Massive turnout in the 2020 Super Tuesday primary is proof that the Democratic Party is motivated to vote against President Trump, Maslansky & Partners president and pollster Lee Carter said Wednesday.
Appearing in a panel on “Fox & Friends” with host Steve Doocy, The Hill’s media reporter Joe Concha, and Real Clear Politics’ Tom Bevan, Carter said that she was surprised to see how many supporters of former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar actually flipped to support former Vice President Joe Biden.
“What that suggests to me is that support for moderates, support for somebody that they believe is going to win that is not Bernie Sanders, is that solid,” Carter said.
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Biden surged to victory in Super Tuesday contests across the South and beyond, while Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., claimed gold in the Golden State with a sizable delegate win — divvying up the map on the largest primary day of the season and indicating a close battle between the two that is likely to drag on for weeks or more.
It emerged after midnight Wednesday that Biden had narrowly defeated Sanders in Texas, the second biggest contest of the day. With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Biden was ahead of Sanders 33.3 percent to 29.3 percent. The two candidates are likely to receive a similar share of the state’s 228 pledged delegates.
In a worrying sign for Sanders, who had expected to perform well in the state, Maine’s race call is still outstanding. With 71 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders and Biden are within two percentage points.
Carter also noted that voter turnout was bigger than in 2008 — former president Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Election turnout in Virginia nearly doubled from 2016 and Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic primary voters broke their turnout record. The same could be said for Utah.
“And, with a candidate that people aren’t that enthusiastic about, what that’s saying is that people are going to come out to go against Donald Trump. That’s how hard people feel that they have to fight against it. And usually what we are seeing in voting is that we don’t have somebody who is going to go and vote against it,” she remarked.
“These people are there to vote against Donald Trump — not necessarily for Joe Biden,” she told the group.
According to a February Emerson poll, 52 percent of Democratic primary voters said they would vote for their preferred candidate and 48 percent said they could still change their minds.
“When you look at polling – exit polling – what you’re seeing is one in four people decided [in] the last 24 hours who they are going to vote for. So support was soft,” she explained.
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“People are looking to see where the momentum was, who they thought was most likely to win, and that’s who they voted for,” she said.
“I don’t see people saying, ‘I voted for Biden because he is the one that is going to do this for me.’ They voted for Biden because they said, ‘I voted for Biden because I think he’s the one that’s going to win,'” Carter noted. “And, that’s a different equation.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re, Kelly Phares, and Lee Ross contributed to this report.