Pete Buttigieg dropping out is great news for Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden

GettyElizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg at the October Democratic presidential debate.
  • Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race.
  • Sixty-six per cent of Buttigieg’s supporters polled by Insider have said they would also be satisfied if Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the nominee, the highest percentage of any rival.
  • Though he fatally underperformed among Latinos and African Americans, Buttigieg still has amassed a sizable coalition.
  • Joe Biden, a resurgent force in the primary, also is well-positioned to benefit.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has exited the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, ending a historic bid for the presidency.

While his supporters mourn the end, there are less than 36 hours until the Super Tuesday elections, and the question of whom his supporters will move to is now critical.

For the past several months, Insider has been conducting a recurring SurveyMonkey Audience poll to track the state of the 2020 Democratic primary field. You can download every poll here, down to the individual respondent data. (Read more about how the Insider Democratic primary tracker works here). We’ve been asking respondents to select from the list of contenders who they would be satisfied with as nominee, allowing them to select as many as possible.

This lets us understand the overlapping coalitions of the Democratic Party, and one this is clear: Buttigieg’s exit may be great news for former Vice President Joe Biden, but it’s also outstanding news for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Here’s what the data says.

Buttigieg had a crucial problem: He drastically underperformed among both Latinos and African American Democratic primary voters. These two groups simply compose too much of the Democratic Party for someone without their support to mount a viable bid for the nomination.

By ethnicitiesRuobing Su/Business Insider

Clearly, Buttigieg’s exit leaves a considerable fraction of the electorate who will now need to resort to a second choice. Who might that be? Coming off a win in South Carolina, Biden seems poised to reap some rewards. But most of all, Buttigieg’s supporters really like Warren.

Two-thirds of people polled by Insider who said they would be satisfied with Buttigieg as the Democrats’ presidential nominee also said they would be satisfied with Warren as the nominee, considerably above her national polling.

Pete Buttigieg Feb 28Business Insider

This could be huge for Warren. She’s performed well but has remained stubbornly below the 15% delegate threshold in too many states and congressional districts. Not all of Buttigieg’s supporters need to bolt to Warren for her to suddenly convert vote share into delegates. Buttigieg’s decision to refrain from endorsing someone else immediately after dropping out is also a boost to her campaign.

Warren hit the 15% threshold in Iowa but just missed it in New Hampshire, where she got 9% of the statewide vote, and Nevada, where she got 12% of the final alignment. Buttigieg received 24% support in New Hampshire and 17% in Nevada. Warren would have needed to get just about a fifth of Buttigieg’s support to have reached viability, and with evidence that two-thirds of his backers like her, his exit should give a lift to her bid.

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn’t try to weigh its sample based on race or income.

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