Pollster defends dropping Warren from national match-ups against Trump

Pollster defends dropping Warren from national match-ups against Trump
© Greg Nash

A pollster who conducted a recent national survey for NBC News and The Wall Street Journal defended the decision to exclude Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Ocasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision Over 80 lawmakers urge Biden to release memo outlining his authority on student debt cancellation MORE (D-Mass.) from a head-to-head portion of the poll against President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE after the news sources received blowback from Democratic primary voters following the survey's release. 

Peter Hart, a pollster who works for the firm that conducted the survey, defended the decision on Monday to place Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley — Presented by Cisco — Feds forge ahead on internet 'nutrition labels' Senate set for muted battle over Breyer successor Hillicon Valley — Biden celebrates 'right to repair' wins MORE (D-Minn.) in a head-to-head match-up against the president, but exclude the Massachusetts senator.  

“Amy Klobuchar was selected as the fifth candidate,” Hart told BuzzFeed News. “We have tested Warren earlier, and I suspect she will be part of the next testing.”

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The last time the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll ran hypothetical match-ups against Trump, Warren was included and narrowly edged out the president, 48 percent to 45 percent. It was the third time Warren had been included in such a head-to-head match-up in this election cycle.

In the poll, Warren was tied with former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg for third place with the support of 14 percent of respondents. The pair trailed former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE (15 percent) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersMcConnell warns Biden not to 'outsource' Supreme Court pick to 'radical left' Briahna Joy Gray discusses Pelosi's 2022 re-election announcement Ocasio-Cortez: Supporting Sinema challenge by someone like Gallego would be easy decision MORE (I-Vt.) (27 percent). 

The poll included candidates Sanders, Biden, Bloomberg, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegButtigieg targeting rising traffic fatalities The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden talks, Senate balks Airlines suspend US flights in response to 5G deployment MORE and Klobuchar. Both Buttigieg and Klobuchar placed behind Warren in the poll.

Klobuchar, who surged to a third-place finish in New Hampshire after a fifth-place showing in Iowa, has received increased media attention since then. 

This was first time the poll tested Klobuchar against Trump. Like Warren had before, she beat the president 48 percent to 45 percent.

Hart said Klobuchar's recent surge was behind the poll's decision to survey her over Warren.

“We want to know where the [candidates] ‘start’ and what groups are moving toward them as they gain momentum,” he said.