Democratic voters overwhelmingly think the accusations of Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching are not disqualifying

Former Vice President Joe Biden. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
  • Democratic voters largely do not think the accusations of inappropriate touching disqualify Vice President Joe Biden from running for president in 2020.
  • A new poll from INSIDER shows that very few voters characterised Biden’s accusations as a deal breaker for a potential 2020 White House bid.
  • Biden has yet to announce a run, which could come very soon.
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Former Vice President Joe Biden has not suffered among Democratic primary voters after a week of multiple women coming forward accusing him of inappropriately touching them and invading their personal space.

According to a new INSIDER poll conducted over the weekend on SurveyMonkey Audience, most Democratic primary voters would not characterise the accusations as disqualifying, suggesting the longtime Delaware senator is poised to maintain his strong standing in the large field of Democratic presidential candidates, which he has yet to formally join.

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At first, the results look troubling for Biden. Among all respondents, 20% of Americans said the accusations were disqualifying, compared to 40% who felt they were not, 15% who were unsure, and 20% who said they were not having not followed the story.

But at this point in time, we don’t really care about all respondents. What we care about is the people who are directly responsible for deciding the primary, many of whom tend to like Biden quite a bit!

Joe Biden

When focusing just on people who said they’d likely participate in their state’s Democratic primary or caucus, the number of individuals saying Biden is disqualified shrank even further: Just 13% said the allegations against Biden were a disqualifier, suggesting the amount of likely Democratic primary voters already do not like the former vice president as the 2020 presidential nominee.

Also among likely Democratic primary voters, 52% said the accusations were not disqualifying, while 16% were unsure, and 18% did not follow the bombshell allegations.

But taking this a step further, as part of our ongoing research into the primary, we had also asked earlier on in the survey who among the field of candidates the respondent would be satisfied with winning the nomination. Biden’s numbers remain solid, and basically unchanged compared to his performance over the preceding seven times we asked the question. But among the 240 Democratic primary voters who’d be satisfied with him in the event he was the nominee, a paltry eight of them think the touching is disqualifying.

So while one-fifth of Americans think Biden’s physical contact is disqualifying, a small fraction of them continued to supported him at this stage anyway, which is likely why this hasn’t seemed to sink his chances. How this continues through the primary could absolutely shake up the race, but for now it’s not resonating among his base.

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While 18 other Democrats have jumped into the race, Biden has been taking his time. But with near-universal name recognition and a strong political network, Biden has been able to move slowly. An announcement could come soon, with Biden staying strong in virtually every poll of the 2020 field.

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 weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,103 respondents collected April 4-5, 2019, a margin of error plus or minus 3.1 percentage points with a 95% confidence level