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Poll: Democrats see Biden, Warren as close fits ideologically, view Sanders as more extreme

David Lauter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

Regardless of which candidate they supported, Democrats perceived Sanders as being to their left. Backers of Biden and Harris, as well as undecided voters, all saw Sanders as the candidate furthest from their own ideology.

Looking ahead at the potential general election, the poll finds that swing voters -- those who describe themselves as independent or only leaning toward one party or the other -- see themselves as very close to the center and view both Trump and Biden as relatively close to themselves ideologically.

Those swing voters, however, regarded Sanders, Harris and Warren as all significantly further to their left, with Sanders being the furthest.

This USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll was conducted from Aug. 12 to Sept. 8 among 5,367 adult American citizens, including 2,462 who said they planned to vote in a Democratic primary. The margin of error is 2 percentage points in either direction for the full sample and for the Democratic subsample.

Respondents were drawn from a probability-based panel maintained by USC's Center for Economic and Social Research for its Understanding America Study. The poll was conducted in partnership with, and funded by, the USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future. Responses among all eligible voters were weighted to accurately reflect known demographics of the U.S. population. A description of the methodology, poll questions and data, and additional information about the poll are posted on the USC website.


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