UPDATE — 1/19, 11:20 a.m. EST: A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday shows Oprah Winfrey as the third most popular 2020 Democratic White House candidate among the party’s voters.
Similar to results found by a separate polling organization last week, Winfrey trails only Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in hypothetical head-to-head match-ups. The female media mogul, however, would beat Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.
The survey, conducted Jan. 11–16 among 1,993 registered voters, also found Winfrey would beat Trump in the general election by two points, 40–38 percent. A Quinnipiac University Poll also found Oprah leading Trump, but by a wider margin, 52–39 percent.
In the week following Oprah Winfrey’s inspiring acceptance speech after receiving a life-time achievement award at the Golden Globes on Sunday, two national polls have been released showing the female media mogul with a double-digit lead over Donald Trump among voters in a hypothetical 2020 election match-up.
The surveys were conducted by polling companies on opposite ends of the political spectrum, one released Wednesday by GOP-leaning Rasmussen Reports and a second on Friday by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist, which typically skews to the “left”.
Rasmussen specifically polled “likely voters”, 48 percent of whom said they’d vote for Ms. Winfrey, compared to just 38 percent for President Trump.
The Marist poll, by contrast, sampled all registered U.S. voters but found a similar result, with half of all respondents supporting Oprah and 39 percent backing Trump. Despite the surprising results of a potential all-celebrity presidential race, only 35 percent of those surveyed said they wanted Oprah to seek the White House.
Among the all-important “independents” — voters not registered with either party — Oprah beat Trump in both polls by six and nine points, respectively.
The results follow a March 2017 poll by Public Policy Polling which found Winfrey beating Trump 47–40 percent among registered voters.
“She’s certainly a bigger celebrity than Trump ever was, especially in terms of connecting with her audience. Obviously this has given her an opportunity. What does she do next with it?” said Northeastern journalism professor Alan Schroeder.
Media speculation surrounding such a 2020 presidential contest was fueled further on Monday by two sources describing themselves to CNN as Oprah’s friends who said that America’s wealthiest black woman is “actively” considering a White House bid.
The report came a day following comments made by Oprah’s 30-year boyfriend, Stedman Graham, that Oprah “would absolutely” run for president if she had enough public support.
Prior to either poll’s release showing Winfrey garnering more public support, Trump said Tuesday from the White House that while he has a professional affinity for Oprah, he’s confident in winning reelection, but doesn’t believe she’ll run.
Despite her popularity compared to the current president, however, another survey conducted by RABA Research on Wednesday and Thursday showed Winfrey trailing potential Democratic primary rivals Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders among registered Democrats. Elizabeth Warren finished fourth with 18 percent support, with 15 percent either unsure or endorsing someone else.
According to Forbes, Winfrey is worth an estimated $2.8 billion, compared to Trump’s $3.1 billion — down from $4.5 billion just prior to his nomination as the GOP’s 2016 presidential candidate.
Watch Oprah answer a question about how America has changed following the “#MeToo” movement at a post-Golden Globes press conference Sunday, below.
[Politico] [NPR] [Reuters] [CNNMoney] [NBC News] [Variety/YouTube] [Photo courtesy Getty Images/EPA via The Express]