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Poll: Most Pennsylvania Democrats favor Biden for being more likely to beat Trump

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In a vacuum, Pennsylvania’s Democratic voters prefer younger candidates to older ones, and want to send politicians to Washington who are willing to compromise.

But their decisions in next year’s presidential race may be driven less by any specific criteria and more by one underlying goal: denying President Donald Trump a second term.

Those takeaways are from a new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll of registered Democrats across Pennsylvania. A year before they get to weigh in on which candidate should be the party’s presidential nominee, a majority of respondents (55 percent) vowed to vote for the Democrat they see as best able to defeat Trump — even if they disagree with that candidate on most issues.

Thirty percent said the opposite: That they’d vote for the candidate that most shares their views even if he or she would be less likely to defeat Trump.

There’s an undercurrent of pragmatism among Democrats willing to set aside differences on policy and get behind whomever they think is the strongest option, said Chris Borick, a political science professor and pollster at Muhlenberg College’s Institute of Public Opinion, which conducted the survey of 405 registered Democratic voters.

Their current favorite is a man well-known for his deep family roots here. Former Vice President Joe Biden was the pick of 28 percent of respondents when asked which Democrat they would select if the 2020 presidential primary was being held now.

The early snapshot of Pennsylvania Democrats’ candidate preferences largely reflects what national public opinion surveys have found. An average of those polls by Real Clear Politics gives Biden — who has not officially announced a bid for president, but is expected to do so this month — an edge of 10 percentage points.

https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/capitol-ideas/mc-nws-pa-morning-call-muhlenberg-poll-democrats-2020-trump-20190412-amiwmqdc7zgcnc5365nelwlddm-story.html