Voters are giving seemingly contradictory answers when asked about which characteristics they’re looking for in a candidate and which candidate they are currently leaning towards, FiveThirtyEight reports.
More than have of respondents to a Morning Consult poll of Democrats said they want a candidate that has decades of political experience, but almost the same amount want a candidate under 70, which FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich notes are “two characteristics that might be hard to find in a single candidate.”
One such candidate, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a 68-year-old former congressman, is trailing far behind less experienced candidates like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was first elected to public office in 2012, in another Morning Consult poll released this week.
Rakich also refers to a Pew Research Center poll from March 2015, which is as far out from the 2016 election as this month is from the 2020 election. In that poll, more than half of Republican and GOP-leaning voters said they wanted a candidate with experience and a proven record, and just over a third said they wanted a fresh approach. Six months later, and 65 percent wanted someone new with a different approach.
“In short, voters’ ideas of what they want may be theoretical,” he notes.
“Alternatively, voters’ interpretations of a candidate’s brand may be hard to pin down… If nothing else, this is yet another warning that commonly discussed ideological ‘lanes’ may not accurately reflect how voters approach the primary.”
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