U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren ranks just third among presidential hopefuls in a new poll of Massachusetts Democratic primary voters.
An Emerson College poll released Sunday has Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders leading with 26 percent, followed by former Vice President Joe Biden at 23 percent. Warren is next at 14 percent, followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 11 percent, and no one else drawing double digits.
“This is a concern for Warren who at this time does not have a firewall in her home state, and her rival Sanders has a strong base in the Bay State,” said Emerson polling chief Spencer Kimball.
The Emerson poll’s relatively small sample size means it has a large margin of error: plus or minus 5 points for the Democratic contest results.
Scott Ferson, a Bay State Democratic consultant, said Warren’s main worry should be how well Bernie Sanders, her presumed main competition for the party’s left flank, is doing in the state that has elected her to the U.S. senate twice.
“Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren occupy the same space. … I don’t know if there’s enough oxygen for the two of them,” Ferson said, adding that he expects one of the two to eventually fade and the other to draw many of their voters.
In 2016, nearly 48 percent of Bay State Democrats voted for the Vermont senator, and in the Emerson poll, and about 45 percent of them plan to vote for him again. Ferson said Warren would need to prove to that large group of Bernie fans that she’s the best choice of the progressive wing.
“She hasn’t closed that deal with voters in Massachusetts,” Ferson said.
Also according to the poll, President Trump remains popular among Massachusetts Republicans, leading former Gov. Bill Weld, who’s exploring a primary challenge, 82 percent to 18 percent. But Bay State voters in general don’t like the president, with 62 percent disapproving to only 29 percent approving. The three top-polling Dems would all handily beat Trump in a general election here; Biden polls better than the president in a head-to-head matchup by a 69 to 31 split. Sanders would win, 64-36 and Warren 63-37, according to the poll’s results.
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