The Des Moines Register reported a bit of good news for “Bernie Bros” on Friday. For the first time in either of his two runs for the Democratic presidential nomination, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont leads the Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll. It notes:
The senator from Vermont is the top choice of 20% of likely Democratic caucusgoers, according to the poll by Selzer & Co. That places him 3 percentage points ahead of Elizabeth Warren, 4 points ahead of Pete Buttigieg and 5 points ahead of Joe Biden. No other candidate has double-digit support.
This poll also brings his highest favorability rating since June — 66% of likely Democratic caucusgoers have favorable feelings toward him, versus 29% with unfavorable feelings. That’s an 11-point increase in net favorability since the November Iowa Poll.
Not only is this generally good news for Sanders and anyone, like myself, who may be lamenting the very real possibility that the best Democrats can do for a viable nominee is Joe “Touchy McGaffe Machine” Biden, it’s news that comes in particularly good timing as we are just three weeks away from Caucus Day in Iowa.
“There’s no denying that this is a good poll for Bernie Sanders. He leads, but it’s not an uncontested lead,” said pollster J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co. “He’s got a firmer grip on his supporters than the rest of his compatriots.”
And she’s certainly right about that. Even if we didn’t already know of the intense, often annoying as hell, passion espoused by Sanders supporters, the aforementioned poll says that 49 percent of his supporters say they’re extremely enthusiastic to caucus for him. That’s 17 percentage points higher than his closest competitor in Iowa, Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
And, in what Selzer calls his best number of the poll, 59 percent of his supporters say their mind is made up. Warren is once again next, at 48 percent.
“For real, he could win the caucuses,” Selzer said. “His supporters are more committed and more entrenched.”
That commitment is real and has been since his first race for the nomination against Hillary Clinton in which many still claim he was robbed of his spot by Democrat elites. The fact is, you can’t go on to any social media post about Sanders and comment anything even remotely negative about the presidential hopeful without being bombarded with instant condemnation by #SandGang.
In short: They serious. And if this momentum shifts into a trend of him leading in more states, be ready to see that enthusiasm blow up accordingly.