Hardly any Democrats thought Bill de Blasio could win the presidency. Here’s what his exit means for the rest of the 2020 contenders.

Business Insider Politics 1 month ago

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City dropped out of the Democratic primary on Friday, the latest contender to quit a race brimming with presidential hopefuls. Insider's polling has found that hardly any Democrats had confidence in de Blasio to win against Trump, even compared with other low-polling candidates.

Since December 2018, Insider has been conducting a series of national polls asking respondents who they would be satisfied with in the event they secured the Democratic nomination. Out of 3,155 Democratic voters polled since mid-July, only 176 would have been satisfied in the event that de Blasio won the nomination.

Even in a playing field populated with longshot candidates, de Blasio's standing was largely substandard. Despite having higher name recognition than many of his rivals — 55% of Democrats polled had heard of him — only 10% of those who knew him said they found him satisfactory.

Repeatedly, Insider's polling found that de Blasio was the most dissatisfactory candidate in the primary among a number of key constituencies, at times competing with only Marianne Williamson — a political newcomer with fringe views on various topics — seriously competing with de Blasio for that ignominious title.

Bill de Blasio Sep 13
Business Insider

De Blasio's fans were polyamorous in their support

De Blasio also failed to cultivate a loyal following. Most of his supporters were considering around 8 other contenders on average, according to Insider's polling. When his home state Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out, she did so at a highpoint — and where her support would wind up was an interesting question, as 19% of those who knew of her were satisfied with her as nominee, twice the level of de Blasio's satisfaction.

Still, his fans have to go somewhere. Who gains with de Blasio's exit?

More than 70% of de Blasio's supporters also liked the frontrunners of the race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders— a higher proportion than each candidate's affinity rate among Democratic voters on the whole.

Of the three top contenders, Biden stands to benefit the most: His support was 20 percentage points higher among de Blasio's base than typical Democrats.

Proponents of de Blasio were also fans of other previous big-city mayors. More than half of de Blasio supporters reported liking Sen. Cory Booker, former mayor of Newark, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a former mayor pro tem of El Paso.

While the erstwhile municipal leaders were less-liked than the frontrunners, each had around 24 percentage points more support from de Blasio's base than from Democratic voters overall — a sizable advantage. If Booker, Castro, and O'Rourke can appeal to de Blasio's fickle constituency, they're well-positioned to see boosts in their numbers too.

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