Former Vice President Joe Biden holds a commanding lead among Mississippi Democratic voters as the first televised presidential primary debates are scheduled for the evenings of June 26-27. According to the findings from a new Millsaps College/Chism Strategies Pre-Debate Survey, 50% of likely Democratic 2020 primary election voters in Mississippi favor Biden while 21% are undecided. Another 29% are divided between the other 23 Democratic presidential hopefuls. United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders receive 7% each, Senator Kamala Harris receives 5%, and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is at 2%. All other candidates receive less than 2% support in the survey. These figures reflect a combination of those who support each candidate and those who are leaning towards the candidates.
“The Millsaps/Chism Survey finds that Biden is particularly popular among African American Democrats, who are expected to comprise about three-quarters of the overall electorate in the 2020 Mississippi Democratic primary. Based on supporters and leaners, Biden receives 58% support among black Democrats, followed by Harris at 7% and Sanders at 5%. White Democrats—expected to comprise about a quarter of the Mississippi Democratic turnout—are more divided. 29% of white Democrats back Biden, but 18% favor Warren, 11% favor Buttigieg, and 10% support Sanders.”
“Biden has a huge early advantage in the Magnolia state—he garners 50% in a field of nearly two-dozen candidates and holds a 43-point lead over the second place candidate,” said Dr. Nathan R. Shrader, chair of the Department of Government and Politics and director of American Studies at Millsaps College. “Closing the gap requires a serious debate stumble by Biden and more visits to our state by other candidates.”
“Mississippi Democratic voters are optimistic about the chances of defeating President Donald J. Trump in November 2020. Over 60% say that they are either nearly certain that Trump will be defeated or believe that there is a greater than a 50/50 chance of a Democrat winning next year; 22% say that chances are even that Trump is defeated or is reelected, while just 8% say that there is little chance or less than a 50/50 chance of defeating the incumbent.”
The Millsaps College/Chism Strategies Pre-Debate Survey was conducted June 20-21, 2019 with a sample size of 523. 50% of interviews were conducted via landline using live operators and 50% via SMS surveys to mobile phones. The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.27%. Our results are weighted using the expected age, race, gender and congressional district turnout ratios of the 2020 Democratic primary in Mississippi.