Ever since Oprah Winfrey gave an inspirational speech at the Golden Globes, talk of her running for president has been flying all over the nation. A much as this has captured the attention of people who write about Hollywood gossip and political elections, the general, voting public seems less enthusiastic about an Oprah v. President Donald Trump matchup in 2020, according to a new poll put out today The Morning Consult.
Their reporting shows that the majority of voters who responded to their poll, do not think the media mogul and award-winning actress should start a run for the White House. This is not a matter of Republicans vs. Democrats. It seems that even the Democratic faithful do not think an Oprah presidential campaign is a good idea for the country. The poll data show that a full 59% of American voters do not think she should run for the White House. About 24% of voters think she should run and a full 17% say they are either not sure or do not care one way or the other.
The report also shows that there is some support for her entering the political world. While poll data show Oprah leads Trump in a number of areas. She also leads other candidate options but is still behind candidates such as Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) who ran in 2016 and former Vice President Joe Biden.
The new poll shows that, despite how badly Trump fares in most political polling, voters want someone new to run. They may not be as interested in someone who is involved in the latest Hollywood gossip news or is the latest celebrity to run for office. More voters seem interested in people who have experience in elected office rather than someone who is merely a feature in entertainment news. This is even more true for Democratic voters who expect candidates for the highest office in the land to have some political experience.
While more voters think Oprah should not run, she does lead Trump in a head to head match up. She leads the president by 2%. The Politico/Morning Consult poll shows her having a 40% to 38% lead against the president but also has a full 22% of all voters saying they are undecided. As would be expected, Democrats greatly favor Oprah over Trump. At least 73% of Democrats polled say they would vote for Trump over Oprah (at least 9% say they would vote for Oprah). About 76% of Republicans say they would vote for Oprah over Trump (at least 11% say they would go the other way). For Independent voters, the story is more complicated. About 35% of them would vote for Oprah, at least 30% would go for Trump and 35% are undecided.
A lot of this comes down to how much the public expects their leaders to have at least some experience in politics. According to the poll, at least 41% of all voters think that having some experience as an elected official is important to have before a person can be elected to the presidency. A full 44% of voters polled do not think it is important to have this experience to be a good or effective president.
People tend to think of Oprah as being a very liberal figure. The poll showed that about 39% of respondents called her “very liberal.” About 62% say she is “liberal.” How this all pans out depends little on the Hollywood gossip aspect on a campaign. It is often hard to say how a candidate will do in a campaign until they make it official. Hillary Clinton enjoyed a high level of popularity when she was the Secretary of State under President Barack Obama but say that all but evaporate when she announced she was running for president.
One interesting take away from the poll is that while about 77% of all Democrats would vote for Oprah, only 38% of them actively want her to run for the office. While the Hollywood gossip feel this speculation has, there is a lot of time between now and the real start of the 2020 presidential election.