THE CENTER FOR ELECTION SCIENCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Aaron Hamlin
In a new nationwide poll conducted November 16-20 by The Center for Election Science and Change Research, results showed that 74% of Democratic primary voters would approve of Elizabeth Warren as the Democratic nominee. The polling was conducted using approval voting, a method which allows voters to vote for as many candidates as they want. The candidate with the most votes wins.
Under the approval-style polling, Warren came in first place among Democratic nominees with 74% of the vote. She was followed by Sanders (64%) and Buttigieg (61%). Biden came in fourth in the approval-style poll, securing 53% of the vote.
When the same survey participants were asked to choose only one candidate, the vote was severely split, leading to a statistical tie. Sanders and Warren secured 23% of the plurality vote, Biden 22%, and Buttigieg only 16%.
This poll proves the strong need for voting method reform—particularly in primary elections where there are large pools of candidates with relatively similar platforms. In these situations, bases of support are split among similar candidates, which can often lead to unpredictable results—as can be seen with the statistical tie among Sanders, Warren, and Biden.
With approval voting, voters are able to vote for all the candidates that they support, meaning that similar candidates, such as Sanders and Warren, don’t split the vote.
Approval voting is currently used to elect the secretary general of the United Nations and will be used for the first time in the United States next November in Fargo, ND. The Center for Election Science is working with grassroots activists in St. Louis, MO on a ballot initiative to implement approval voting for citywide primary elections.
The Center for Election Science is a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to studying and advocating for better voting methods to create fairer, more representative elections. In 2018, we helped Fargo, ND become the first city in the US to enact a method called approval voting.