We just covered the story a few days ago concerning a possible Hillary Clinton run in 2020, now there’s some talk of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seriously considering tossing his hat in the ring. Then today, a new poll, taken for inexplicable reasons in New Hampshire, shows former first lady Michelle Obama could conceivably crush the entire Democratic field if she decided to join the 2020 race.
As part of their regular polling of the 2020 Democratic primary, Franklin Pierce University, in tandem with the Bostom Herald, also tossed in a question to New Hampshire Democratic primary voters a hypothetical field which includes the current list, plus former first lady Michelle Obama. The results would likely make filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore glow with pride:
Former first lady Michelle Obama would enter the 2020 Democratic New Hampshire primary race as the frontrunner, a new Franklin Pierce University-Boston Herald poll has found — though so far she’s insisted she won’t.
The poll, conducted Oct. 9-13, has Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden tied in the lead of the current Democratic field in the Granite State primary, with Bernie Sanders slightly behind.
“Today, the Democratic race is a statistical dead heat between Warren (25%), Biden (24%) and Sanders (22%),” pollster R. Kelly Myers wrote in his summary of the poll results.
“If Michelle Obama were to enter the race, it would change things dramatically,” Myers wrote. “Twenty-six percent of Democrats would vote for her, making her the new frontrunner. Under this scenario, Obama (26%) would lead Warren (20%), (Biden (20%) and Sanders (15%). She would take away 4 points from Warren, 4 points from Biden and 7 points from Sanders.”
So if we back up a smidge, the actual poll of the current contenders showed a statistical tie between Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, sitting at 24% and 25%, respectively. Warren gets the slightly better end of the tie, but it’s within the margin of error so it has to be considered a toss-up based on this.
However, when adding Michelle Obama into the mix, the numbers go sideways and give the former first lady 26% of the vote, with Warren and Biden tied at 20%.
That’s not huge for Mrs. Obama, but it does speak to her popularity among Democratic primary voters. If she was up in the thirties or forties, it might be evidence of a very, very weak Democratic field. Perhaps it’s less about Michelle and more about having any Obama back in the White House for Democrats.
Back in August, filmmaker Michael Moore went on the record with his belief that none of the Democratic candidates in the current field have what it takes to beat President Trump. Moore’s solution? Draft Michelle Obama and let her destroy Trump, in his opinion:
Though the former first lady has repeatedly dismissed speculation that she’d run for political office, both in interviews and her 2018 memoir, Becoming, Moore told MSNBC’s Brian Williams Wednesday night that he sees her as the “one person that would crush Trump” in 2020.
“Everybody watching this right now knows she is a beloved American, and she would go in there, and she would beat him,” the filmmaker said. “She’d beat him in the debates, he wouldn’t be able to bully her, he wouldn’t be able to nickname her … and she is beloved.
“Just go to C-SPAN and follow her book tour across the country,” he continued. “She’s playing 15,000-seat arenas in the Midwest. They have to turn people away. She takes the stage and she’s so powerful and so good. You just look at that and you think, ‘Of course. She could win.’
The Fahrenheit 9/11 director did concede that it’s unlikely that the former FLOTUS — who was just interviewed by Meghan Markle for British Vogue — would actually throw her hat into the ring.
“But everyone’s now saying well, of course, she’s not going to run,” he told Williams. “Well, has anyone asked her? I think if she were asked, ‘Look, we’re sorry about this. We have to come back to you, you have to go back to the White House, your country needs you,’ if asked to serve, I believe she would serve.
It’s worth noting, at this point, that most political and public figures are more popular when they’re not running or holding office than when they are. As soon as they become an official candidate, it means they will have to begin taking a side on the issue of the day and some support naturally drops off.
The question of whether Democratic primary voters would be at least open to her candidacy seems to be a real possibility based on the Franklin Pierce University poll.
How would Mrs. Obama fare in other early primary states? Based on these numbers, probably a little better than she does in New Hampshire. It would be interesting to run this same poll question in South Carolina and see whether Joe Biden’s hold on African-American voters would shake loose with a popular figure like Michelle Obama on the ballot.
There’s no indication she has a desire to run since she and her husband are off in the entertainment industry now working with Netflix and others. However, maybe she’ll see these numbers and keep an eye on things, much like Michael Bloomberg is, in case Biden continues to lose support.