Note: All non-first choice preferences polling topline data, unless otherwise stated, is among in-person caucusgoers who will determine 90% of the delegate count.
When you look at the second choice options for in-person caucusgoers, you see no clear favorite. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris are tied at 14%, Joe Biden comes in with 13%, Bernie Sanders stands at 11% and Pete Buttigieg comes in at 9%.
Drill down into the individual candidates, and it’s an even less clear picture. You end up with relatively small sample sizes, though you can see some differences emerge.
Buttigieg’s and Warren’s supporters combined clearly show preference toward Harris as their second choice.
Meanwhile, backers of Biden and Sanders (especially) don’t show the same affinity for Harris.
Combine Warren and Biden, you see Buttigieg doing fine as a second choice. Not so among Sanders backers.
Biden and Buttigieg backers are significantly less likely to back Warren as a second choice than Sanders’ voters.
The point here isn’t to try and say “if x candidate falls, then y candidate will surely benefit.” Rather, it’s to point out how messy this entire race is. The second choices of the different candidates show that broad statistics such as “second choice” can only get us so far. Expect different candidates to rise and fall, depending on who else rises and falls. Those divides may fall along age, education, ideological, etc. lines.