House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) may be losing a grip on her establishment base, as a recent Data for Progress poll shows incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, down by double digits against his primary challenger, Jamaal Bowman, who has scored the backing of progressive giants in Congress.
The survey, taken June 11 -15 among 525 likely Democrat voters, showed Engel down by ten percent, 31 percent to Bowman’s 41 percent, in the primary race for New York’s 16th District. The survey indicated that there is room for a shift, as more than a quarter — 27 percent — remain undecided. However, the results of the follow-up question did not bode well for the incumbent.
“Given that you are undecided, who are you leaning towards supporting?” the survey asked, showing 40 percent choosing Bowman and 18 percent selecting Engel.
Bowman’s lead remains outside of the survey’s +/- 5.1 percent margin of error.
The American Prospect adds:
As one might expect, Bowman, who is running to Engel’s left, enjoys a considerable 43-17 lead with voters under 45, who tend to support progressives overwhelmingly. But Bowman is also winning voters over 45 by 6 percent, non-college-educated voters by 8 percent, college-educated voters by 9 percent, and female voters by 17 percent. His advantage is even more dominant when broken out by racial group: he’s winning Black voters by a startling 56-10 margin. Engel’s best demographic, meanwhile, is whites, who he’s winning 52-30 (it’s the only demographic he’s winning aside from men, who favor him by a 2 percent margin).
The survey comes as the ultra-progressive wing of the Democrat party, comprised of lawmakers who openly tout radical socialist policies, rush to back Bowman in what some view as a continued act of defiance against Pelosi’s establishment grip. Far-left members of the “Squad” infamously went toe-to-toe with the speaker several times last year.
“All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world,” Pelosi said at the time. “But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.”
While the speaker and “Squad” members made peace, an underlying revolt against the establishment looms large, particularly following the Democrat Party’s presidential primary, which saw Joe Biden (D) suddenly and rapidly soar to the top prior to Super Tuesday — a move many contend points to yet another “rigged” primary driven by the party’s establishment.
Several progressive lawmakers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), have endorsed Bowman in recent days:
.@JamaalBowmanNY is a public school teacher and principal who understands that low-income families are locked out of opportunity and a decent life due to a rigged system. In Congress he'll fight to invest in public schools, end mass incarceration, and address the housing crisis. pic.twitter.com/VmJh3ermfm
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 9, 2020
The people of NY-16 deserve an accountable, compassionate leader who will make their voices heard. I know that @JamaalBowmanNY will be a champion for working people in Washington and I’m honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this fight. pic.twitter.com/xNk2N1x4mA
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) June 16, 2020
This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box.
On June 23rd, New York will be holding primary elections.
Tomorrow I will be rolling out a slate of New York endorsements.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 4, 2020
Engel has been in Congress for more than three decades.