential candidate to be leading Trump in a head to head matchup, by a margin of 51% to 49%. Trump leads Sanders by 1% (51-50), Warren by 4% (52-48), and Harris and O’Rourke by 6% (53-47)....

The Emerson Poll suggests a third party candidate would help the President’s chances in 2020. In a head-to-head matchup against Elizabeth Warren, Trump leads 52% to 48%, but when Howard Schultz is added as a third party candidate, Trump’s lead extends to 9 percentage points, 49% to 40%, with 11% voting for Schultz.
In the Change Research poll, Schultz helps Trump by 2 to 4 points nationwide, depending on the candidate. In Iowa, according to Emerson, Schultz helps Trump against Warren by 5 points. (The Schultz bump for Trump in a race against Warren is 3 points in the Change Research poll.)

The best-known Democrats -- Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders -- do the best against Trump in both polls. Those numbers will change for at least some of the other Democrats as they become better known.

But it's becoming clear that there's a Trump vote and an anti-Trump vote -- there isn't a Democratic vote, a Republican vote, and a large unaffiliated pool of voters who are desperate for corporatist centrism. Schultz will split the anti-Trump vote if he runs. He's a reasonably bright guy, so if he chooses to run, he's doing so fully aware that that will be the outcome.


UPDATE: And now there's this in a Morning Consult poll:
While only 26 percent of voters who approve of Trump's job performance as president are very or somewhat likely to consider a third-party candidate, a larger percentage of Trump disapprovers, 41 percent, would consider voting for an independent. By party, nearly a third of Democrats, 31 percent, say they would consider a third-party candidate — greater than the 25 percent of Republicans who would consider voting for someone other than the two major-party nominees.
Schultz is a menace.

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