Michael Bennet’s Latest Allies In His 2020 Campaign Are People Who Don’t Know Who He Is

<p>Courtesy CNN</p>
<p>Michael Bennet during his CNN Town Hall appearence, May 30, 2019.</p>
Photo: Michael Bennet CNN Town Hall | Screencap - Courtesy
Michael Bennet during his CNN Town Hall appearence, May 30, 2019.

A fluke may have landed U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in the Democratic presidential debates.

Bennet qualified for the June 26 and 27 debates in Miami when he polled at one percent in a third public poll, the June 4 CNN poll.

But when CNN political analyst Harry Enten dug into the data, he found something ... weird.

"If you look at our latest CNN national poll, what you see is that less than 50 percent of voters nationwide have actually heard of who Michael Bennet was," Enten said.

As Enten discovered, it ended up being the people who did not know who Bennet is who helped him qualify for the debates.

Among the people polled who knew who Bennet is, he polled at zero percent. But among those who did not know who he is, he came in at two percent. Put together, that makes his one percent.

"Michael Bennet qualified for the debate at the end of this month because of voters who said they didn’t know who he was," Enten said. "It’s really one of the more bizarre things I’ve seen."

Enten doesn't know exactly how it happened. The way candidates are identified in the poll could have alternatively muddled or triggered people's memories. Or Bennet could have been confused with one of the abundant other B-name candidates: Beto, Bernie, Buttigieg, Biden, Booker, etc.

It's true that Bennet did appear in his own CNN town hall before the poll was taken, and that may have boosted his reputation. But, as Enten points out, wouldn't the people voting for him know his name?

Whatever the answer may be, Enten said Bennet likely isn't losing sleep over the details.

"You know what, at the end of the day, I don’t think Michael Bennet particularly cares whether or not these voters have heard of him," he said. "Because what he was looking for was that 1 percent. And he got that 1 percent, and now he’s qualified for the debate."