With Michigan polls closing in about two hours – except for that pesky little piece of the western U.P. in the central time zone – it appears that Sen. Bernie Sanders has little chance of pulling off another epic upset over his heavily favored Democratic primary rival, in this case former Vice President Joe Biden.
The polls have shown Biden with a dramatic lead of between 15 and 41 points as Michigan voting winds down. More importantly, the surveys indicate that Biden has a distinct advantage over his democratic socialist counterpart among almost every demographic group of voters.
Sure, the pollsters were way off the mark in their 2016 predictions of a resounding Hillary Clinton victory of about 20 points over Sanders in the Michigan primary. Who can forget those impromptu, late-night victory comments to the TV cameras by Bernie four years ago, looking like he had just been dragged out of bed by his campaign aides? Clearly not expecting to win, Sanders made his brief remarks minus an Election Night rally – in fact without any supporters on hand.
The surprise result was sparked by an unexpectedly healthy turnout by Millennial voters while many traditional Democrats were not enthused by the prospect of another Clinton presidential nominee. Some stayed home.
This time, the pollsters promise us that their embarrassing mistakes of four years ago will not be repeated. They say that the 2016 failings that were evident in their sampling of likely voters have been remedied.
Veteran pollster Bernie Porn of Lansing-based EPIC-MRA says that he is confident in his 51-27 percent margin for the former vice president based on several factors:
- Some 68 percent of respondents to the March 4-6 poll said they were very certain about their choice heading into Election Day.
- Biden enjoyed support among independent voters by nearly a 2-1 margin while among moderate Democrats his advantage was 64-13 percent. Those who self-identified as “mostly liberal” gave the edge to the former Delaware senator by 51-32 percent. The “very liberal” slice of the party favored Sanders by 54-36 percent.
- Black voters sided with Barack Obama’s VP by 46-24 percent, and union households stood by Biden by a 60-21 percent gap.
- Sanders enjoyed an overwhelming 58-17 percent lead among those aged 18-34 but Biden held a substantial edge in every other age group.
- As for the electability issue, voters overall said they saw Biden as the candidate most likely to defeat President Donald Trump in November by a 61-21 percent margin.