Maybe Democrats should think twice before trying to draft Oprah Winfrey to run for president.
Or maybe not.
A pair of new nationwide polls released on Friday morning disagree about the entertainment mogul’s chances against President Donald Trump in 2020.
One, commissioned by a progressive group, shows she would actually effectively tie Trump if the election were held now. The poll of registered voters — conducted by left-leaning Public Policy Polling for the Progressive Change Campaign Committee early this week amid fervent speculation about Winfrey’s 2020 plans — reports Winfrey’s support at 44 percent, compared to Trump’s 43 percent, and 13 percent of voters who said they weren’t sure of their choice, according to results obtained by POLITICO.
But a Marist poll conducted for NPR and NewsHour out Friday showed Winfrey topping Trump, 50 percent to 39 percent, while 11 percent of voters were undecided.
Chatter about Winfrey’s political future ignited Sunday evening after her speech at the Golden Globes awards ceremony called for a new age in Hollywood. Trump himself told reporters he would beat Winfrey when asked about it on Wednesday.
Winfrey has not expressed any interest in running. She also hasn’t ruled it out. Still, Americans remain wary of the prospect of her campaign: the NPR survey revealed that 54 percent of Americans don’t want to see her throw her hat in the ring.
The PCCC poll also tested Trump against Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The poll found that Warren, widely considered a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2020, would lead Trump by 6 points: 49 percent to 43 percent, while 8 percent said they were unsure.
“We were actually doing a national poll about infrastructure jobs, in advance of Trump announcing his latest attempt to enrich political cronies and billionaires,” explained Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC, which has long supported Warren. “It was right after the Golden Globes. As a last-minute whim, I asked the pollsters if we could throw in a question on Oprah just for fun, and added Warren so we’d have something to compare it to.”
Much of the difference in support levels between Winfrey and Warren in the poll comes from Latino voters and younger Americans. While both Democrats won strong support from African Americans in hypothetical match-ups against the president — roughly eight in ten backed them — Warren scored 71 percent support among Latinos, compared to Winfrey’s 57 percent. In both cases, Trump got about one-quarter of that vote.
Warren also outscored Winfrey by roughly ten percentage points among voters between the ages of 18 and 45.
The poll, which was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday after Winfrey’s Sunday speech set off the latest round of interest in her, also pegs Trump’s approval rating at a higher level than many public national surveys have recently. It reports that 42 percent of Americans approve of his job performance, compared to just 53 percent who disapprove.
The PPP survey covered 620 registered voters, and it had a margin of error of 3.9 points.