Voters share differences between Biden and Sanders in Democratic primary exit polls


As the US faces a growing coronavirus outbreak, preliminary findings from CNN exit polls conducted in Tuesday’s primary states show that Democratic voters trust former Vice President Joe Biden more than Sen. Bernie Sanders to handle a major crisis.

Roughly half of Democratic primary voters in Michigan as well as in Washington state said they trust Biden most among the Democratic candidates to handle a major crisis.

In Michigan, where the exit poll reflects only those who voted on Election Day, about a third say they trust Sanders most to handle a crisis.

In Missouri, preliminary exit poll results show Biden’s edge on this measure is wider: About 6 in 10 say they trust him most to handle a major crisis, while about a quarter named Sanders.

In Washington, where voting is by mail and many ballots were cast before the field of candidates winnowed over the past week, about a quarter chose Sanders and roughly 1 in 5 chose Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who dropped out of the race on Friday.

In Washington, where there has been a concentration of coronavirus cases, more than 8 in 10 Democratic primary voters said they were at least somewhat concerned about the effects of the outbreak, including nearly 4 in 10 who said they were “very concerned.”

Older voters there were more apt to be concerned than younger ones, with a narrow majority of those age 65 and older saying they are “very concerned” about it, compared with just 1 in 5 of those under age 45.

CNN exit polls were conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool in four states voting on March 10. Results are based on interviews conducted throughout the day with randomly selected Democratic primary voters at voting locations in Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi. Results in these states are reflective only of those who cast ballots on election day. In Washington, a telephone poll was conducted to interview those who vote by mail.

The margin of error for results based on the full sample is plus or minus 4 points in Michigan, Missouri and Washington and plus or minus 5 points in Mississippi.

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