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Most Candidates Catching Up With Biden in Kitchen-Table Conversations Among Democrats, According to Latest Word-of-Mouth Study

-- Biden and Sanders Neck-and-Neck, with Strong Sentiment Advantage for Sanders

-- Warren in Third Place; Bloomberg Ahead of Buttigieg

-- African American conversations very different from other Democrats

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Former Vice President Joe Biden remains the most talked about candidate for President among Democrats nationwide, but other candidates are catching up, notably Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to a new study completed by Engagement Labs before the January debate in Des Moines, IA.

Engagement Labs Inc. (PRNewsfoto/Engagement Labs)

Just over 1 in 3 Democrats (34.4%) reported having talked about Joe Biden in the prior 7 days, about the same as in a mid-December wave of the study. Meantime, Senator Sanders has risen 4 points, and trails Biden in Democratic conversations by only 3. All other top candidates also rose 3-5 points.

Word-of-Mouth for Most Candidates Rising, But Not for Biden

Weekly Conversation Topics Among Registered
Democrats

Candidate

Dec 2019

Jan 2020

Joe Biden

34.2%

34.4%

Bernie Sanders

27.0%

31.4%

Elizabeth Warren

21.5%

25.4%

Michael Bloomberg

15.5%

19.4%

Pete Buttigieg

12.7%

17.0%

Andrew Yang

6.5%

10.4%

Tom Steyer

n/a

10.1%

Amy Klobuchar

4.7%

7.9%

Cory Booker

6.8%

7.0%

Tulsi Gabbard

4.0%

5.0%

Source: Engagement Labs | www.engagementlabs.com

The December study stood out because it showed newly announced candidate Bloomberg at fourth place, ahead of Buttigieg who generally was ahead of Bloomberg in national polls at the time.  Bloomberg's polling has risen since pulling him even with Buttigieg in several recent polls.

"Bloomberg's rise in the polls in January is consistent with what we've seen time and again—word of mouth predicts future preferences and behavior," said Engagement Labs CEO Ed Keller.

Conversation Sentiment Favors Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren

The study also gauges sentiment, where the leaders are Sanders, Buttigieg, and Warren for whom more than 60% of their conversations are "mostly positive" according to the Democrats. Since December, conversations are less positive for Klobuchar (-7 points) and Gabbard (-14), while sentiment about Bloomberg has risen 8 points to 49% positive, the largest gain among any candidate.

% of Democratic Conversations That Are

Positive About Candidates

Candidate

Dec 2019

Jan 2020

Bernie Sanders

68%

69%

Pete Buttigieg

65%

64%

Elizabeth Warren

60%

63%

Andrew Yang

56%

61%

Amy Klobuchar

66%

59%

Joe Biden

55%

55%

Tom Steyer

n/a

54%

Cory Booker

53%

52%

Michael Bloomberg

41%

49%

Tulsi Gabbard

42%

28%

Source: Engagement Labs | www.engagementlabs.com

African American Conversations Like Sanders, Dislike Buttigieg and Klobuchar

While Biden leads in the conversations of African Americans, his lead over Sanders is weaker than many observers might expect. Biden's edge over Sanders in the frequency of conversations is just 31.7% to 29.0%, and Sanders has the most enthusiasm of any candidate, with 69% positive versus 58% for Biden.

African American Democrats Conversations About
Candidates

Candidate

% Talking about

% Positive

Joe Biden

31.7%

58%

Bernie Sanders

29.0%

69%

Elizabeth Warren

17.9%

59%

Michael Bloomberg

17.5%

50%

Tom Steyer

11.3%

49%

Cory Booker

9.7%

49%

Amy Klobuchar

8.5%

37%

Andrew Yang

8.3%

69%

Pete Buttigieg

8.3%

42%

Tulsi Gabbard

4.2%

44%

Source: Engagement Labs | www.engagementlabs.com

Compared to all Democrats, Buttigieg's rank in conversation frequency among African Americans drops from fifth to ninth, and his positive drops from second to ninth. Whereas Klobuchar's sentiment ranks fifth among all Democrats, she is last among African Americans. Both Klobuchar's and Buttigieg's sentiment is 22 points lower among African Americans than among all Democrats. 

Candidates who have more positive sentiment among African Americans than all Democrats include Yang who jumps from fourth to first, Biden who jumps from sixth to fourth, and Bloomberg who jumps from ninth to fifth.

"African Americans are a key voting constituency in Democratic politics and their conversations are extremely important to monitor," said Engagement Labs' Ed Keller. "Sanders makes a very strong showing, belying the conventional wisdom that this group – which will be front and center in South Carolina – is Biden's fire wall."

This Democratic Word-of-Mouth study was conducted via online interviews among 1,925 registered Democrats between January 8 and 9, 2020. Respondents reported on candidate conversations they participated in during the past seven days. 

About Engagement Labs

Engagement Labs (TSXV: EL) is an industry-leading data and analytics firm that provides social intelligence for Fortune 500 brands and companies. The Company's TotalSocial® platform focuses on the entire social ecosystem by combining powerful online (social media) and offline (word of mouth) data with predictive analytics.

To learn more visit www.engagementlabs.com / www.totalsocial.com.

For media inquiries please contact:
Vanessa Lontoc, VP of Marketing
Engagement Labs
732-846-6800
vanessa.lontoc@engagementlabs.com

Cision

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SOURCE Engagement Labs